Action Counters Terrorism

Through an innovative Global Radio partnership we launched the Code:Severe podcast – a real life crime serial detailing the trials and tribulations of officers trying to solve real life terrorist threats.


The terrorist threat in the UK has now been at ‘severe’ since late 2014. To counter the threat of terrorism, the Police, security and intelligence agencies need the public to be their eyes and ears. Officers have estimated that around a third of the most serious plots over recent years were foiled with help from the public.

The problem is this: people do not have an instinct for when suspicious behaviour is related to terrorism. To make our challenge even harder, the social norm was working against us. 1 in 4 people told us that they would not report suspicious activity to the police for fear of wasting police time and even worse 2 in 5 people said they wouldn’t know what suspicious behaviour would look like.


Our innovative partnership with Global Radio showed how ordinary people can hold the final extraordinary clue.

For the first time ever the National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ revealed the inside story of terrorist attacks direct from the files of UK counter terrorism police. Through an innovative partnership with Global Radio we launched Code: Severe, a true crime podcast told by the officers, witnesses and the terrorists themselves. Hard hitting messages from the podcast content were seamlessly woven into editorial, interviews, and radio spots.

Across five different interviews radio talent such as Nick Ferrari was given access to counter terrorism specialists including the most senior counter terrorism police officer in the UK, Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations (ACSO) Mark Rowley. Our radio spots drove people to the full podcast series and we also delivered important information about how to identify suspicious behaviour through video content on newly set up owned channels across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Importantly we landed the message that members of the public need to be the police’s eyes and ears.


  • Unprecedented success with the Code:Severe podcast rising to #2 in the charts in just three days
  • Significantly increased the amount of people who said they would report suspicious behaviour, resulting in 5,300,000 more eyes on the look out
  • Reached an enormous 32m people on a budget of just £540,000
  • Most importantly, we created behaviour change and helped drive a significant increase in calls to the Anti Terrorist Hotline (we cannot share the % increase in calls due to security reasons)


Action Counter Terrorism

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