POLICE Scotland has today launched a targeted week of action to promote counter-terrorism activity across the country.
In response to the tragic events in Manchester and London and other recent incidents across the world, Counter Terrorism Awareness Week will focus on safety and security in crowded public spaces.
On Tuesday, May 23, the national threat level was raised to Critical, meaning another attack in Britain is considered imminent. Following review by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) this was reduced to SEVERE on Saturday, May 27, meaning that an attack is still highly likely.
However, Police Scotland’s message to the public remains the same - "Be vigilant and report suspicious behaviour".
Counter Terrorism Awareness Week is being launched today in Aberdeen’s Union Square.
Attendees will take part in a briefing led by ACC Steve Johnson, the Police Scotland lead on Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism.
Local officers will also provide reassurance to Aberdeen’s shoppers, workers and visitors and will be available to answer questions.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson said: "The purpose of this week-long initiative is not to alarm the public, but to provide them with all the necessary information they require to identify suspicious activity and more importantly, to keep themselves safe and secure.
"The tragic events in Manchester and London have undoubtedly left our communities shaken and concerned and our activities taking place throughout Counter Terrorism Awareness Week are aimed at offering reassurance to the public by demonstrating the range of capabilities at our disposal to both deter, and respond to, terrorism-related incidents.
"As was the case during our Counter Terrorism Day of Action in November 2016, there is no specific intelligence suggesting an attack in Scotland, however keeping our communities informed is essential to ensure they can assist counter terrorism.
"I have said before that ‘Communities Defeat Terrorism’ and Scotland’s greatest defence against the terrorist threat is our close knit communities and the relationship police and partners have with the public.
"We are demonstrating that Scotland is a hostile environment for those intent on causing harm and by continuing to work together we can ensure this remains the case.
"The events taking place this week are primarily focussed on the country’s cities; however, all of our communities should be mindful of countering terrorism."
Over the course of the week various events, awareness-raising seminars and business security training will be held throughout Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, Stirling, Perth, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The key themes being promoted are:
• Action Counters Terrorism (ACT)
• REACT (a form of behavioural detection training)
• Run, Hide, Tell (Police guidance for the public in the event of a firearms and weapons attack).
• International Protect & Prepare (how we can help protect UK citizens and UK interests overseas)
• Citizen Aid (a downloadable app for use by the public to help save lives in the event of a terrorist attack).
• Festivals and Events Safety (Safety at Festivals/Events)
Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Mr Michael Matheson said: "Understandably, given the horrific events in London on June 3, the third attack in the UK in the last three months, many people in Scotland have concerns about the threats posed by terrorism.
"We must not allow terrorism to triumph, people should not be afraid to go about their daily business as usual.
"Police Scotland rightfully reviewed security arrangements of major events following the recent incidents but security is a responsibility we all share and we need to continue to work together, and benefit from our strong community links, in keeping each other safe.
"Initiatives like Counter Terrorism Awareness Week are important, now more than ever."
Further information can be obtained by visiting scotland.police.uk/keepsafe.