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
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
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
And remember, Mayfair Cares.