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Published on July 11, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour

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Be prepared

Heaven forbid it’ll never happen again, but with pubs being on the front line of recent terrorist attacks, the leisure industry has to be prepared for any eventuality. In the atrocities in London and Manchester since March, pubs and bars played a vital role in protecting customers and providing shelter.

Official police advice for the public is “Run Hide Tell” if there is a terrorist incident, meaning it is best to run away from attackers rather than surrender or try to reason with them. Hiding and securing your immediate surroundings is another tactic, which staff at The Wheatsheaf in Borough Market deployed, buying time for the police to arrive.

Resources are available for pubs, bars and restaurants from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) which provides information for security managers working in busy locations.

Training staff in first aid is also well worth undertaking – in fact there are some who believe this should be made compulsory to obtain a license and even to be part of the school curriculum. Lives can be saved by prompt, effective action.

There are other simple, practical actions pubs can take, such as staff vigilance, evacuation and lockdown procedures with designated marshalls on every shift. This might sound extreme – and the chance of a terrorist attack is extreme – but we live in troubled times and being prepared should be the mantra.


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Alastair Gilmour



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