North West Terror Chief Urges Vigilance

The man who's in charge of the North West's Counter Terror Unit says there's a risk people may become radicalised by terrorists and extremists, following recent fighting in Africa.

Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole wants the public to be watchful and use an anti-terror hotline to report anything deemed suspicious.

The number - which is confidential - is 0800 789 321.

DCS Mole told Capital: "recent events have shown that the threat from international terrorism is very real and has in no way dissipated.

"Indeed, a number of my own officers are currently supporting national colleagues following these tragic events in North Africa. 

"We have seen in the past how global events impact on local communities and it is critical that we all do our utmost to combat the threat from terrorism both at home and abroad.

"Police say that public vigilance is vital in the fight against terrorism, and as people know their communities they will know when something seems out of the ordinary.

"If members of the public see something that is unusual or out of place, they need to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline. Officers are urging people to trust their instincts and pick up the phone, as they could be providing the crucial piece of information that is needed.

DCS Tony Mole added: "There are individuals within our communities who seek to exploit vulnerable people for extremist purposes and we all have a responsibility to stop that from happening.

"We need the help of the public in identifying those people, so if you are concerned about an extreme and unexplained change in someone’s behaviour, please contact the Anti-Terrorist Hotline in confidence.

"We have tried and tested working practices in place that not only seek to detect and prosecute those involved in terrorist activity, but that also protect individuals who may be vulnerable to exploitation by extremists.

"In the recent past we have seen a number of instances here in the North West of individuals researching or planning acts of terrorism in the safety of their own home. I want to put a stop to that and I need the public to help me in identifying those individuals.