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There have been a number of terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom in the last 20 years and 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 of 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.

Together with Derbyshire Constabulary, we 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.

Terrorism is a crime - if you suspect it, report it! Don't rely on others. If you suspect it, report it.

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