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.