PEOPLE have been urged to follow their hunches to turn in potential terrorists.
A major publicity drive is under way to get people to report their suspicions to counter terrorism experts.
The campaign was launched yesterday by the Association of Chief Police Officers and backed by the Counter Terrorism Unit based in Leeds.
It asks people to trust their instincts and to pass on information about any unusual activity or behaviour to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline.
“If you suspect it, report it,’’ is the key message of the new campaign.
Advertisements promoting the message will run in local newspapers, online and on regional radio stations for the next five weeks.
Det Chief Supt John Parkinson, head of the Counter Terrorism Unit in Leeds, said: “Terrorism is not an easy subject to talk about. It’s not something we like to believe is part of our everyday lives. However, it is real and the threat from terrorism is ongoing.
“We are becoming increasingly sophisticated in our efforts to prevent acts of terrorism and to target those behind them.
“Often, however, the real threat lies in what we don’t know. This gap in information is not one we can close on our own.
“It’s a sad fact that terrorists live amongst us. They work alongside us, share our communities, shops and facilities. Terrorists need properties or garages to store their equipment and materials. They need vehicles, cameras and mobile phones.
“They may come and go at strange times of the day or night, make unusual financial transactions or use false documents to hide their real identities.
“If something seems unusual or out of place, don’t rule it out. If you think that you may have seen something suspicious, or you are unsure about somebody’s activities or behaviour, then call us.
“All information passed to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline is treated in the strictest of confidence. So please don’t dismiss your concerns without reporting them.
“No piece of information is considered too small. You don’t need to worry about what, if anything, your information means. We have specialist officers to do that for you. They will analyse your information before deciding if and how to follow it up. All you need to do is trust your instincts.”
Call the Anti-Terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. If the threat is immediate call 999.