As the anniversary of the Paris terrorist atrocity approaches, police are reminding the public of some simple steps to help stay safe in the unlikely event of an attack.
Run, Hide, Tell is the easy to remember message that explains what people should do if they are confronted by terrorists: RUN to a place of safety. This is a far better option than to surrender or negotiate. If there is nowhere to run then HIDE. It is better to hide than confront. Remember to turn your phone to silent and turn off vibrate. Barricade yourself in if you can. Then finally, and only when it is safe to do so, TELL by calling police on 999.
Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Neil Basu says: "The chances of ever being caught up in an attack are very small, but it if did happen you would not be thinking straight. You need a simple message that will quickly come to you - Run, Hide, Tell.
"We know from our research that a lot of people are familiar with the message but we want everyone to watch the video and be aware of what to do." For their part, police forces across Britain are training more highly skilled firearms officers that will be available to respond to terrorist threats. The drive to increase numbers came as a response to the Paris attacks last November, and has seen a growth in training places made available to officers who volunteers and meet the demanding standards.
In England and Wales around 100 extra officers are being trained each month towards a net total increase of 1500 to be qualified by the end of the programme in April 2018. Some of these officers will have additional, highly specialised training in dealing with terrorism operations. The uplift programme is around two-thirds funded by a £143 million Home Office grant, the rest is paid for by local forces.
National Police Chiefs Council Lead for Armed Policing Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman said: "The extra officers will improve our ability to react quickly to major incidents. "In the light of the increased threat from terrorism the response from serving officers who are prepared to risk their own lives to protect the public has been tremendous. I want to thank every officer who has stepped up and is ready to respond."
National Counter Terrorism Policing has launched a short public information film which sets out practical steps that can be taken to stay safe in the rare event of a firearms or weapons attack.
Recent events in the UK and abroad remind us all of the terrorist threat we face, which in the UK is considered as 'SEVERE', meaning an attack is highly likely.
Police and security agencies are working tirelessly to protect the public, but it is also important that communities remain vigilant and aware of how to protect themselves if the need arises.
The film, Stay Safe: Firearms and Weapons Attack, sets out three key steps for keeping safe and, along with accompanying public information material, is available to view below.
The film and leaflet advise those who get caught up in an incident to 'run, hide and tell':
RUN, if you can; if you can't run, HIDE and then, when you can, TELL the police what's happening so they can get help there quickly to stop the threat. Also tell others of the threat so they don't approach danger.
This guidance can be applied to any place.
National Counter Terrorism Policing Lead Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said:
"The intention of the film is not to unnecessarily scare the public but to ensure that they know what steps to take in the unlikely event of being involved in a firearms or weapons attack. It is only responsible that the police issue this public safety guidance so that people can plan ahead in the same way that they would for any other personal safety issue.
"We know that from case studies and real life testimony based on the experiences of people who have survived attacks that the advice given in the film, which has already been used in industry training sessions, has saved lives.
"With the threat level remaining at SEVERE, the police and security service continue to operate at a heightened state of readiness - we are working on hundreds of investigations and making an arrest a day. However, it is only with the ongoing support of communities that we can defeat terrorism - the public are our eyes and ears and we need them to be alert, but not alarmed. We are asking everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency, 999."
- Run Hide Tell leaflet [PDF - 102Kb]