Signs to look out for

Prevent Terrorism

Who commits terrorism?

Violent extremism can emerge from any community and can be inspired from a wide range of causes.

Whilst groups inspired by violent Islamist ideology still pose a threat to the UK, the Prevent strategy also seeks to combat extremism motivated by extreme right wing ideology, as well as extremism motivated by single issues such as animal rights.

Accordingly, the Prevent strategy does not stigmatise any community. Prevent does not aim to criminalise people for holding extreme views. Instead it seeks to prevent individuals from using, or promoting, violent activity as a means of promoting these views.

No one is better placed than members of the public to notice potential extremist activity taking place within their own community. The following list provides some possible examples. This list is not exhaustive and is intended for illustrative purposes only:

Suspicious activity could include someone:

  • Who has bought or stored large amounts of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reason;
  • Who has bought or hired a vehicle in suspicious circumstances;
  • Who holds passports or other documents in different names for no obvious reason;
  • Who travels for long periods of time, but is vague about where they're going;
  • Who distributes leaflets or displays posters that carry a violent extremist message.
  • Who accesses violent extremist forums or websites in internet cafes.
  • Who views terrorist or violent extremist promotional videos.

Should you report your suspicions?

It's probably nothing but… if you see or hear anything that could be terrorist-related trust your instincts and call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

Activity and Incidents such as these can also be reported to Merseyside Police via 101. You can also call on 0151 777 8311 or email

To report potentially immediate threats, such as a suspicious vehicle or package, always call 999.

The public can now report online content (suspicious internet sites, chat rooms or other web-based forums) they suspect may be of a violent extremist or terrorist nature online at Report Terrorism - GOV.UK