Belgium terror attacks prompt '˜be vigilant' warning from Police Scotland

Police Scotland's leading terrorism officer is advising the public to be extra vigilant in the wake of today's terror attacks in Belgium.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 4:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 4:29 pm
Police Scotland ACC Ruaraidh Nicolson. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Assistant Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson is telling communities to remain vigilant and has provided reassurance about public safety.

The advice comes after at least 31 people were killed and dozens injured in attacks at the Zaventem airport and a metro station in Belgian capital Brussels.

Two bombs killed 11 people at the airport at around 7am and another explosion an hour later at the Maelbeek metro near the EU’s headquarters left 20 dead.

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Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the atrocities.

ACC Nicolson, Police Scotland’s lead officer for Organised Crime, Counter Terrorism and Safer Communities, said: “Following the tragic events in the Belgian capital earlier today, Police Scotland has reviewed security and safety arrangements as a precautionary measure, which we hope provides reassurance to our communities.

“This is something we would do as a matter of course after such events and it is not in relation to any specific information or intelligence.

“Police Scotland is committed to ensuring all communities across the country are as safe as they can be and I would ask the public, especially around crowded places and transport hubs, to remain vigilant and alert, but not alarmed. If you suspect something is wrong, then report it to the police.”

He added: “I would stress that there is no specific information which suggests Scotland is at risk of attack, however, the UK threat level remains at Severe and our communities are not immune from the threat posed by terrorists. That’s why I would encourage people to go about their business as normal but remain vigilant.

“I am confident that the diverse, welcoming and multi-cultural communities across Scotland will work together to defeat terrorism and ensure no individual or community feels marginalised or isolated by the actions of criminals.

“Our thoughts at this time are very much with those individuals and communities affected by the events in Brussels.”