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UK threat level changed from severe to critical

Published: Wednesday, 24th May 2017

Members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321.

The UK threat level from international terrorism has been raised by the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre to the highest level - critical

The rise in the threat level means the public will see an increased police presence on the streets across the UK. Other security measures in crowded places, transport hubs and iconic sites may be stepped up.

Updates relating to Birmingham can be found on our Birmingham Prepared website.  You can also follow us on Twitter.

Police and military working together

There is a long standing plan that enables police to call upon the military to help boost the country’s security. Operation Temperer allows military personnel to carry out armed guarding duties, freeing up armed police officers to be deployed around the country.

You might see military personnel at key sites, in addition to extra armed officers patrolling. Key sites could be important buildings, entertainment venues or sports stadia. All military personnel will be working under the command of the police. If you see them, it does not mean there is a specific threat to that site.

What should I do?

Threat levels in themselves do not require specific responses from the public. Sharing national threat levels with the general public keeps everyone informed. It explains the context for the various security measures (for example airport security or bag searches) which we may encounter in our daily lives.

You should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321. If your information does not relate to an imminent threat, you can also contact MI5.

Information regarding terrorism can be found on the Home Office Website.  If you run a business or event in a crowed place, visit the National Counter Terrorism Security Office
website
for the latest advice.

Please take a moment to watch this video. If you are caught up in an attack, it could save your life.  Share the link with your friends.

What do the threat levels mean?

Threat levels are designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of a terrorist attack. There are 5 levels of threat:

  • low - an attack is unlikely
  • moderate - an attack is possible but not likely
  • substantial - an attack is a strong possibility
  • severe - an attack is highly likely
  • critical - an attack is expected imminently

The level is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre and the Security Service (MI5).

Threat levels don’t have an expiry date. They can change at any time as different information becomes available to security agents.

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