Police in Surrey and Sussex are supporting a national public awareness campaign about the threat of terrorism over the festive season.

With the coronavirus pandemic impacting on life and work every day, the threat from terrorism isn’t necessarily in the front of everyone’s mind.

But the threat of terrorism sadly has not gone away.

Given national and regional restrictions, compared to previous years there may be a different look and feel to city and town centres, and public venues, over the festive season.

However, the recent terror attacks in Europe and the change in the UK’s terrorism threat level to Severe – meaning an attack is highly likely – are reminders of how important it is to stay vigilant wherever you are out and about.

Counter Terrorist Policing and local forces work throughout the year to give advice and guidance on safety and security measures. But everyone has their part to play. Police in Surrey and Sussex are supporting national Counter Terrorism Policing by reminding people to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity.

Officers and staff have been briefed on the current national threat level and the need to remain alert, and high level armed patrols continue across both counties.

Police are distributing leaflets with the awareness message in busy places as well as using social media to spread the message.

Similar to tackling coronavirus, defeating terrorism requires a collective community effort where police, security staff, retail workers and the public come together to minimise the chance of attacks. The cooperation between the public and the police is a powerful defence against terrorism. Together communities defeat terrorism.

Police are encouraging the public to remain vigilant, look out for suspicious behaviour and inform people how to report their concerns, providing a ‘whole society’ approach where police, security staff, retail workers and the public come together to minimise the chance of attacks.

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller said; “The collective community effort to security will always be the most effective. We know a terrorist attack can happen anywhere and at any time, and there is no current specific threat to Surrey or Sussex.

“But everyone has their part to play and our winter campaign encourages everyone to remain alert while out and about, and to report anything suspicious to police, security or staff. By working alongside businesses, as well as the public, we can all help to keep each other safe.”

If you see or hear something suspicious, trust your instincts and ACT. If you are out and about in a shopping or hospitality area report it to a security staff or the police.

You can also report in confidence to the police online at gov.uk/ACT where there is further information about the police message.

In addition, parents, friends and families can now get specialist support to stop their loved ones being drawn into harmful activities or groups, with the launch of ACT Early – a new dedicated safeguarding website, www.actearly.uk and advice line from the specialists at Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP).

BUT in an emergency always call 999.