Britain's police chiefs have released a video showing the public what to do in the event of a Paris-style terror attack. The four-minute clip entitled "Run, Hide, Tell" shows a group of workers trying to escape their office after hearing gunshots.
The advice, from the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), comes as the UK terror threat remains 'severe', meaning an attack is highly likely. While the police say the likelihood of being caught up in an attack is "very, very small", they urged the public to follow these steps if they should hear gunshots:
Run to a place of safety if you can:
- First consider your route. Is it safe? Will it put you in the line of fire?
- Act quickly and quietly;
- Leave your belongings behind;
- Insist others come with you but don't let them slow you down;
- Running is a far better option than to surrender or negotiate.
Hide if you can't run somewhere safely:
- When looking for a hiding place, avoid dead-ends and bottlenecks;
- The best hiding place will be substantially protected from gunfire;
- If you've locked yourself in a room, barricade yourself in and move away from the door;
- Stay quiet and don't shout for help;
- Turn your phone onto silent and switch off vibrate.
Tell the police of the attack:
- If you are able to evacuate get as far away from the danger area as possible;
- If it is safe to do so, try to stop others from entering;
- Dial 999 and tell the operator the location of you and the attackers, and include descriptions of the attackers and if there are casualties.
The film warns that if you are approached by armed police not to make any sudden movements and to show your hands at all times.
The video has been released in the wake of the November attacks on Paris which left 130 dead. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon last month warned that the UK is a "top target for an attack" similar to the atrocities carried out by Islamic State (Isis) in the French capital.
It has been more than a decade since the 7/7 attacks in London saw four suicide bombers kill 52 people. This is not the first time advice of this kind has been given to the British public. Last year, anti-terror leaflets under the same slogan were handed out prompting some to criticise them as scaremongering.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, speaking on behalf of National Counter Terrorism Policing, said of the advice released today (18 December): "The public should not be alarmed by this step. While the general level of threat to the UK is severe, the probability of being caught up in a firearms or weapons attack is very, very small. However, it is important the public know what to do in the event of getting caught up in such an incident.
"Our advice has already been issued to tens of thousands of people during police-led security training sessions but it is only responsible that we issue this public safety guidance more widely. We know from case studies and the testimony of people who have survived attacks, that the advice given in the film has saved lives.
"With the threat level remaining high, the police and security service continue to operate at a heightened state of readiness. We are working on hundreds of investigations and making an arrest a day. However, it is only with the ongoing support of communities that we can defeat terrorism. You are our eyes and ears so please be alert, but not alarmed.
"We are asking everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency, 999."