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Prepared for terror

Terrorists continue to murder thousands of innocent people outside of the Middle East and Anatolia regions. These horrendous and inexcusable massacres show clearly that international terrorism knows no bounds, writes the personal safety trainer Steve Collins, of PS5, pictured.

We all share and feel the sorrow of the victims of these atrocities, their pain is our pain, their anger is our anger. I believe we have to cultivate a solidarity and cohesion against these murderers, who want nothing more than to immerse us into an existence filled with fear and isolation, knowing that any day could be the day that one finds oneself in the centre of a terrorist nightmare.

Terrorism is as old as mankind’s willingness to use violence to influence politics or further an ideology. International terrorism became a prominent issue in the late 1960s and 1970s, when hijacking commercial aircraft became a preferred tactic. The most terrifying terrorist threat today is without doubt religiously motivated terrorism. Obviously groups that justify their violence on Islamic grounds such as Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and Daesh are the first to come to mind, however Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and other religions have all given rise to their own forms of militant extremism.

9/11

The most shocking of all these religiously motivated terrorists attacks happened on September 11, 2001 when the whole world was stunned by the monumental and horrific attacks on the USA. Within 72 hours of almost 3000 people being murdered, security representatives of ‘United Airlines’ had travelled to my offices in the UK, and were consulting with me on a book I had written some two years prior to 9/11. That book was the ‘Manual of Prohibited and Concealable Weapons’ and highlighted the dangers to security posed by the concealment and carry of stealth weapons. At that meeting ‘United Airlines’ handed me a copy of what is now an historic document drawn up by the US Department of Transport Federal Aviation Administration dated ‘12th September 2001’. So new was it that the ink was barely dry, although at that stage it was still in a rudimentary form, it did nevertheless become the foundation for all international airport and cross border security that we live with today. Over the following months I supplied images and information to the US Department of Defense TSWG Mission, who subsequently published a training manual, entitled ‘The Personnel Screening Guide’.

This manual bears an acknowledgment to PS5’s contribution to weapons awareness and recognition, and the fight against international terrorism.
Since that time 16 years ago I have been continually designing and developing educational material and delivering training in an attempt to simply try and ‘Make the World a Safer Place’.

Challenge

We are all acutely aware of the three horrific terrorist attacks that have both physically and morally insulted the British people in the past few months. Add to this the fact that the government tells us the terrorist threat level is now set at SEVERE to CRITICAL, meaning that not only do they consider another attack highly likely they do in fact believe it to be imminent. Therefore I ask one simple question…

Are YOU prepared?

I do not pretend to hold any of the answers to the world’s terrorist problems. However, there is undeniably a problem that affects us all, and therefore, I believe that all companies and organisations have a legal, ethical, and moral responsibility to try and mitigate the risk of a terrorist attack. They need to prepare for the possibility of one, in an attempt to protect their employees and clients. This should include teaching the appropriate protocols and procedures to deal with an attack and its aftermath.

As with all personal safety training, there lies at its core some basic fundamentals, which are awareness, education and planning. A terrorist attack shocks the psyche and catastrophically disrupts the daily routines of its victims, through exposure to a senseless act of devastation and destruction. Companies need to anticipate the effects such an event could have on their employees and customers because, even if not injured, there will be mass anxiety and panic. Most of the time the general public will have to face these appalling attacks alone and unarmed, because, as well trained as the Police may be to contain these situations, the cold hard fact is they are unlikely to be there when it happens.

To try to help and advise, PS5 and Northern Ireland security company Mercury Security Management have come together to form a collaboration and partnership, and are launching new training titled ‘We Go Prepared’. This half-day training will show what can be done to protect your employees, your organization and your customers from a terrorist attack, and if the worst were to happen, the correct protocols and procedures to deal with the attack and its aftermath, before the police and emergency services arrive.


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