In an emergency always call 999

Communities urged to spot the signs of terrorism and domestic extremism

Posted on 27th March 2018

We’re sharing with you some specific signs to look out for as part of a campaign to tackle terrorism and domestic extremism.

Last week, we emphasised the important role you can play; now we’re highlighting some of the things that may strike a chord with you and prompt you to call us.

Officers and staff work around the clock to prevent, disrupt, detect and protect against such devastating acts. In fact, the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) has recently introduced an investigation team as part of its counter terrorism intelligence capability in a bid to bolster the network’s defence against the threat.An officer on patrol

We don’t work alone in our efforts to keep people safe from terrorism. Support from other agencies and organisations is vital, but our most valuable crime fighting partner is you.

National statistics suggest anxiety about terrorism is high at 83 per cent, but the motivation to report suspicions is also high at 82 per cent.

Information from the public has already led to the foiling of a number of plots nationally, but what are the signs you need to be looking out for?

Like other criminals, terrorists need to plan. Does anything from the below list strike a chord with you? If so, pick up the phone to us.


  • Meetings, training and planning can take place anywhere. Do you know someone who travels but is vague about where they’re going?
  • Do you know someone with passports or other documents in different names, for no obvious reason?
  • Do you know someone who looks at extremist material, including on the so-called Dark Web, or shares and creates content that promotes or glorifies terrorism?
  • Have you noticed someone embracing or actively promoting hateful ideas or an extremist ideology?cyber-hands-500

Gathering materials

  • Suspicious materials can be ordered online as well as in store. Have you noticed someone receiving deliveries for unusual items bought online?
  • If you work in commercial vehicle hire or sales, has a sale or rental seemed unusual?
  • Have you noticed someone buying large or unusual quantities of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reason?
  • Have you noticed someone acquiring illegal firearms or other weapons or showing an interest in obtaining them?

Storing materials

  • Terrorists need to store equipment while preparing for an attack. Have you noticed anyone storing large amounts of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders?
  • Have you noticed anyone storing illegal firearms or objects that could potentially be weapons?cctv

Hostile Reconnaissance

  • Observation and surveillance help terrorists plan attacks. Have you witnessed anyone taking pictures or notes of security arrangements or CCTV?


  • Cheque and credit card fraud are ways of generating cash. Have you noticed any suspicious or unusual bank transactions?

Detective Chief Inspector Sean Dawson, from EMSOU-Special Branch, said: “While some suspicious activity can be in plain sight, a lot is also behind closed doors.

“Are you sharing a roof with someone who is displaying an extremist ideology or signs of radicalisation? Have you accepted deliveries of items for a neighbour that sets off alarm bells in your head? Is a customer showing a little too much interest in the security measures at your work place? Has a colleague not quite been the same since returning from their mysterious holiday overseas?   

“I’m appealing directly to you — the mothers, the brothers, the teachers, the shop assistants, the faith leaders, the catering staff, the sports coaches, the health practitioners — to members of our communities in all your forms, we need your help to stop terror and extremism in its tracks.”

Act now. Report online here or call 0800 789 321. All reports are kept confidential and can be made anonymously. In an emergency, always dial 999.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.