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Terrorist Threat to UK - Protect your staff and your business

Other, Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police Alliance area

  • Incident number: Terrorist Threat to UK - Protect your staff and your business
  • Date: 25/05/2017

The threat level to the UK from international terrorism as a whole has been raised to its highest level which is CRITICAL (an attack is expected imminently) this should result in you considering an EXCEPTIONAL response.

You should review your existing security measures and ensure that they deliver.

Now is the time to consider the 'escalation measures' that you have already identified and review those you need to implement.

Report suspicious incidents.

Remember : Stay Safe - See - Tell - Act
We would therefore recommend that you consider:
In general
1) Encouraging staff to actively monitor news and media sources to ensure they maintain situational awareness.

2) Review your security plans to ensure that they are fit for purpose and ensure that your staff, volunteers and where appropriate visitors or contractors are aware of their contents.

3) It would be easy to concentrate on suicide IED as the threat, however you should ensure that you focus your planned response on the full range of potential terrorist attack methodologies, particularly those from vehicle as a weapon, bladed weapons and IED's (person borne, placed or vehicle), although other methodologies should be actively considered.

4) Given the generic nature of the threat and that some location are more likely to be more attractive to hostile threat actors, you should carefully consider the level of threat and therefore the appropriate responses at your individual sites and, where appropriate, across your portfolios. In undertaking this task you may wish to consider such factors as location, proximity to iconic or crowded places, or other pertinent factors. For example you might prioritise your locations in city centres, near sporting or entertainment venues and transport hubs for security uplift and activity.

5) You should ensure that where you decide to instigate additional security or other measures that all your staff at the relevant locations are briefed, know their roles and responsibilities, and have access to the relevant corporate plans, policies and guidance.

6) You should consider how your resources and capabilities are deployed to deter, detect and disrupt and thus defeat hostile threat actors and terrorists:
To do this you would want to consider the following :

a. The use of your communication channels to reassure legitimate users of your sites and to project a hostile operating environment for threat actors.

b. The proactive deployment of security resources to conduct unpredictable security activities both within and in the footprint around your sites and venues to deter hostile reconnaissance and detect suspicious behaviour. They should be encouraged to engage individuals acting anomalously to determine what the cause is.

c. Ensure all staff take responsibility for security, not just security personnel. They should be reminded to be vigilant, and use their customer service skills to proactively engage with customers, visitors and others.

d. Active engagement with customers, visitors and individuals at or in the vicinity of locations in the way described above is both an opportunity to help and reassure legitimate site users and, in context to, deter or detect hostile threat actors.

e. Engage with your neighbours to ensure that your plans and activities are mutually supportive. In particular you may wish to ensure that any security activities are coordinated to ensure that gaps and inefficiencies are avoided.

f. Ensure that your staff are briefed on the threat and what constitutes suspicious behaviour. They will know what is normal for their regular places of work and what is not, positively encourage them to investigate or report things which feel out of place to the ordinary and have mechanisms to escalate such reporting.

g. Ensure that your personnel are aware that ethnicity, religion, colour, clothing, and gender are not helpful in identifying hostile threat actors or terrorists. However such individuals are likely to display suspicious or non-baseline behaviours. Again it is important to stress that this different behaviour may have many causes both benign and malign, and is not an indicator of terrorism. It is only through identifying, engaged and assessing why someone is behaving differently that a conclusion can be drawn.

7) Consider your action on suspicious activity and object reporting:

a. What are your 'action on' plans if your security or staff identify a suspicious individual or objects outside or inside your premises?

b. Are your staff aware of their options for Evacuation/ Invacuation/ Lockdown procedures, and do your plans include provision for vulnerable staff and visitors?

c. Do your staff know where the emergency assembly points?

d. Have you identified any protected spaces within your venues and do staff know where they are?

e. Are your staff lists up to date and accessible so that you can account for them in the event of an incident?

8) Search and Screening

a. Given finite resources ensure you should consider focusing it on addressing your highest priority threats

b. Configure your search regime to the threat you are looking to mitigate - E.g. prioritise detection of larger threats, accepting smaller items may not be detected If you are primarily worried about mass-casualty threats, don't look for penknives

c. Configure any search and screening regimes to minimise queues

9) Stadia and venues specific considerations:
In addition stadia and venues may additionally wish to consider the following:

a. review event schedules and associated safety & security plans for the next 20 days and then on a rolling basis as long as the heightened alert state persists. This time period should not be taken as an indicator the anticipated duration of the heighted threat level, but rather prudent planning advice.

b. Consider staged or managed dispersal through multiple exit points to minimise crowd densities at the end of an event

c. Consider security and perimeter surveillance at of all stages of event. In particular consider how you manage the dispersal phase of an event and how you use your personnel and security resources to continue to recognise and react to suspicious behaviour and objects.

d. Ensure activity deployed to identify and act on suspicious behaviour is maintained for the dispersal phase of an event and that known entry and exit points are considered within any plan.

e. Consider your extended footprint as part of any security and safety planning/ activity

f. Consider maintaining the same perimeter control measures at the end of an event as you would at the start.

g. Ensure that the public are aware of enhanced security measures before arrival to enhance compliance and ensure that they do not bring items that would slow down any search regime you have in place.

h. Consider your ability to actively message staff and visitors within your venue to pass on instructions or information in the event of an incident or response to a threat.

In conclusion as discussed this is not intended to be a comprehensive list, and we will be publishing supporting guidance on our website to complement this briefing. NaCTSO will continue to provide advice and I would recommend that if you have specific issues that you engage with your relevant forces CTSA's.

However our overall message would be that despite the challenging and horrific nature of the threat we face there are things that you can do to make a difference and to meet this challenge.

Leadership is the key to meeting this challenge, and individuals conducting dynamic risk assessments and taking the lead in the event of an incident or suspicious activity will save lives.


Nick Humphrey LCGI

Counter Terrorism Security Advisor
Warwickshire & West Mercia Police