Riz Chothia


PC Riz Chothia is from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit for Counter Terrorism in Lincolnshire.

Counter Terrorism Awareness Week is a national initiative taking place this week. The aim is to collectively work together to make the UK safer, more resilient and responsive to crime and terrorism.

Locally, this will involve Lincolnshire Police, partners, the business sector and local communities. The week will involve a number of engagement events designed at raising awareness of what we can all do to combat the threat of terrorism and extremism, whether this is having the right contingency plans in place in the event of an attack at our workplace or identifying in our communities who might be vulnerable to the extremist narrative – it is very much a collective responsibility that we can all contribute towards to.

Terrorists in the past have targeted busy, well-populated places to ensure that attacks have a maximum impact. Businesses, particularly those in crowded places, have a crucial role to play in our fight against terrorists, violent extremists and other criminals. Staff are often the first people to spot signs that something is wrong. People working in transport hubs will be trained to look out for suspicious behaviour and what they should do if an attack happens.

We’re working to raise awareness of the methods used in terrorist fundraising with solicitors, accountants and money service bureau operators.

If people want to help in war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq, they can use registered charities to donate in the safest, fastest and most convenient way. Local councils and the Charity Commission can verify legitimate charities.

The ‘Prevent’ element of the Government’s counter terrorism agenda, CONTEST focuses on identifying, supporting and redirecting individuals who might be vulnerable to violent extremism or terrorism. Awareness raising events will be taking place this week at educational institutions in the county where young people will be engaged on the inherent dangers of radicalisation.

We are working to make it more difficult for people intent on harm to get hold of weapons and explosives and are asking farmers, retailers and their associations to report any suspicious activity around fertilisers and other chemicals that can be made into explosives.
Ultimately we want to be in a position where we are working together to defeat the threat of extremism and terrorism. Your help in doing that is invaluable.

PC Riz Chothia is from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit for Counter Terrorism in Lincolnshire.