Individual Precaution Against Terrorist Threats

Terrorist attacks such as the one carried out in the UK are a real and serious danger to public safety. On Monday 22nd May 2017, twenty-two people lost their lives in a suicide blast at the Manchester Arena following the Arian Grande concert. Prime Minister Theresa May raised the threat level in the UK to the highest rating. As law enforcements authorities continue their investigation into Monday’s events, there are mixed sentiments in the general public.

It isn’t just Manchester though; this comes in the wake of other European targets such as Paris, Stockholm, London and Berlin in recent weeks as well as Egypt and holiday resorts in Tunisia and Turkey. The threat is Global.

So what do we do? Do we have dramatic lifestyle changes or try and carry on our lives as normal? There is no simple answer but we examine some precautions that everyone can take.

The terror threat to the individual is very real and given how terrorists identify and select targets, it is justifiable to be wary of crowded places. However, the fight against terrorism has to be an inclusive operation where a due emphasis is placed on individual awareness. Here are several terrorist threat precautions and personal protection measures that you should implement.

1. Understand Target Selections 

Start by considering how a person might actually become a victim of a terrorist attack. Terrorists seem to consider location and opportunity when planning out attacks. Locations where a large number of people gather are high on the list. These include public transportation centres, shopping centres, nightclubs and concert amenities. 

You should maintain heightened awareness in these locations. Report any observed suspicious behaviour or activity to the security authorities then leave immediately. Terrorist also seem to look for soft targets’. Soft targets are people or facilities that are perceived to pose a good chance of a successful attack or low risk of security force interference.

2. Stay Informed

Make it a habit of tuning in to local radio and television news stations regularly. Learn more about your community’s public warning system such as sirens or telephone call-down systems. Evacuation and sheltering policies may change depending on the terror alert levels. 

Talk about the fears of terrorism with the members of your community and focus on the importance of sharing information about suspicious activity. It helps to have a proactive mind-set about the security environment where you live, work and travel.

3. Situational Awareness

Situational can greatly reduce casualties during an attack or even prevent the attack. Take note of your surroundings as you go about your daily business. When attending large events, pay particular attention to everything happening around you at all times in order to identify unusual activity. Learn how to spot suspicious packages and luggage abandoned in crowded places.

4. Take What You Hear Seriously

If you happen to know or hear of an individual who has talked about or mentioned plans to harm citizens even in passing, please take note. Be vigilant of anyone who hints at membership to a terrorist organisation, local or otherwise. Take it seriously and report it to police immediately.

5. Avoid Stereotyping

Stereotyping is common following terror attacks. When searching for suspicious activities, always avoid stereotyping individuals based on appearance, race, religion, gender and other classifications. Many people allow personal bias and prejudice to influence how they perceive other citizens. This is simply wrong, does not increase safety and can lead to mistakes being made.

6. Exercise Caution

In case you encounter suspicious activity, always be careful not to draw attention to yourself. You should avoid taking action on your own or placing yourself in harm. In an emergency situation, alert the security authorities immediately.

One great tip is recording any information gathered as soon as possible. Jot down the information on a piece of paper or on your mobile phone. It is nearly impossible to avoid large events or crowded places entirely. As such, the best course of action would be practice individual awareness.

And remember, Mayfair Cares.

The Blame Game and Why We Play It

The core message for self-help and personal development is for people to step up and take responsibility for their own lives.

Why do many people find this challenging? It's because blaming others has been programmed into us by our family and by society. However in the Bible (John 8:7) it says 'Let the person who is without sin cast the first stone', This means that nobody is blameless and therefore it is not qualified to blame others. We need to understand the factors that contribute to people blaming other so as to stop this behaviour

Here are five reasons why people are being led to believe that they don't have to be responsible or accountable for their actions.

1. It starts in childhood.

When parents tell kids what they should and shouldn't do. It seems that people are losing the ability to make decisions because decisions are made for them.

The "why, because I said so" attitude prevents learning of consequences at an internal level. It teaches people to do or don't do things based on what they are told, not on what they think is suitable.

This can occur in workplaces with a dependent culture - you just do what you are told to do, without any explanation, without understanding why.

The "Why" is critical to learning - when you know why you should your shouldn't do things, you are then able to make a sound decision for yourself.

2. Rules and Laws 

Every time an incident happens it promotes a reason to bring in a new rule or regulation to prevent it happening again. Why can't we just learn the lesson and create guidelines so an individual can make a sound decision next time the problem is encountered?!

Rules and regulations place responsibility outside of personal control. Rules can place people in a false sense of security, thinking that the rules will protect them. This makes them less alert for the dangers around them.

3. Lawyers/litigation 

Thanks to the legal system, more and more responsibility is being taken away from the individual. It's too easy to blame someone else for an incident and profit from it. Yes, there may be many contributing factors resulting in an incident, but everyone needs to look within and see how they might have prevented being hurt. Until they do, they have lost the personal power to be in charge of their own life.

4. Someone's to Blame 

Society seems to promote 'blame' and the idea that someone's got to pay! Who has heard ‘where there’s blame there’s a claim’?

Isn't it better to consider how we contributed to an incident occurring and learn from it in order to prevent it happening again?

If the same type of problems keep surfacing in your life, the common denominator is you. Think about it!

5. Ego 

Perhaps it all comes down to this. People don't want to admit they made a mistake. They are embarrassed. It comes from early programming where mistakes were associated with being 'bad', and no-one wants to be 'bad'!

This leads to people passing blame, and then people becoming defensive, arguments arise and we have lost touch with the fact that people do make mistakes. The biggest mistake is not learning from them and making a mistake over and over again because of this.

People need to be okay with making mistakes and admitting to them. This requires cooperation from everyone, providing a safe environment where admitting mistakes is encouraged so as to rectify the mistakes.

And remember, Mayfair Cares.