FORTY HACKNEY businesspeople were targeted as part of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism drive in this year of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Detective Sergeant David Parkes of the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Operations Command, told a gathering at the Rio Cinema in Dalston that the threat from terrorism was serious.
“Terrorists can strike at any time and any place without warning,” he said. The threat to the UK from international terrorism was rated “substantial” — a terrorist attack was “a strong possibility”.
Chief Inspector Sonia Davis (above, at front in white top), of Hackney’s operations office, said: “Terrorists live within our communities and blend in. We are asking members of the public and businesses to trust their instincts and pass on information that could help stop terrorists in their tracks.
“Identifying suspicious activity is not a science; it’s about being vigilant, alert and aware of behaviour that doesn’t look right.
Gathering information on violent extremism and terrorism was an integral part of “keeping our communities safe”, she said.
Crowded places, economic, government, travel, military, aviation, and iconic sites were seen as potential targets of terrorists and many of these could be found in Hackney.
Though helicopters will continue to be used in surveillance, drones – small ground-operated aircraft — will not. James Nadin of the Met, denied claims circulating in Fleet Street and academia. He told Loving Dalston: “We have no plans to use this type of equipment for the policing operation for the Olympics.”