The atrocities of the Paris (1) and Nice attacks served as a chilling reminder of the devastating effect terrorism can have upon communities, businesses and economies alike.
As it has been revealed that the incidents that occurred within the French capital could cost the European economy a colossal £660 million, (2) more and more companies are seeking to protect themselves from the financial and emotional damage that an unlikely terrorist attack could create.
Unsurprisingly, given that the threat of terrorism is still relatively new, many business owners are unclear as to where they can turn for reliable information and protocol.
So to give yourself the best possible chance of protecting your employees and customers – the team at Expert Security UK are on hand to give you the guidance, hints and tips you will need to keep your business safe and secure.
1) Get the basics right
Chances are you have given very little thought to the possibility of terror-proofing your business. And why would you? But before you carry out a risk assessment, (we’ll get to that later) take stock of what you already have in place.
Check how secure your premises are – are all access points safe and reliable? Are they locked? What security products do you already have? What condition are they in?
It’s little questions like this you need to ask yourself before going ahead with any drastic changes. After all, you could be in better shape than you initially thought.
2) Carry out a risk assessment
Now you have identified what security systems you already have in place, it’s time to carry out a risk assessment.
There are two main stages to an anti-terror risk assessment:
Determine the threats
- Identify which aspects of your business could be most at threat.
- Is your business in an industry which is more likely to encounter a terrorist attack?
- Could any clients/partners be potentially targeted?
- Are you in a location which has experienced similar incidents in recent years?
Identify which aspects of your business need protecting the most?
- What are the most crucial parts of your business?
- People (staff, clients, customers, nearby businesses)
- Premises (contents, machinery, equipment etc.)
- Data (IT Technology, payroll information, company finances etc.)
- Once you have completely assessed your business from all angles, you stand a much better chance of keeping you and your assets firmly protected.
3) Call in the experts
Although the thought of preparing for a terrorist attack may feel a little alien – like anything you want to prevent in life – it’s best to have plans in place.
It all may feel a little overwhelming to choose the right security products yourself – with a huge range available it can become a minefield of confusion. But by contacting a reputable product provider, they will be able to take care of your security overhaul.
And be sure to invest in high-quality, heavy-duty products. There may be cheaper alternatives available, but choosing the best for your money will give you the best possible chance of defending what’s most important. (3)
4) Who can I ask for more information?
Because the threat of terrorism has become an increasingly pressing issue on British soil, there are more and more sources of vital information available to business owners than ever before.
The government recently released Project Griffin (4) in an attempt to combat the threat of terrorism. This scheme was designed to give UK residents a broader knowledge of what the threat of terrorism means to them – plus information on what the terrorism threat level (currently at ‘Severe’) (5) means and who the most likely perpetrators of an attack would be.
The Metropolitan Police, Britain’s most high-profile constabulary, have the nation’s most sophisticated and specialist anti-terror department. Known as the Counter Terrorism Command (CTC), (5) this specialist force deals with all aspects of terrorism within the UK – working closely with global police intelligence forces to deal with any potential acts of terror.
Further to this, there is also an anti-terrorist hotline (6) that takes calls 24 hours per day and will handle any issues, concerns or information you may have.
5) Promote the importance of housekeeping
You may have all the right security measures in place – perfectly protecting your business from any potential threats. However, if you and your staff don’t maintain high standards throughout your business, you could be setting yourself up for a fall. Keeping walkways clear, investing in good lighting and limiting access points are just some of the ways you can do your bit to prevent any unauthorised persons gaining access to your premises.
Incorporate weekly checks into your employees’ rota, giving departments specific responsibilities to keep you all safe and secure. Not only does it share the workload, but it can help bring your team together.
6) Rehearse and prepare
Knowing what to do in the unlikely occurrence of a terrorist threat is as important as all the precautions you have made.
There are many reasons you may need to evacuate your premises – most notably:
- Notification from the Police in the local area to do so
- The threat of an attack on your business premises
- A suspicious package/item found on or near your location
Regardless of the circumstances, if you are remotely wary or suspicious about anything that you believe could cause harm, contact the Police immediately – even if your natural instinct is not to do so.
However silly it may feel, contacting the authorities is always the wisest and safest thing to do. Who knows, you may have prevented a dangerous situation.
On top of this, you need to have a clear evacuation procedure in place, so that all members of staff are aware of what to do.
About the author: Danny Scholfield, is a Sales & Marketing Director at anti-terror systems specialists Expert Security UK.