World Security Report2016-04-20 07:48:25

Call for one million town and city workers to help tackle terror threat

20 Apr 2016

A new initiative launched today aims to get staff based in busy areas across the UK to play a part in protecting against attacks - and show them what to do in the rare event of a major incident unfolding.

The move comes after atrocities in Paris and Brussels led to calls for more vigilance from all communities, including the business sector.

The new industry self-delivery package has been devised by police security experts from Project Griffin, the country's leading counter terrorism awareness scheme.

The initiative targets sectors such as retail, hospitality, entertainment and travel. It builds on an existing partnership between counter terrorism police, emergency services and local companies.

Project Griffin began in 2004 and specialist officers around the country are now briefing around 100,000 workers every year. However the new self-delivery programme aims to reach ten times that number.

Details of the ambitious plan will be announced at the annual Security and Counter Terrorism Expo in London this morning (Wednesday April 20th).

Detective Chief Superintendent Scott Wilson, the national police coordinator for Protect and Prepare will tell an audience of security professionals that company bosses who support the project will be helping to keep staff, customers and communities safe.

DCS Wilson says "Although the UK threat level has remained unchanged since August 2014, it is still at severe. The police service is working tirelessly to address the threat but we need everyone to play a part in keeping the public alert, not alarmed.

"Police can help explain what the threats and risks to different sectors are but companies are better placed to explain to staff exactly what action they can take to enhance their security and how to respond if the worst happens.

"Individual organisations have vital protective security information such as building layouts, security equipment and safety procedures. They have the local knowledge that could be vital to keeping staff and the public safe. This is why we have devised self-briefing packages bespoke to different sectors.

"We have developed excellent working partnerships since the launch of Project Griffin and hope this approach will help us provide many more eyes and ears to assist the police.

"Companies who meet the criteria should contact us and we will work with their training teams to ensure they have all that they need to deliver Project Griffin approved training themselves."

Many businesses have already pledged to take part in the self-briefing programme.

ABTA Head of Destinations & Sustainability, Nikki White, said: "The Project Griffin initiative is an excellent way for business and individuals to become more aware of counter terrorism preventative measures. ABTA the Travel Association is working with the National Counter Terrorism Security Office to provide our members with industry training, customer advice and support related to Project Griffin both here and overseas."

Organisations signing up to the initiative will need to be public limited companies and have a team of qualified trainers. Priority will be given to those who operate in a crowded place, such as a city centre, sporting or entertainment complex.

Police will continue to offer the briefings for smaller organisations in priority areas who do not have their own training teams.

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