In February police chiefs issued fresh warnings over the potential dangers posed by people carrying cameras for surveillance purposes (see News AP 15 March).
However, the Metropolitan Police deny that the adverts will encourage harassment of photographers taking pictures in public places.
The force also tells us the campaign is not the result of any recent increase in threat level. ?Any information received is thoroughly analysed and researched before, and if, any police action is taken,? insisted spokesman Alastair Campbell.
He said previous terrorism cases have shown that ?hostile reconnaissance? is carried out to help identify possible targets and examine security measures such as CCTV cameras.
Police say that items published in newspaper adverts [such as cameras] have been given ?due consideration and are trends amongst evidence given in court at recent terrorism trials?.
Launching the anti-terror project, the Met?s specialist operations assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke said: ?Observation and surveillance help terrorists plan attacks? Terrorists will not succeed if suspicious activity is reported to the police.?
The five-week campaign has the support of the Association of Chief Police Officers who had not responded to our request for a comment at the time of going to press.