Police Step Up Activity To Restrict Access To Terrorist Tools

28th November 2014

More action than ever before is being taken to restrict the availability of tools like guns, ammunition and explosives that are used in terrorist attacks.

Today, police are launching a plan to inform farmers and growers about the risk of leaving fertiliser insecure. Over 90 per cent of terrorist attacks in the UK have used home-made explosives, the majority of which have been fertiliser-based.

Those using fertiliser commercially are being told how to keep it securely to prevent it getting into the wrong hands and to ensure that they report any loss or theft to the police.

In September 38 police forces signed up to a two month firearms surrender. So far, the results of 18 forces show 3,429 items including firearms, air weapons, ammunition and other items such as CS sprays and stun guns are now off the streets.

Last month, police issued a reminder to gun owners about the requirement to store their firearms safely. Forces are now conducting intelligence-led home visits to check on security.

Over the last five years, an average of 659 firearms, shotguns and certificated items have been lost or stolen each year. This number is coming down but every gun lost or stolen is one too many.

National Policing Lead for Gangs and Criminal Use of Firearms, Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thompson said:

"We want to stop terrorists getting access to tools that they can use against UK citizens. We need to make sure licensed gun-owners are securing their guns properly and remove guns from our streets and criminal networks so that terrorists cannot take advantage of them.

"These operations won't impact on conscientious and responsible firearms licence-holders but they will help to prevent weapons getting into the wrong hands.

"We are making sure that those who handle large quantities of fertilisers understand how they can help us to prevent a terrorist attack through simple security measures.

"Terrorists can use ordinary objects such as kitchen knives and other items as weapons so we need people to report any concerns they have about anyone who is showing signs of extremism. If you suspect it, report it. We can then intervene early and help. Your piece of information could hold the key."

The Anti-Terrorist Hotline number is 0800 789 321.  

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