Residents of West Yorkshire are urged to stay vigilant as the county anticipates a significant influx of visitors during the festive season. With an expected surge in footfall at shops, restaurants, bars, and festive events leading up to Christmas, Counter Terrorism Policing North East and West Yorkshire Police are encouraging the community to stay alert and promptly report any suspicious activities.

Recent statistics indicate a notable increase in public reports to Counter Terrorism Policing regarding potential terrorist activities, particularly following the heightened tensions between Israel and Hamas in recent months. Between October 7 and October 25, reports to the Anti-Terror Hotline and online reporting from the public more than doubled compared to the same period last year. Additionally, the number of reports deemed valuable to investigators nearly quadrupled during this timeframe.

Detective Superintendent Matt Davison is the is the Regional Head of Protect and Prepare at Counter Terrorism Policing North East. He said:

“Sadly, history has shown us that events overseas can inspire or influence acts of terrorism much closer to home. Alongside our partners, we are working day and night to monitor the threat and protect our communities from harm.

“Critical to this work is the support of the public. As the increase in recent reports shows, there is a real willingness from the public to tell us about their concerns.

“We want everyone to enjoy this time of year safely, so as people come together to make the most of the fantastic events, activities, and facilities our cities have to offer, our message is simple, stay alert and trust your instincts.

“Whether you’re working, running a business, organising an event, or simply heading out with family and friends, if you see something that doesn’t feel right, please report it.
“You won’t be wasting our time and you could save lives.”

West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Oz Khan said:

“This time of year becomes busy across our communities as the festive season fast approaches.

“We are already seeing towns and city centres with more visitors than usual. I want to reassure residents that West Yorkshire Police are stepping up their visible policing in all key locations as it normally does at this time of year.

“If you see more officers, please don’t be alarmed. These officers are there for your safety and to deter all forms of potential criminality.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves, but I would urge people to also be vigilant and to report anything that’s out of the ordinary or which may cause suspicion or concern.
“Reports can be via the ACT online platform, phone number or to police officers you see on patrol.”

If you see something that doesn’t feel right you can report online at gov.uk/ACT or call police to talk through your concerns in confidence on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, always call 999.