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UK Music backs Counter Terrorism Policing awareness campaign aimed at gig-goers

By | Published on Monday 3 July 2023

UK Music

Cross-sector trade group UK Music last week confirmed that it is supporting an awareness campaign being run by Counter Terrorism Policing, which highlights the importance of people reporting to security or police officers any suspicious activity they witness at concerts, festivals and other live music events.

The Counter Terrorism Policing unit describes its remit as being “at the forefront of the UK’s work to confront terrorism, operating around the clock to prevent, disrupt and investigate dangerous extremists – whatever their ideology”.

In a statement last week, it confirmed that it is “working with the UK’s live music industry this summer and beyond, as live music fans are asked to play their part in keeping people safe”.

It added that UK Music – as well as Live Nation’s Festival Republic, The O2 venue and others – are “supporting Counter Terrorism Policing’s #BeSafeBeSound campaign which highlights the importance of reporting suspicious activity”.

Counter Terrorism Policing’s Laurence Taylor explains: “The terrorist threat remains a reality. Since 2017 we have disrupted almost 40 late-stage terror attacks alongside our colleagues at MI5. Whilst there is no specific intelligence to indicate an increased threat to live music events, the UK’s terrorism threat level remains at substantial”.

“Our casework indicates that large events remain potentially attractive targets to terrorists and it’s absolutely vital that the public are vigilant this summer”, he adds. “We have a brilliant range of partners and organisations on board this year who are helping us make sure live music fans know what to do if they see something that doesn’t feel right. Our advice is to always tell security or speak to the police”.

“Whilst we are working around the clock to detect new threats and disrupt terrorist activity, the intelligence and information we receive from the public should not be underestimated”, he continues. “Around a fifth of the online reports and calls we receive every year are particularly useful to us – turning into arrests, building intelligence pictures or kickstarting new investigations”.

The #BeSafeBeSound campaign was first launched in 2021 and, Counter Terrorism Policing says, it “urges music lovers to stay alert to any signs of hostile reconnaissance and follow safety advice or security procedures in place at events and venues. Since its launch, the campaign has reached over ten million people in the UK via social media and other platforms”.

Confirming its support for the scheme, UK Music boss Jamie Njoku-Goodwin says: “We all want live music events to be as safe as possible, so UK Music is delighted to support the #BeSafeBeSound campaign”.

“Each of us has a role to play in keeping each other safe at concerts and festivals – whether that is fans staying vigilant and reporting suspicious activity, or event organisers sharing these important security messages with their audiences”.

“Whilst the police and other agencies are working hard to protect us”, he goes on, “we all have a responsibility to do what we can to help keep each other safe at live events”.