Security must be Christmas priority

As part of the ACT: Action Counters Terrorism campaign, Counter Terrorism Policing is launching its biggest-ever winter advertising campaign for the public.

With Christmas just around the corner, the campaign encourages the public to remain vigilant, look out for suspicious behaviour and informs people how to report their concerns. The aim is that this will provide a ‘whole society’ approach where police, security staff, retail workers and the public come together to minimise the chance of attacks and mitigate the impact they can have.

The ‘Step Change’ initiative sees retailers and other businesses operating in crowded places also asked to play their part in countering the terrorist threat, similar to the ACT Awareness online training scheme, developed by Counter Terrorism Policing and Marks & Spencer. Free to use, the innovative course can be divided into short sections to suit business needs and takes just 45 minutes in total to complete.

Counter Terrorism Policing are also asking businesses to think about their contingency plans this Christmas, asking them to draw up a ‘Sixty Second Security’ plan which has the power to improve their reaction to emergency situations. This requires businesses to ensure all their staff know the answers to simple questions such as: how do you enter and exit the building in emergency?; how do you lock down quickly?; where can you hide?; how do you communicate and how do you stay updated if you find yourself in a RHT scenario?; and have you briefed your staff?

Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth, national Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, said: “All staff working in crowded places – not just those who have a security role – can follow the ACT Awareness e-Learning course and be in a stronger position to help protect themselves, colleagues and the public. I would also like to ask retailers and other businesses to consider my ‘Sixty Second Security’ plan, which is a quick checklist of questions every member of staff should be able to answer in order to drastically improve reaction times in the event of an emergency.

“Last year on Oxford Street we saw a fight at a Tube station cause panic when people believed that a terrorist attack had occurred. In the rush to keep themselves safe, some people suffered serious injuries and businesses were severely disrupted. By working alongside those businesses, we have learnt from that experience and I believe that our ‘Sixty Second Security’ plan will better prepare us to deal with something similar in the future.”

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