Sussex Police and BAA are calling on the entire airport community to combat the threat of terrorism at Gatwick.
Posters, leaflets and pocket sized guides containing information about the kind of activity police are keen to hear about, will be circulated to staff, drivers and aviation enthusiasts at Gatwick by Police and Community Support Officers over the next few weeks.
Chief Superintendent Phil Clarke said: “This is not just a poster campaign but part of a wider initiative to involve the community in security awareness. We want everyone who uses the airport to work in partnership with the police and BAA to keep Gatwick safe.
Officers will be encouraging staff to look at the behaviour of others and to be alert to strangers asking about the type of job they do. Information in the guides and on posters will remind staff to stay alert to people asking about their uniform, their training or the security in place.
Drivers of buses, taxis, minicabs and delivery vehicles are another section of the airport community that the police are keen to encourage to remain vigilant, as are aviation enthusiasts.”
Chief Superintendent Clarke added: ”Thousands of people pass through the airport everyday. Others come and go, helping travellers on their journey or to greet clients, friends and loved ones. All of these people are served in some way by thousands of people in airport related jobs, numerous organisations fulfilling a myriad of different functions.
The aim of this campaign is to encourage everyone, but particularly those whose working lives are spent around the airport to be vigilant against the threat posed by terrorists.
The people who know the airport well are best placed to spot behaviour or objects that are out of the ordinary. It is impossible to give comprehensive guidelines about what turns an event that is unusual into something that is suspicious.
Airport staff should trust their judgement. If an activity concerns them, then it will almost certainly be of concern to the police and airport security staff.
We want people to report their concerns. It is unlikely that an attack will take place anywhere without a thorough reconnaissance by the terrorist. Vigilance makes it hard for the terrorist to operate. Vigilance makes the airport a hostile environment to the terrorists and denies them opportunity. Vigilance prevents attacks and saves lives. Vigilance will continue to make the airport environment a safe place to work or visit.”
Roger Cato, managing director of Gatwick, said: "We work closely with the police and our business partners to ensure the airport continues to be a safe and secure environment for everyone who works here, travels through or simply visits. We all have a vital role to play in helping to counter the threat of terrorism and I would urge the airport community to be vigilant at all times.
Gatwick is a major gateway for thousands of passengers each year and we want to ensure that we continue to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone who travels through the airport."
Chief Supt Clarke added: "Our message is clear, even if you are unsure about your suspicions please do not hesitate to contact the police either by .......
The Gatwick Police control room on 0845 60 70 999
or the Anti Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321."