Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) is Counter Terrorism Policing’s brand platform which brings together communications to warn, inform and reassure the public and encourage them to take action to help save lives.
With the UK terror threat level at SEVERE, key advice is to follow the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ guidance, until police arrive on the scene. Insight shows that this messaging is not always effectively reaching younger audiences.
As a result there is currently an ‘Act for Youth’ campaign ongoing across the UK, to complement the existing ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ guidance. This campaign, supported by national media and involving high profile celebrities is designed to help educate 11 to 16 year olds in particular on how to stay safe in the rare event of a firearms or weapon attack.
The atrocities in London and Manchester have sadly resulted in some of the youngest victims of terror this country has ever seen, and if we are able to teach children to act in a way which could potentially save their lives then it is our responsibility to do so. We are particularly concerned when we see people – young and old – using their mobiles to film scenes when they should be moving away from the danger. The recent incident in Parsons Green is a good example of this.
Research has shown that many young people think filming would be a good thing to provide evidence for police. We must get them to understand that the priority must be their safety.
Children are being taught to RUN if they are able to, HIDE if they are not, and TELL police of the threat only when it is safe to do so. They are also being advised to warn others about an on-going threat, and crucially told NOT to stop and use their phones until they are safely away from danger.
The campaign is being supported by National Media and features TV personalities Bear Grylls and Ant Middleton, Leicester City footballer Jamie Vardy, England rugby star James Haskell and double Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones, who will tell young people that when caught up in a terror attack: “Real champions run.”
A key part of the campaign is also to help and support parents who are understandably anxious about discussing such a topic with their children. The NSPCC has released advice for parents who want to talk to their children about terrorism. This includes:
What can parents do to talk to their children about what’s happened?
- Listen carefully to a child’s fears and worries
- Do not panic a child by speculating on reasons or fears of future attacks.
- Offer reassurance and comfort and avoid complicated and worrying explanations that could leave them more frightened and confused.
- Help them find advice and support to understand distressing events and feelings.
- Children can always contact Childline, adults can contact the Helpline free and confidentially 24/7 on 0808 800 5000.
Further information can be found at the Action Counters Terrorism website - www.gov.uk/ACT
Please be aware of an increase in the following crimes:
- Door step crime / Bogus Workmen - Please do not accept work from workmen / doorstep salesmen turning up unannounced at your door.
- Phone / Internet Fraud - Do not pass out bank details to anyone phoning you pertaining to be from Banks, Microsoft, Fraud Squad, etc.
If suspicious then please contact Police at the time.
If anyone wishes a security survey or further crime prevention advice then please contact us via NithsdaleCPT@Scotland.pnn.police.uk
Many thanks, Graeme Stitt, Sergeant, Community Policing Unit