The callous murder of Mr Curtis Cheng, a NSW Police employee at Parramatta in late 2015 and the tragic Martin Place siege of 2014 stand as testimony to the fact that New South Wales and Australia are not immune from acts of terrorism at home. Australia has changed as indeed the world has changed. Barbaric attacks in Paris and elsewhere upon innocent people in 2015 add to the long list of locations around the globe where terrorists have made their dreadful mark.
The threat of terrorism is very real and very much with us.
We cannot forget that a significant number of people have been charged in NSW with terrorism related offences and local planning for acts of terrorism has been successfully disrupted. While it's a sad indictment that we have had that many arrested, it is a reality and reflection of the world in which we live - it's the environment we now live in.
As police, and for that matter our partner agencies such as Fire and Rescue, Ambulance, Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service, as well as a range of government departments, we are committed to the highest level of preparedness at the State and local level.
But we can't do it without you. Everyone has a part to play in countering terrorism, and while we focus on the general public, the business community are quite often the first to hear and see things which can lead to investigations, and ultimately arrests. As a result it is important that the NSW Police Force continues to engage with all parts of the community to prevent and prepare for acts of terrorism in NSW. We must remain vigilant. Since its launch in 2007, secureNSW has enabled the NSW Police Force to undertake greater community engagement. Police continue to communicate and work with industry about ways in which they can protect their infrastructure. We have increased the capacity of the NSW Police Force to disseminate vital information directly to the community.
The security of NSW, Australia, and for that matter the people who not only live here, but our valuable visitors, is as much a challenge now as it has ever been. And will continue to be.
secureNSW, the NSW community's one-stop-shop for counter terrorism information continues to be an effective way of delivering this information from a central, online location, and we have enhanced this capability. Should there be a terrorism incident in NSW secureNSW now has a more simplified system to receive information, images and videos which might be the vital link to resolving an incident or identifying those responsible.
Some of the key objectives of secureNSW are:
- To engage with the community and provide counter terrorism information and demonstrate our response capability
- To engage with and educate communities at risk of isolation and marginalisation on counter terrorism and related issues · To engage with the stakeholders to understand and reduce risks to critical infrastructure and better protect places of mass gathering
- To communicate key information before, during and after an incident, and support recovery efforts online
- To provide a secure on line location where the community can provide images or videos The digital age and social media has brought the threat of terrorism come closer to us. The officers of the NSW Police Force and our partner agencies are prepared 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to respond to the needs of the community.
Our best tools are vigilance and awareness, the same tools all the community should use.I urge you to bookmark secureNSW in your favourites and keep checking for updated information and take note of the key messages we are promoting.
Remember, we are committed to providing you, your family and your community, our community, with a safe environment and a secure NSW.
Andrew Scipione APM
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE