Terror attack on London Bridge – a summary of events and implications….
The terror attack in Central London earlier today, may have caused many readers of Corps Relay to wonder how this could have occurred in the light of the recent decision by MI5/JTAC to lower the Terror Threat level from SEVERE to SUBSTANTIAL (see the table below).
There is no easy answer, although it may well be that today’s attack was perpetrated by a lone actor, who was outside the direct sphere of influence of an organised terror group. It is also frequently argued that ‘lone actors’ as such are nevertheless influenced by a range of factors, including social media and remote networking forums of varying kinds.
Either way, today’s events highlight the fact that the Terror Threat Levels are not infallible, and that all of us must strive to maintain constant high levels of vigilance, and security awareness, irrespective of the business sectors or locations in which we operate.
So, what do we know about today’s events?
The following is a summary based on available facts known thus far:
Two members of the public have died and a number of others were stabbed in an attack on London Bridge which is now confirmed as being terror-related.
The suspect was shot dead at the scene, but only after being confronted by members of the public who acted courageously to physically attack the male attacker, whose identity is as yet unknown.
According to the Met Police, officers were called to a stabbing at a premises near the bridge in central London just before 14:00. Two members of the public are dead while three others were injured and taken to two London hospitals.
Videos on social media show people wrestling a man to the floor who then disperse before he is shot by an armed police officer, reportedly from the City of London Police (this would be logical, as it is the City of London Police which has jurisdiction on the northern side of London Bridge).
Significantly, the incident triggered the attendance of armed response teams from three constabularies, namely the City of London Police, the Met Police and British Transport Police (the latter being alerted due to the collateral threat to nearby Rail and Tube transport hubs).
So, what steps can we take now in our respective businesses and organisations?
- 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.
HMG’s terror alert status for the UK is detailed below:
The threat to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) from terrorism has been lowered from SEVERE to 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
Everyone should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and violent political activists and report any suspicious activity to the Police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline on:
0800 789 321
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: Mike Bluestone MA CSyP FSyI