THE TERRORISM THREAT ACROSS EUROPE
Britain is currently on its second highest alert level of ‘severe’, as a terrorist attack is considered highly likely. This is hardly surprising given the recent devastating terrorist attacks on mainland Europe.
On 7th January 2015 two armed men forced their way into the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo where they killed 12 and injured 11 others.
Then on the 13th November 2015 Paris was subjected to a series of coordinated terrorist attacks with suicide bomb outside the Stade de France, several shootings, and a suicide bombing, at cafés and restaurants, and the mass shooting at a rock concert in the Bataclan theatre. 130 people were killed; 89 at the Bataclan theatre, and another 368 injured.
On the morning of 22 March 2016, three coordinated suicide bombings occurred in Belgium, killing 32 members of the public and three terrorists, and injuring more than 300.
POLICE CHANGE THEIR TERRORISM TACTICS
Terrorists now shoot hostages and seldom take part in negotiations. As a result, police are being trained to confront terrorists as quickly as possible.
Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Patricia Gallan said in a Paris-style attack, officers’ priority is to stop the terrorists killing more people, even if that means leaving the injured untended.
She said: “The most important thing is to actually get to the threat and stop them killing additional people, and that is why we’ve got to keep going forward and not tend to those that are injured at the time.”
UPDATING YOUR CRISIS PLANS for terrorist attacks
After the attacks in France and Belgium and in light of the new police tactics, what does this mean for businesses and organisations that have a duty of care to protect staff? As threat levels change, should this be reflected in crisis plans? Do you need more security guards, greater vigilance?
The UK national counter-terrorism security office (Nactso) has just published advice on what to do in the event of Paris-style attack, urging people to ‘run and hide’ rather than ‘play dead’. The guidance comes after many people in the Bataclan music hall fell to the ground and pretended to be dead as gunmen fired at the crowd.
According to the Nactso guidance:
- Escape if you can, insist others leave with you and leave belongings behind
- If you cannot escape, take cover from gunfire behind substantial brickwork or heavy reinforced walls
- Once hidden, remain quiet, silence phones, then call emergency services
Nactso has also published guidance for organisations on how to lockdown buildings.
HOW WE CAN HELP
If your business is in a location that could be susceptible to terrorism now is the time to look at your crisis plans and see if they remain fit for purpose or whether, following recent events, they need updating.
At Crisis Solutions, we are ready to help update and refine your plans and once this process is complete, test them during a challenging crisis simulation.