Attacks in the UK and abroad remind us all of the terrorist
threat we face, which in the UK is considered as ‘SEVERE’, meaning
an attack is highly likely. Police and security agencies are
working tirelessly to protect the public but it is also important
that communities remain vigilant and aware of how to protect
themselves if the need arises. National Counter Terrorism policing
is providing advice to the public on the steps they can take to
keep themselves safe in the rare event of a firearms or weapons
attack. The police service has released the short public
information film called ‘Stay Safe: Firearms and Weapons Attack’
which sets out the key options for keeping safe should the worst
The film advises those who get caught up in an incident to ‘run,
hide and tell’ - guidance which can be applied to any place. We
know that from case studies and real life testimony based on the
experiences of people who have survived attacks the advice given in
the film has saved lives.
- Escape if you can
- Consider the safest options
- Is there a safe route? RUN if not HIDE
- Can you get there without exposing yourself to greater
- Insist others leave with you
- Leave belongings behind
- If you cannot RUN, HIDE
- Find cover from gunfire
- If you can see the attacker, they may be able to see you
- Cover from view does not mean you are safe, bullets go through
glass, brick, wood and metal
- Find cover from gunfire e.g. substantial brickwork / heavy
- Be aware of your exits Try not to get trapped
- Be quiet, silence your phone and turn off vibrate Lock /
barricade yourself in
- Move away from the door
- Call 999 - What do the police need to know?
- If you cannot speak or make a noise listen to the instructions
given to you by the call taker
- Location - Where are the suspects?
- Direction - Where did you last see the suspects?
- Descriptions – Describe the attacker, numbers, features,
clothing, weapons etc.
- Further information – Casualties, type of injury, building
information, entrances, exits, hostages etc.
- Stop other people entering the building if it is safe to do
ARMED POLICE RESPONSE
- Follow officers instructions
- Remain calm
- Can you move to a safer area?
- Avoid sudden movements that may be considered a threat Keep
your hands in view
- Point guns at you
- Treat you firmly
- Question you
- Be unable to distinguish you from the attacker
- Officers will evacuate you when it is safe to do so
You must STAY SAFE
- What are your plans if there were an incident?
- What are the local plans? e.g. personal emergency evacuation
The film has already been delivered and widely used across
industry as part of police-led counter terrorism security advice
sessions for their own staff. In the same way people plan how to
respond to a fire it also makes sense to plan the response to a
firearms or weapons attack. These are emotive subjects but
experience shows by becoming more alert to surroundings and plan
and think ahead people have far greater chance of surviving.
The intention of the film is not to unnecessarily scare the
public but to ensure that they know what steps to take in the
unlikely event of being involved in a firearms or weapons attack.
It is only responsible that the police issue this public safety
guidance as they would do with any other personal safety issue.
We urge the public to be alert but not alarmed by the threat,
and reassure them that the police service carries out daily
activities to help maintain the protection and security of our
citizens, public institutions, critical national infrastructure,
and businesses and places, including those who are potential
Our security measures and activities are constantly reviewed to
reflect where the threats exist and the level of threat we are
facing. The level of threat is complex and ranges from lone actors
intent on carrying out crude and violent attacks to sophisticated
networks pursuing ambitious and coordinated plots - as we saw
starkly demonstrated in France and other parts of the world. This
increased level of activity is matched by increased action by the
police and security services, who are working on hundreds of active
investigations and making an arrest a day.