The public must unite to prevent terrorist attacks: UK’s top counter terrorism policeman

Britain’s most senior counter terrorism policeman says the public must help ‘join the dots’ to defeat the threat of extremism.

Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner and head of National Counter Terrorism Policing for the Metropolitan Police, said ‘every strand of our society’ must unite to prevent future terrorist attacks.

Speaking in Israel at the 17th Annual Conference of the International Institute for Counter Terrorism, Mr Rowley, invoking the words of Robert Peel, the founder of British policing, said: “the police are the public, and the public are the police.”

Rowley has previously highlighted the role the public can play in helping to defeat terrorism by providing tip-offs to the police.

He cited specific security areas where third parties can support the police, including addressing the ability of terrorists to freely use encrypted communications or buy bomb-making materials without arousing suspicion.

A national campaign was launched earlier this year by police urging the general public to report suspicious activity to an anti-terror hotline. The amount of tip-offs received in the last six months increased by 600 per cent.

Rowley said: “It is my belief that without the public's help, some of the terror plots which we've foiled would have been successful.”

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