Counter-terror police have said that they are targeting bogus charity collectors who raise money to fund terrorist activity, saying they harm the efforts of legitimate charities.
Today is the fourth day of the police’s Counter-terrorism Awareness Week, with a different theme every day.
Today’s theme is finance. The police say they are looking at a number of ways in which terrorists might be funded – along with bogus charity collections, this includes social security, student loans and overseas money-transfer businesses.
According to a press statement from the Association of Chief Police Officers, officers in London have seized £2.5m destined for terrorist and criminal groups from a variety of activities in the past 18 months.
Acting Commander Terri Nicholson, of the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command said: "It is increasingly difficult for terrorists and those who support them to move money covertly for their causes. We need to stay one step ahead of them. By working closely with partners, we can ensure that it does not get any easier.
"I would like to remind you that if you wish to donate for humanitarian aid, please do it through established organisations registered with the Charity Commission."
According to the press statement, Nicholson urged the public to use the website givewithconfidence.org.uk – which takes web users to the home page of the Fundraising Standards Board.
In a television interview last weekend, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, warned the public to be careful about which charities they gave their money to in case their donations ended up funding terrorist activity.
In January, three men who claimed to be Muslim Aid charity collectors in order to finance terrorist activities were ordered to repay £26,400 to the charity, after being convicted in February 2013 for planning a terrorist attack.