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National Counter Terrorism Security Office - New Crowded Places Guidance launched

New and updated guidance intended to give protective security advice to those responsible for managing the security of crowded places.

This new guidance is primarily aimed at those with a responsibility for security at crowded places and those who own or run businesses, organisations, amenities or utilities. Some of the terminology may be unfamiliar to some readers. However, we hope the advice can also be of use to anyone who wishes to improve their own security.

The new Crowded Places guidance for the UK has been written by NaCTSO with the support of The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and over 100 subject matter and academic experts. It covers the key areas of protective security including physical, personnel, personal and cyber. It provides guidance on how different sectors can act to help make their business, institutions or organisations safer. Its purpose to support those who are charged with security at crowded places mitigate the threat and help make the UK less vulnerable to an attack. The guidance is interactive and designed to assist crowded place sectors assess the risk and build a security plan to help mitigate that risk and recover more quickly should there be a terrorist attack.

As the terrorist threat evolves the guidance has been designed to be a living document taking the best advice from some of the UKs leading experts and organisations. There are many links within the guidance directing you to websites providing support in your planning.

The foundation for the ability to manage during a crisis lies in the preparations we make. It is important that we all recognise the risks, develop security plans, train our staff, carry out rehearsal exercises and understand our roles and responsibilities. Leadership will come from all levels within an organisation during an incident but must come from the top to change the security culture.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi said:

Terrorist attacks are rare in the UK, but recent events have shown that an attack could happen anywhere and without warning. Those locations either public or private where large groups of people gather, for reasons such as entertainment, business, transportation, sporting or social occasions, have always been preferential targets for terrorists. Terrorism has evolved in recent times, with many conflicts overseas influencing terrorist acts in the UK. Social media in particular is being manipulated to incite, inspire and enable groups and individuals to target these crowded places.

The UK Threat level from International Terrorism is ‘SEVERE’, which means that an attack is highly likely. Such an attack can come in many forms, not just a physical but it can include interference with vital information or communication systems, causing disruption and economic damage. Against this background there is a need to make our crowded places as accessible as possible and to minimise the threat. However there is a balance to be achieved where we must all take responsibility for security to mitigate the threat and impact of terrorism.

This new and updated guidance is intended to give protective security advice to those responsible for managing the security of crowded places. Every location is different and I would urge those of you who hold this responsibility to review your security using the information in this guidance to reassure yourselves around your Security Plan.

Guidance within this booklet is intended to not only make the UK more resilient to a terrorist attack but also to support our fight against other crimes. If you have any information about suspicious behaviour or activity you can report it in confidence, either by calling the police or making an online report. Thank you once again for the contributions that I know you are making already.

You play a key role in preventing and protecting communities against terrorism.

Crowded Places guidance for the UK

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