Counter terrorism

There is no stereotype for people who hold extremist views. Help with spotting the signs

Reporting suspected terrorism

If you suspect someone is involved in terrorism in any way:

You can remain anonymous

Action Counters Terrorism

ACT: Action Counters Terrorism, urges the public to act on their instincts and report suspicious activity to the police to help keep communities safe. For more information, please visit:

Counter terrorism

The Security Service (MI5) is responsible for protecting the UK against threats to national security.

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) is a police unit that supports the protect and prepare' strands of the government’s CONTEST counter terrorism strategy.

Counter-terrorism laws are enforced by the police.

More information on what the government’s doing about counter-terrorism.


Prevent is one of four strands of CONTEST, the government's multi-pronged counter-terrorism strategy. The other strands are Pursue, Prepare and Protect.

Prevent is part of Essex Police's counter-terrorist strategy which aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism by working with individuals and communities to address issues before they become a criminal matter and to stop people moving from extremism into terrorist-related activity. Harlow Council works with Essex Police as part of Prevent.

More information on Essex Police and the Prevent Strategy

Run Hide Tell

Public guidance for firearms and weapons attacks

  • RUN to a place of safety. This is a far better option than to surrender or negotiate. If there’s nowhere to go, then…
  • HIDE. It’s better to hide than to confront. Remember to turn your phone to silent and turn off vibrate. Barricade yourself in if you can. Then finally and only when it is safe to do so…
  • TELL the police by calling 999

Run, Hide, Tell Leaflet (pdf)

More information on Run, Hide, Tell

Advice for businesses

Title Notes
National Counter Terrorism Security Office
This is the authoritative source for CT information. Also contains contact details for NaCTSO.
Protecting crowded places from terrorism Includes bespoke sector specific guidance. More than one guidance document may apply to your business
Advice for security managers to improve your security stance Includes searching guidance.
Stay Safe Film – ‘Run Hide Tell’ Video and text advice for the public, also applies to members of staff.
Developing Dynamic Lockdown Procedures Guidance to develop procedures to dynamically lockdown their sites in response to a fast moving incident such as a firearms or weapons attack, either directly at the site or in the vicinity.
Citizen Aid First Aid advice for public about immediate actions following a shooting, stabbing or a bombing.
CPNI Advice Page (Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure) Contains advice for Physical, People and Personnel and Cyber security

Menu of Tactical Options

The following list of tactical options should be considered to support an increase in the threat level. It is not an exhaustive list, and there may be other site-specific options which would be relevant to your premises. For further information on all these topics, please visit:

  1. Lock-down procedure
    • Have the ability to restrict the number of access points to your premises and if necessary to prevent any access or egress to protect staff
  2. Increase security presence
    • Implement temporary changes to shift patterns to increase staff numbers (consult with staff in advance and agree on how this can be achieved)
    • Consider reciprocal agreements with neighbouring businesses to widen footprint, search areas and consolidate staff Implement overt and unpredictable patrolling
    • Consider the use of high visibility clothing to increase impact
    • Challenge all staff/visitors including those in liveried vehicles (e.g. police, utility companies)
  3. Staff Vigilance
    • Direct all staff and visitors to wear identification (if this is not usual practice)
    • Encourage staff to challenge those not wearing identification, and those they do not recognise
    • Ensure staff know how to report suspicious behaviour
    • Brief staff on response and threat levels
  4. Partnership working
    • Work in partnership with surrounding businesses to share information on suspicious behaviour, security posture etc.
  5. CCTV
    • Ensure all parts of the system are fully functioning
    • Check vulnerable areas to ensure adequate coverage
  6. Parking
    • Restrict parking close to buildings and vulnerable areas
    • Check parked vehicles for staff or visitor passes
  7. Visitors
    • Restrict visitors to pre-booked appointments only
    • Check photographic identification
    • All visitors to be escorted at all times
  8. Implement search regimes
    • Vehicles, hand baggage, people, goods
    • Consider unpredictable times and locations if a full screening regime cannot be maintained to maximise impact/effect For further Information:
  9. Consider cancelling or postponing events that may place your staff, customers or suppliers at risk
  10. Review staff abstractions and consider cancelling non-essential training to maintain resources
  11. Deliveries
    • Restrict deliveries to essential and expected items only
    • Where possible scan all mail items
    • Train staff to recognise suspicious items