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British Transport Police (BTP) said the public should be alert and aware of their surroundings when using public transport Getty

The public have been warned to be vigilant and alert when travelling on public transport as the government increases efforts to foil suspected terrorist attacks.

British Transport Police (BTP) is urging commuters who travel on public transport such as trains to "remain alert" to any suspicious behaviour to increase the chances of stopping a potential attack.

The warning was given following the conviction of Andreas Pierides who was found guilty of possessing information about how to make bombs. BTP said he was arrested following a tip-off to train staff from a fellow passenger.

The Home Secretary Theresa May has already revealed during National Counter Terrorism Awareness Week that 40 terror plots have been foiled in the UK since the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

Paul Crowther, chief constable of BTP, is now asking commuters to be observant when they are travelling for any suspicious behaviour.

He said: "More than six million people travel on our railways every single day. For commuters, who make the same journey over and over again, it can be easy to become oblivious to their surroundings. But I would urge them to remain alert, use their instinct and have the confidence to report anything that strikes them as out-of-place or suspicious.

"If we can utilise the eyes and the ears of the public in our surveillance of the transport system, combined with our already substantial CCTV coverage, we stand every chance of detecting and stopping attacks."

BTP said it is now placing firearms officers on regular patrols at key transport stations to reassure the public, as well as more clothed officers to encourage members of the public to report suspicious activity.

Images have also appeared on social media of the pamphlets being handed out to members of the public by the Association of Police Officers (ACPO) advising them what to do if they are caught up in a potential terrorist attack.

The BTP added another key part of the UK's counter-terrorism effort is to prevent people from leaving the UK to join up with extremist groups abroad in countries such as Syria.

Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner for specialist crime and operations in the Metropolitan Police Service, previously echoed the calls for more assistance in fighting against terrorism.

"Police officers and our partners are continuing to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect the UK from a terrorist attack," he said.

"So far this year, we have disrupted several attack plots and made 271 arrests following counter-terrorism investigations but the eyes and ears of law enforcement and other agencies alone cannot combat the threat."