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Home Breaking Counter Terrorism Commander calls on public vigilance as party season begins

Counter Terrorism Commander calls on public vigilance as party season begins

The head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command is urging Londoners to be vigilant and report concerns as the Capital enters a busy period of festivities, events and activities in the run-up to Christmas.

Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, praised members of the public for reporting things that do not “feel right”.

The public made around 13,000 reports nationally to counter-terrorism police in the year ending March 2023. One-fifth of these was particularly useful to investigations – many of which had a significant link to London.

Commander Murphy said: “Communities make an invaluable contribution to our work to stop terrorism. People in London have literally helped us save lives by reporting their concerns to us.

“While there is no specific threat to London, it is exceptionally busy over the festive period and the current threat level for terrorism is ‘substantial’ so everyone needs to be vigilant. Please trust your instincts and contact us if something doesn’t feel right.”

If you see something that doesn’t feel right, please report it online at gov.uk/act or call police to talk through your concerns in confidence on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, always call 999.

Public reporting is playing an important role in keeping people in London safe from terrorism.

There was a surge in this public reporting immediately following the break out of conflict between Israel-Hamas. From 7-25th October, the number of public reports via the confidential hotline and ACT website were double that of the same period last year.

Earlier this year, 19-year-old Matthew King was jailed for a plot to carry out a terrorist attack in London after members of public provided information that was crucial to counter terrorism officers closing in on him, and ultimately stopping King carrying out a deadly attack.

The public is also greatly assisting the fight against terrorist offending and radicalisation online.

The Met’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit – which is dedicated to identifying and seeking the removal of terrorist and extremist content on the Internet – has removed more than 322,000 pieces of harmful content since 2015. Many pieces of content have been referred in to the unit by members of public who have acted on their instincts.

Specialist officers are working around the clock with their partners in the security services and national counter terrorism policing network to detect, deter and stop terrorism.

People out in London over the festive period will see officers on patrol at crowded spaces, including Project Servator officers, who are specially trained to spot the tell-tale signs that someone is planning or preparing to commit a crime.

Project Servator officers will be talking to the public and encouraging them to report any concerns, while also reassuring them that officers are in the area, keeping everyone safe.

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