A newspaper headline - 'Terrorists Attack London - Many Dead'.There have been a number of terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom in the last 20 years. For example the Manchester city centre bomb in 1996 and the London bombings in July 2005.

Terrorism is still a threat. The UK security services assess the current UK threat level to give a broad indication of the likelihood of an attack using the following scale.

  • 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; and
  • Critical - an attack is expected imminently

A terrorist attack could occur anywhere using a variety of means. The terrorist strategy is to generate fear and prevent or disrupt us from going about our ordinary lives and business. In reality attacks are rare, but well-reported in the media.

Who decides the threat levels?

The Security Service (MI5) is responsible for setting the threat level from terrorism related to Northern Ireland, both in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain.

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) is responsible for setting the threat level from international terrorism.

To do this, they consider information gathered through intelligence in the UK and abroad. They also consider how terrorist organisations have behaved in the past.

In some cases, counter-terrorism officials have to use their best judgement when deciding just how close a terrorist group might be to staging an attack. Threat levels do not have an expiry date, and can be revised at any time as the information available to security agents' changes.

Helping protect the local community

The District Council and Derbyshire Constabulary are committed to protecting our local communities and keeping them safe.  The current threat from terrorism and other violent extremism requires us all to look out for activity or behaviour which strikes us as out of place in normal day to day life and to report it to the police.

We want to encourage our local communities to trust their instincts and look out for unusual to help us to continue to keep the public safe.

Terrorism is a crime - if you suspect it, report it!

Don't rely on others.  If you suspect it, report it.  Call Derbyshire Constabulary on 101 or the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline 0800 789 321.

Let the police decide if the information is important.  What might seem insignificant on its own could actually provide a vital link to a wider investigation.