As you are all aware, following an assessment by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, the Prime Minister announced last night that the UK threat level from international terrorism is now Critical.
As this is a national decision you should direct any questions regarding the move to Critical to National Counter Terrorism Policing, and any questions regarding Op Temperer should be directed to the Home Office.
However, to help your understanding of what this all means, we are sharing the following key national messages.
We hope you find this helpful in answering any questions you may have.
• The level of threat is complex and ranges from lone actors intent on carrying out crude attacks to sophisticated networks pursuing ambitious and coordinated plots;
• Together with our partners we are doing everything we can across the country to prevent attacks and to protect the public from harm.
• In response to this heightened threat the public will see an increased policing and security presence across the country and at key sites, such as train stations and other crowded places to help protect communities.
• Officers from event planning teams and protective security experts will be working with event organisers to ensure that venues have appropriate security measures in place.
• As a precautionary measure we have increased the number of officers on duty to provide a highly visible, reassurance presence – both armed and unarmed – across the country for as long as is needed.
• We urge the public to remain alert but not alarmed – the police service and our partners are doing everything we can to help protect the security of our citizens, public institutions, critical national infrastructure, and businesses and places;
• Our security measures and activities are under constant review to reflect where the threats exist and the level of threat we are facing;
• Terrorists want to create discord, distrust and to create fear. The police stand together with all communities in the UK and we will take action against any criminal behaviour which seeks to undermine society, especially where crimes are motivated by hate.
• Communities defeat terrorism, which is why we must maintain the strong relationship between the public and police. We depend on information from the public, who can be our eyes and ears, in our efforts to keep us all safe.
• Acts of terrorism and hate crimes are committed by a small minority of people and are not representative of the public. This is a time for us all to work closely together and unite against those who seek, through violence and extremism, to intimidate or cause fear.
• A webpage with advice for victims and those affected by the attack in Manchester has gone live on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manchester-attack-may-2017-support-for-people-affected
• The latest guidance on recognising the terrorist threat and remaining vigilant can be accessed via www.nactso.gov.uk
• We advise the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency the public should always call 999. For further information about reporting suspicious behaviour visit https://act.campaign.gov.uk/. If you get caught up in the rare event of a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice.
Operation Temperer – the mobilisation plan for military support to the police service following a major terrorist attack – has been initiated.
Military personnel will be deployed alongside the police at nominated sites to provide additional protective security.
Military personnel under this mobilisation will be under the command and control of the police service.
Please do not be alarmed by this change in personnel, it is to ensure that more police officers are available to be deployed.
Operation Temperer allows up to 10,000 military personnel to be deployed within 12-96 hours of a terrorism incident occurring in the UK.
Duties the military will be involved include:
– Backfilling existing armed guarding roles filled by existing armed police units, thereby releasing armed police officers to support the wider incident response;
– Supporting cordons in the potential scenario of event-area manhunts;
– Fulfilling other tasks (primarily public reassurance deployments) as directed by COBR depending on the specific circumstances.