Met police: Report neighbours if they are buying 'suspicious' amounts of chemicals

22 November 2021, 09:40 | Updated: 22 November 2021, 10:06

By Megan Hinton

A senior Metropolitan Police officer has warned the public should "be alert" to neighbours buying "suspicious" amounts of chemicals in the run-up to Christmas.

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Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations Matt Twist urged the public to report "unusual" and "concerning" purchases made by neighbours or loved ones.

Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Deputy Assistant Twist said: “"What we are looking out is for the public to be alert to things that look unusual.

"Why are people living on your street, that you haven't seen before, buying large quantities of chemicals, or any chemicals that appear suspicious?

Matt Twist has told LBC people should be 'alert not alarmed'
Matt Twist has told LBC people should be 'alert not alarmed'. Picture: LBC

"Why would people be doing that? If this happens over a protracted period of time, instead of putting it to the back of your mind, what we're saying is please report it."

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Deputy Assistant Twist's pleas come after it was revealed the bomber behind the Liverpool Remembrance Day attack had been buying parts for his homemade device for seven months.

He added: "We want people to be vigilant, looking out for what's unusual, looking out for things that may be suspicious, may concern them.

"That can be anything from a bag that's in the wrong place - I think the public are well aware of that sort of thing - but also to stuff in their home or family lives, their friends becoming withdrawn or insulated, or making concerning comments."

"It's all around getting ahead of this. If you report something, the message is: You're not going to ruin someone's life, but you might just save one."

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The new public plea comes less than a week after Britain's top anti-terror cop has warned the public to be "vigilant" ahead of the Christmas celebrations.

The Met's Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes said there is a "particular concern" about terrorist attacks now that the UK is getting back to pre-Covid life, and as festivities commence.

He told LBC there was "no doubt" people have been radicalised and managed to get lethal instructions by spending more time online while ordered to stay at home.

The UK’s terror threat level has been moved to severe after the Liverpool explosion and the death of Sir David Amess, meaning an attack is highly likely.

Records show counter terrorism investigations across the UK "remain at record levels" with more than 800 live investigations and 31 foiled plots since 2017.