North East anti-terror chief's security call

Counter-terrorism police are urging people in the North East to “trust their instincts” and report anything suspicious over the Christmas holiday period.

Detective Chief Supt Martin Snowden. Picture Scott Merrylees
Detective Chief Supt Martin Snowden. Picture Scott Merrylees

The head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden has warned that, as people head into town and city centres for the festivities, it is vital they remain alert and aware of their surroundings.

He said: “In recent months we have seen two terror incidents take place on the streets of the UK and these have been a stark reminder of the threat extremism poses to our communities.

“As a result of these incidents, the threat level has been increased to severe and some areas have seen an increased police presence.”

He added: “Along with our security service colleagues, we at Counter Terrorism Policing are working around the clock to keep people safe but it is vital we have the support of the public.

“While you’re out and about, enjoying your work Christmas party, shopping, or visiting friends and family, please remain vigilant.

“You might spot something that seems a bit strange, or notice someone you know behaving differently. If this is the case, then please contact us, you could save lives.”

Suspicious activity could include, people taking notes or photos about security arrangements in city centres, or at events, hiring large vehicles for no clear reason, buying or storing large amounts of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reason or unusual bank transactions

For more information or to make a report, go to

In an emergency, always dial 999.