Terrorists may have a “greater chance” of operating as Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown restrictions are relaxed, a senior police officer has warned.
Deputy Deputy Commissioner Matt Twist, one of the leading national counter-terrorism coordinators responsible for protecting the UK from such threats, urged the public and businesses not to just pay attention to the dangers of Covid-19 this summer be.
According to a police statement, he believes that “easing lockdown restrictions could provide a greater chance for terrorists to operate.”
The magnitude of the terrorism threat is currently classified as “significant”, which means that an attack is likely.
The counter-terrorism police have launched a campaign to encourage people to report suspicious items to the security forces and police.
Mr Twist said, “After a year of restrictions that are affecting our entire lives, we understand that when the lockdown wears off, people will be interested in moving and it is important that companies move on to more regular trading patterns can return.
“But we must continue to follow public health guidelines and remain vigilant, not only against the virus threat, but against the terrorism threat as well.
“Terrorism understandably has not crossed anyone’s mind in the past few months, and I would describe the threat as temporarily suppressed during the lockdown as it was difficult to get out in public and actually do anything.”
“That means, however, that the same risk arises again and again as the crowded places that have traditionally been the target of terrorists fill with people again.
“The best defense against the terrorist threat is a concerted community effort where police, security guards, businesses and the public come together to minimize the likelihood of an attack.”
A free 45-minute official training course entitled “Counter Terrorism Action” is available online to the public for tips on reporting suspicious activity and responding to terrorist attacks.