National Policing Lead for Counter-Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said:
“The threat level from international terrorism has changed from SUBSTANTIAL to SEVERE in response to the developments in Syria and Iraq. This means it is highly likely that a terrorist attack could happen in the UK.
“We therefore continue to urge the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to police. We need communities and families to bring to our attention anyone they perceive may be vulnerable, a danger or escalating towards terrorism. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
“Public safety is our priority and we have a variety of established operational tactics that are regularly used to ensure that the UK is both well prepared and protected. Over the years we have built capabilities and enhanced our security arrangements against a consistently high level of threat. Much of this is already in place. Our aim is to reduce the risk to the public and we keep our security arrangements under constant review in line with the threat we face.
“We have activated the established planning mechanisms across the police service, coordinated by me as National Policing Lead on Counter Terrorism. This will lead to enhanced prevention and preparedness.
“From this afternoon we will begin to increase our levels of visible patrols and implement other security and protection measures. We will also build on existing community relations to provide reassurance and seek their support and assistance in keeping the UK safe.”