Shoppers are being asked to put security at the top of their ‘must have’ lists this Christmas.
With the festive rush about to get underway, Counter Terrorism Policing has this week, launched its biggest-ever winter advertising campaign as part of ACT: Action Counters Terrorism.
While there is no known increased threat to busy town and city centres, people flocking to stock up on Christmas gifts will see police working alongside security personnel to encourage everyone to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious.
Experts from Counter Terrorism Policing will be asking retailers and other businesses who operate in crowded places to think about their contingency plans, asking them to draw up a ‘Sixty Second Security’ plan which has the power to improve their reaction to emergencies.
Sixty Second Security Check List:
- Who is appointed to make decisions on the shop floor, and do they know what they’re doing?
- 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?
- Have you briefed your staff?
CT Policing has also collaborated with advertising experts, Kong Media, to reach thousands of UK shoppers with vitally important safety information.
Across the country, security messaging will appear on advertising boards and digital screens around crowded Christmas events and key shopping locations, reminding the public about the crucial role they play in helping to tackle the terrorist threat.
The winter advertising campaign aims to encourage the public to remain vigilant, look out for suspicious behaviour and inform people how to report their concerns, providing 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.
Launching the campaign, the national Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth, said:
“As people are enjoying the festive season they will see a visible security presence with police patrols and additional security in crowded places.
“Unpredictable deployments across the UK will also provide an additional layer of protection, with specially-trained uniformed and plain clothes officers working to deter, detect and disrupt hostile reconnaissance and encourage the public and businesses to be their extra eyes and ears and report anything that doesn’t feel right.
“This includes asking 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.
“I want staff working in crowded places to know who is appointed to make decisions on the shop floor, how to enter and exit a building in an emergency, how to lock down or where to hide if needs be.
“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 check will better prepare us to deal with something similar in the future.”
Kong Media CEO, Ross Barrett, said: “Kong Media is proud to support Counter Terrorism Policing as they launch this year’s winter campaign. We first offered to help CT Policing after the terrible and tragic events of 2017 and we’re only too happy to help again.
“These are important messages for the public to know, so if we can help police reach thousands more shoppers thanks to our well-placed advertising boards and digital screens, then we’re delighted to do so.”
We advise the public to remain vigilant and, if they see or hear something suspicious, trust their instincts and report it to police in confidence at gov.uk/ACT or 0800 789 321.