Public urged to play part in terrorism crackdown
20 March 2018, 06:18 | Updated: 20 March 2018, 06:19
Scots are being urged to look out for suspicious behaviour as part of a UK-wide campaign to prevent terrorism.
The Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) initiative has brought together Police Scotland and other UK forces led by counter-terrorism (CT) policing to give a united message in raising awareness.
Research carried out by CT policing found three-quarters of people who live in Scotland are concerned about terrorism but many are unclear about what they should be looking out for.
Police Scotland said examples of suspicious activity could include hiring large vehicles for no obvious reason, storing a large amount of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reasons, taking notes or photos of security arrangements or inspecting CCTV cameras and looking at extremist material.
The ACT campaign features a 60-second film based on real-life foiled plots.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson said: "We work tirelessly with security partners to identify and thwart the terrorist threat.
"The public can also play a crucial role in helping to keep communities safe and we would encourage anyone with suspicions to report their concerns.
"We want to provide people with all the necessary information they need to help them identify suspicious activity and, more importantly, keep themselves safe and secure.
"Any piece of information could be vital in helping the police prevent terrorism and save lives. That co-operation between police and the public is Scotland's greatest defence against the terrorist threat."
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "Public vigilance is key to help Police Scotland keep our communities safe from terror threats.
"I very much welcome this campaign which highlights a number of ways in which members of the public can spot suspicious activity and how to make the authorities aware.
"I would urge the public to note the kinds of activity to be on the lookout for. Anyone who feels they may have witnessed and anyone who feels they have witnessed suspicious behaviour should report it immediately."
Officers said suspicious activity can be reported to Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency, or online at gov.uk/ACT.