The terrorist threats the UK faces now are more diverse than before, dispersed across a wider geographical area, and often in countries without effective governance. We therefore face an unpredictable situation, with potentially more frequent, less sophisticated terrorist attacks.
Information on the nature of the threats we face can be found on the Security Service's website which also offers advice on the current threat levels.
The UK-wide threat level was raised to it's highest level - CRITICAL - in the immediate aftermath of the attack at the Manchester Arena on May 22, but was reduced back to SEVERE, which means the advice from the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre is that an attack within the UK is "highly likely", on May 27.
Counter-terrorism policy in the UK is reserved to the Westminster Government and the Home Office's Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism provides the Westminster government lead and more information on how they do so is available via this link. But many aspects of preparation, prevention and dealing with the consequences of a terrorist act in Scotland are managed and controlled by the Scottish Government and local agencies. Further details of how we do this can be found on the Scottish Government website.
What can you do to help?
Remain vigilant. If you become concerned for any reason, there are several ways to report your concerns securely:
- Where there is an emergency, call 999.
- You can call the police counter-terrorism hotline on 0800 789 321. You might observe some activity or behaviour which strikes you as not quite right and out of place in your normal day to day lives. You may feel it's probably nothing, but unless you trust your instincts and tell the police, they won't be able to judge whether the information you have is important or not. Your call will be handled by specially trained officers who will treat it in the strictest of confidence.
- You can contact the Security Service (MI5) directly. Again, you can remain anonymous.
Your information may help to save lives.
Other useful links include:
- Police Scotland whose purpose is to improve the safety and wellbeing of people, places and communities in Scotland. Their focus is on Keeping People Safe which is at the heart of everything that they do. Advice to the public on the steps they can take to keep themselves safe in the rare event of a firearms or weapons attack can be found on the Police Scotland website.
- The Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI) protects national security by providing protective security advice to those facilities, systems, sites and networks necessary for the functioning of the country and the delivery of the essential services upon which daily life in the UK depends - the Critical National Infrastructure. Their advice covers physical security, personnel security and cyber security/information assurance.
- The National Counter-Terrorism Security Office is a police unit which works closely with the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI.) Its work in counter terrorism and security is divided into three areas:
- Protection of Crowded Places;
- Protection of Hazardous Sites and Dangerous Substances and;
- Assisting the CPNI to protect the Critical National Infrastructure
It carries out that work by providing help, advice and guidance on all aspects of counter terrorism protective security.