Counter Terrorism Officers Meet With Town Hall Heads

Ken Lamont from Special Branch

Counter-terrorism officers met with Council Senior Management yesterday to give advice on the threat of terrorist activity on the islands.

Ken Lamont, head of Special Branch in Devon and Cornwall, handed over a Scilly-specific assessment of risk, that came with instructions that it should be kept under lock and key at the Town Hall.

Ken says there’s no need to panic that something is going on here or that there is any specific intelligence, it’s just part of their wider training and awareness activities.

He says there is a danger in the past that anti-terrorism has become very anti-islamic-focused but he says the issues are much wider. Ken says it’s not just Al-Quaeda and the IRA they are tracking, but also disaffected individuals.

He wants the public to be alert for anyone who stands out as different but that doesn’t mean, in our mainly white and Christian community, islanders should be suspicious of incomers from a different ethnic or religious background. It’s not necessarily the TV stereotype of a terrorist that they are looking for, but an angry or disaffected person who doesn’t fit in.

From Radio Scilly

Hear an interview with Ken Lamont

The islands could potentially be a target along with other parts of rural Britain. In national forums, two Westcountry examples are often quoted and Ken says Scilly is a similarly out-of-the-way area, which lends itself to covert meetings or training.

And Ken wants islanders to be more aware of procedures for reporting suspicious activity. You can report your suspicions online and there’s also an internet referral service which you can use if you witness any suspicious online activity.

The specialist police can also help Key Stage 3 and 4 school pupils become aware of online recruitment by terrorist or anarchists.

Ken says they are likely to work with the Council in future emergency planning exercises.