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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Police urge people to ‘maintain vigilance’ in fight against terrorism

Police in Cumbria have warned that there is a continuing threat from terrorism, urging people to be on their guard and report anything suspicious.

Senior detectives issued the warning as a campaign was launched in the county urging people to be vigilant. They say the threat from international terrorism remains “very real” and have warned of how global events can have repercussions in the UK.

The warning has been issued by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, which covers a region including Cumbria, and is supported by police chiefs in the county.

Police say public vigilance is vital as people will know when something seems out of the ordinary in their own community.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Johnson is the Cumbria force’s lead officer on terrorism.

He said: “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.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “Recent events in Algeria and Mali have shown that the threat from international terrorism is very real and has in no way dissipated.

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

Police say the campaign is the latest phase of work by the unit to raise public awareness about the threat from terrorism and is not linked to any current threat.

Officers say any suspicious or unusual behaviour can be reported to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321.

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