Police Cut Off Access to Terrorist Tools

editorial image

Restricting the access of terrorists to guns, ammunition and explosives is the primary aim of police activity on day five of National Counter Terrorism Awareness Week.

Terrorists need weapons and equipment to plan and carry out their activities. By increasing awareness about the tools they rely on to operate, the campaign aims to reduce the opportunities terrorists have to gather their supplies and to identify the illegitimate sales, or thefts, of items of concern.

Since October, firearms amnesties have been held across the country, encouraging people to hand in illegally held guns without the risk of prosecution. By significantly reducing the number of weapons on the streets, the amnesties have helped to prevent these weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists and organised criminals.

To disrupt other avenues terrorists may use to access or train with firearms, officers across the force area are today engaging with firearms dealers and shooting clubs. They will encourage people to report any suspicions they may have about the behaviours of other gun owners and users.

Farmers and retailers will also be contacted and asked to inform police of any unusual activity relating to fertilisers and chemicals. In addition, officers will provide them with essential advice about how they can safely store and secure any materials which could be used to make explosives.

Nationally agreed security standards and legislative changes help to reinforce these messages. Under new EU legislation, some chemicals can no longer be purchased without a permit. Sellers of them are also obliged to report suspicious transactions to police.

Humberside Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Alan Leaver said: “Firearms, ammunition and commercial explosives are heavily regulated in the UK. This means terrorists may turn to alternative chemicals and weapons in order to be effective in their aims. It is essential that those who have access to similar materials for genuine purposes know of their potential appeal to terrorists and how to report issues of concern.

“By working with the public, farmers and retailers we want to make it as hard as possible for terrorists to get access to the equipment and materials they need to fulfil their plans.

“Anyone with concerns about suspicious activity or behaviour can contact the Confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. In the case of an immediate threat, always dial 999.”