This Corps Relay Special Bulletin is being published in response to two major incidents that have occurred in Paris and London.
Paris / Charlie Hebdo
An attack took place in Paris this morning resulting in two people receiving non-life threatening injuries whilst the attacker(s) fled the scene. The attack took place outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo next to a mural that pays tribute to the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks. The attack is being treated as a terror related incident and was reported to have been perpetrated using a bladed weapon described as a machete or meat cleaver. The use of a bladed weapon, as opposed to a firearm, was the method adopted in the unsuccessful 2016 attack taking place on the first anniversary of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack.
It is reported that the perpetrator(s) fled the scene of the attack, however they later split up. There are reports from the media that one person was detained and arrested a short time after the attacks in the Bastille neighbourhood. A second person is also being held in connection with the attack.
The threat of such an attack was highlighted in the September Edition of Corps Relay (published on 3rd September 2020, see page 4 “Charlie Hebdo / Je suis Charlie”) and is likely linked to the ongoing trial of 14 people accused of assisting the 2 gunmen that perpetrated the 2015 attack. The decision of Charlie Hebdo to republish the 12 controversial comics depicting the Prophet Muhammad may also have been influential. It is likely the location was selected to deliver a message to Charlie Hebdo as the location of their “new” office is a secret.
The incident is also being monitored by UK Counter Terrorist agencies and update notifications are available through the ACT App
At 02:15 this morning a long serving Police Sergeant was shot at the Windmill Road Centre in Croydon. The Sergeant, who is yet to be names, is reported to have been questioning a 23 year old man about Covid-19 when he was shot in the chest and later died in hospital. The 23 year old is currently in a life threatening condition after reportedly shooting himself. No police firearms were used in this incident and the suspect
The man is believed to have been detained for possession of ammunition and has since been arrested on suspicion of murder. He was brought to the custody suite in a police vehicle and the shooting took place inside the custody suite. The circumstances of the arrest, which officers were deployed during the operation, if and how the suspect was searches and whether he was placed in handcuffs are some of the areas reported to be under inspection in a multi-faceted underway by the Police Watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Media reports indicate that the suspect was known to Counter-Terrorism Police, having been on their radar in the past, although there is no confirmation yet as to the perpetrator’s motive.
Whilst the UK incident involved a firearm it should be noted that attacks with firearms still remain rare in the UK. Bladed weapon attack are far more common due to the stringent controls over firearm procurement compared to the low levels of control over the sales of bladed items. Regardless of whether the attacker has a firearm or a different weapon, please be mindful of the following environmental considerations:
• RUN HIDE TELL
• Know your escape routes everywhere you go
• Try to maintain a physical gap between yourself and an attacker, the greater the gap the safer you are
• If possible, create a solid gap using walls, doors, furniture, vehicles etc.
• Call for help/raise the alarm as soon as you can but do so in a safe manner
It is important to reiterate the considerations that are important in our respective businesses and organisations to ensure employees/remises are safe in the event of similar incidents in their immediate vicinity:
• Are you satisfied with your existing access control physical measures?
• Have you assessed whether Hostile Vehicle Mitigation measures are required?
• Is entry to your premises or estates adequately controlled?
• Can you deploy security personnel to perimeter areas which enable them to safely look out for vehicles being driven at excessive speed?
• Are reporting mechanism fast enough to enable prompt activation of lockdowns in the event of a suspect IED being found, or a speeding vehicle being detected?
• Who has operational control of Security?
• Are your personnel trained to understand and identify hostile reconnaissance?
• What contingency plans exist to address situations where someone or something worrying or suspicious is discovered?
• Do you have updated evacuation and ‘invacuation’ contingency plans?
• Have you appropriate full and partial lockdown procedures in place?
• Have you made all colleagues aware of the ‘Run, Hide and Tell guidance?
• Are reporting procedures adequate in terms of escalation of concerns, and police support?
• Restrict both pedestrian and vehicular access to authorised persons and vehicles only
• Maintain a good flow of intelligence and information, including close liaison with local Police and Counter-Terrorism advisors
• Have the right calibre of trained people in place, including well trained Security teams
• Carry out regular tests (including Penetration Tests) and drills of all security and safety systems
• Implement both internal and external security audits
• Ensure that Contingency and Emergency plans are in place and are easily accessible for all relevant personnel
• Always ensure that Security teams are alert to suspicious behaviour
REMEMBER! It is vital that Access Control and anti-tailgating measures are as robust as possible, and that unauthorised persons are not allowed to gain access to your premises!
It is also vital that measures are in place to alert the police via 999 calls (not 101) or panic alarms in real time.
Current National Threat Level
The threat to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) from terrorism is SUBSTANTIAL
The threat to Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland-related terrorism is SEVERE
NOTE: Threat levels are designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of a terrorist attack
• LOW means an attack is highly unlikely
• MODERATE means an attack is possible, but not likely
• SUBSTANTIAL means an attack is likely
• SEVERE means an attack is highly likely
• CRITICAL means an attack is highly likely in the near future
You may end up saving a life or lives… and there is nothing more rewarding than that…
The following telephone numbers may be useful:
Corps Security Central Support: 0141 378 7000
Specific advice on Counter-Terrorism matters: 020 7566 0516
Editor: Neil Shanks ASMS BA MSc MSyI