Police experts are calling for one million town and city workers to help tackle the terrorism threat. A new initiative launched this morning in central London aims to ensure staff based in busy areas across the UK play their fullest part in protecting against terrorist attacks. The initiative also shows them what to do in the rare event of a major incident unfolding.
The move comes after the atrocities in Paris and Brussels led to calls for more vigilance from all communities, including the business sector. The new industry self-delivery package has been devised by police security experts from Project Griffin, which is recognised as the country’s leading counter-terrorism awareness scheme.
The initiative targets sectors such as retail, hospitality, entertainment and travel. It builds on an existing partnership between counter-terrorism police, the Emergency Services and local companies.
Project Griffin began back in 2004, with specialist officers around the country now briefing approximately 100,000 workers every year. However, the new self-delivery programme aims to reach ten times that number.
Addressing the terrorism threat
Detective Chief Superintendent Scott Wilson, the national police co-ordinator for Protect and Prepare, firmly believes that company bosses who support the project will be helping to keep staff, customers and communities safe.
“Although the UK threat level has remained unchanged since August 2014,” explained DCS Wilson, “it’s still at the ‘Severe’ mark. The police service is working tirelessly to address the terrorist threat, but we need everyone to play a part in keeping the public alert, not alarmed. Police can help explain what the threats and risks to different sectors are, but companies are better placed to explain to their members of staff exactly what action they can take to enhance their security and how to respond if the worst should happen.”
DCS Wilson continued: “Individual organisations have vital protective security information such as building layouts, security equipment and safety procedures. They have the local knowledge that could be vital when it comes to keeping staff and the public safe. This is why we’ve devised self-briefing packages bespoke to different sectors.”
In addition, DCS Wilson explained: “We’ve developed excellent working partnerships since the launch of Project Griffin, and very much hope this approach will help us in providing many more eyes and ears to assist the police. Companies who meet the criteria should contact us, and we will then work with their training teams to ensure they have all that they need to deliver Project Griffin-approved training themselves.”
Businesses taking part
Several businesses have already pledged to take part. Nikki White, destinations and sustainability manager at the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), outlined: “The Project Griffin initiative is an excellent way for businesses and individuals to become more aware of counter-terrorism preventative measures. We’re working with the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) to provide our members with industry training, customer advice and support related to Project Griffin both here and overseas.”
To ensure that a company is a ‘fit and proper’ body to deliver Project Griffin, a list of essential criteria for registration will be applied. A company must:
*be a Public Limited Company
*have an existing corporate training structure in place using accredited trainers
*operate in the ‘Crowded Place’ environment
*deliver all and any part of the NaCTSO Project Griffin product free of charge
*sign a formal contract agreeing to abide by NaCTSO and Crown Copyright Terms and Conditions of Use
If the above criteria are met, companies will then be registered on the NaCTSO website and allocated a unique registration number. These details will be included on a NaCTSO Project Griffin Certificate of Attendance when employees have completed a given module(s). Certificates will include NaCTSO and company logos, the name of the deliverer and their companies’ unique NaCTSO registration number.
Priority will be given to those companies who operate in a crowded place, such as a city centre or sporting/entertainment complexes. The police service will continue to offer the briefings for smaller organisations in priority areas who do not have their own training teams.
*To find out more, visit the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office website: www.nactso.gov.uk