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Major counter terrorism awareness operation launches in London.

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The Metropolitan Police Service joins officers from across the country to take part in national Counter Terrorism Awareness Week, launching in the capital today, Monday, 24 November.

Policing activity involving over 3,000 officers includes briefing thousands of businesses – shopping centres, cinemas, sports stadiums – to help them step up their security and train their staff at venues across London.

High visibility patrols around crowded places, operations in transport hubs and visits to faith centres are just some of the activity taking place as part of the campaign.

Through the week, police are focusing on five key areas where action by the police, businesses and the public can prevent terrorism: vigilance in crowded places and transport hubs, preventing violent extremism, cutting off terrorist financing and preventing access to tools that terrorists need to operate.

Police will be speaking to students in schools and universities about the Prevent strategy, which provides practical help to stop people from being drawn into terrorism. Police forces will also be using social media to engage people in the conversation.

Police dogs will be detecting large amounts of money at ports, airports and railway stations to prevent cash leaving the UK for terrorist purposes.

Countering terrorism has for too long been thought of as the preserve of the police, security agencies and government, says National Policing Lead for Counter-Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley.

AC Mark Rowley calls for people and businesses to be prepared to play their part in keeping the country safe:

“The danger posed by violent extremists has evolved. They are no longer a problem solely stemming from countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, far away in the minds of the public. Now, they are home grown, in our communities; radicalised by images and messages they read on social media and prepared to kill for their cause. The tragic murder of Lee Rigby last year was a stark warning to us all about how real and local the threat is.

“Police officers and our partners are continuing to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect the UK from a terrorist attack. So far this year, we have disrupted several attack plots and made 271 arrests following counter-terrorism investigations but the eyes and ears of law enforcement and other agencies alone cannot combat the threat.”

The UK’s counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST, focuses on four key areas; pursue, prevent, protect and prepare. Most of the publicity around terrorism is based on ‘pursue’ and ‘prevent’, as these involve arrests, the disrupting of actual attack plots and turning people away from extremism. AC Rowley is keen to stress that we can all be doing more to ‘protect’ and ‘prepare’ – ensuring security in crowded places, monitoring our borders and being ready to respond to a terrorist attack. He said: “We don’t want to scare people but we do want them to understand the threat and be vigilant to things that are out of place or suspicious and report it to the police. We need businesses to check that their security measures are effective and train their staff to detect potential threats and, if necessary, respond to an attack.

“Experience shows us that terrorists target busy, well-populated places to ensure that attacks have a maximum impact. Businesses, particularly those in crowded places, have an invaluable role to play in our fight against terrorists, violent extremists and other criminals. Their staff are often the first people to spot signs that something is wrong.”

The police regularly hold security events with businesses; and the Metropolitan Police Service alone gave 29 presentations during 2013/14.

Since the terror threat level increased on 29 August reports of suspicious behaviour have nearly doubled. This is a direct result of reporting by members of the public, and every report is investigated. However, AC Rowley calls for more people to have the confidence to report: “Please tell us if you know or suspect something; your information could save lives. We will deal with information passed to us carefully and respond sensitively and proportionately.”

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Trev Sherwood is the founder & blogger at the UK’s Leading Crime & Policing News. Delivering you breaking news, insightful analysis, legislation & positive news!

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Fourth child dies following blaze in Salford as Zac Bolland is charged with Murder

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A girl aged three has tragically died in hospital following a house fire in Salford

Sadly her life support machine was turned off today “my beautiful granddaughter, go find your brother & two sisters”.

Her three other siblings sadly died following the blaze.

So far six people have been arrested and two have been charged over the deaths.

Sadly Lia Pearson was injured when a blaze broke out just before 5 am Monday morning at the terraced house in Jackson Street, Walkden.

Her sister Demi Pearson aged 15 was pronounced dead at the scene and her brother Brandon and Seven-year-old sister Lacie died in hospital.

Her grandmother Sandra Lever announced the heart breaking news that Lia’s life support machine has been turned off.

She said “my beautiful granddaughter, go find your brother & two sisters”.

Their 35 year old mother Michelle Pearson is in a serious condition and is not aware that four of her children have died.

Two 16-year-old boys managed to escape the blaze.

Zak Bolland

Zac Bolland aged 23 and Courtney Brierley aged 20 have appeared in Worsley have been charged with three counts of Murder and four counts of attempted murder and one final count of arson with intent to endanger life.

Any with information on the incident should contact police 0161 856 8797, or call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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Woman hit by two lorries and two cars in multiple hit and run

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A woman has tragically died after being hit by two lorries and two cars at a pederidain crossing in London.

The woman was struck by two lorries and two cars as she crossed at a pedestrian crossing in Tulse Hill, South London.

The woman who has not been named is believed to be in her late 20s or early 30s.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that the driver failed to stop at the scene and a woman was then hit by a second lorry and then hit by two cars, all four drivers failed to stop at the scene of an accident.

Paramedics rushed to the scene on Norwood Road at 6.48pm on Monday and administered emergency treatment to the woman who was sadly pronounced dead at 7.21am.

Acting Detective Sergeant Alastair Middleton of the Metropolitan police released a statement appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

“I am appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision and the moments afterwards to contact us. I would also urge the drivers of all four vehicles to come forward and speak with my team.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Merton on 020 8543 5157.

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Two arrested on suspicion of murder following death of three children

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A 14, 8 & 7-year-old has been killed in a devastating house fire which is being treated as murder.

Cops are treating the deaths as ‘Murder’ by fire and have now arrested a 23-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman.

A three-year-old girl is also fighting for her life in hospital and her mother is in a serious condition.

Police have launched a murder inquiry after three children died in a suspected arson attack on a house in Salford.

Emergency services responded to reports of a fire at 4.58am on Jackson Street, Worsley in Greater Manchester.

Sadly Demi Pearson aged 14 was declared dead at the scene following the horrific arson attack which ripped through the house.

Another boy aged eight-year-old and a girl aged seven-year-old have also sadly died in hospital.

Michelle Pearson aged 35 the mother of all four children is also in a serious condition and is fighting for her life.

Greater Manchester Police said a manhunt was underway for a suspect and the force was “keeping an open mind” as to whether the incident was gang-related.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Miller said: “The death of these three children is heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with their loved ones and the little girl and her mum who are in hospital fighting for their lives.

“We currently have specially-trained officers with the family to help them through this devastating time.”

He called on the suspect to “give himself up”, adding that “he knows who he is”.

“This is a fast-moving live investigation and we have a major investigation team with scores of dedicated detectives working tirelessly,” he continued.

“I want to describe what this incident is; it’s the murder, using fire, of three children and we have a three-year-old girl fighting for her life who is seriously ill.

“This will devastate this family forever and words cannot describe what they are going through. We need the public’s help to find the answers the family deserve.

“We want to make arrests as soon as possible and we appeal to local people to help us in this.”

Two 16-year-old boys managed to get out of the house before fire crews could arrive. they are believed to be safe and well.

Greater Manchester Police have now referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission because they had been called to the address due to an “earlier incident at the address” hours before.

Jackson Street has been closed off with large steel barriers and firefighters are still monitoring hot spots within the property,

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by this devastating fire.

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