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Overcoming the Human Threat Element in Crowded Places

When it comes to individual safety and security, the human element as a source has increased as a potential factor across the community. Some of the most memorable attacks in crowded places in the past year have been, the New York bicycle path in November, Barcelona La Rambla in August, London Bridge and Borough Market in June, Manchester Arena in May, and the Melbourne Bourke St Mall in January. All of which demonstrated how basic weapons including vehicles and knives can be used to devastating effect.

Australian law enforcement and intelligence agencies are well-equipped to detect and disrupt planned activity and have a strong history of stopping attacks. One of the latest examples was in July 2017, where police and intelligence officials disrupted a plot to conduct an attack using an improvised explosive device against the aviation sector.

Furthermore, in August, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee’s (ANZCTC) Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism. Its core objective to protect the lives of people working in, using and visiting crowded places by making them more resilient. The Strategy provides a framework for both individuals and businesses to arm themselves with the skills to prevent, identify and respond to an active threat. To strengthen our preparedness, it provides everybody, from architects to bar staff, with the tools needed, should they find themselves involved in an incident, to assess the vulnerability of a venue, identify opportunities to improve safety and the channels available to seek advice.

All communities and individuals have a responsibility to help detect and prevent; authorities urge us to take security into our everyday thinking, by being aware of our surroundings and reporting suspicious or unusual behaviour.

Whilst on the surface it may appear that other than security hardening there are few options available to occupants, the reality is that significant guidance and teaching are available which can considerably enhance both the likelihood and consequences of a threat incident; be it an active armed offender in a crowded place or corporate environment. The lack of knowledge and preparedness in the current threat environment is increasingly being recognised by the business community, who are seeking to improve the resilience, knowledge and education in building lockdown procedures as well as individual safety training in the practice of Escape-Hide-Tell.

Employers have a duty of care to ensure all staff have the understanding and ability to practically apply active threat preparedness and responsiveness in the workplace. First 5 Minutes is positioned at the forefront of knowledge sharing and training in the threat environment. We support the ANZCTC Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism, as reflected in our updated training services. We never intend to alarm, but rather make people aware that they have options in the face of an impending threat. In the same manner that we don’t expect to be involved in a car accident when we put on our seatbelt, we do so in preparation for the unexpected. The absorption of the touch points in our threat training is to serve the same purpose. Contact us today, to learn more about our solutions.

The reality is, it will not always be possible to prevent attacks occurring, so we all need to strengthen our preparedness to help reduce both the likelihood and consequences of such an attack.

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