Thankfully, firearms and weapon attacks in the UK are very rare, but the tragic events from around the world remind us of the need to be prepared.
The current threat level for a terrorist incident in the UK is severe which means an attack is ‘SUBSTANTIAL’ meaning an attack is likely and, however small the risk, it helps to be prepared if you find yourself in this situation.
What to do in the event of a terrorist attack
Firearms and weapons attacks are very rare, having a plan and being conscious of your surroundings when out and about will help you stay safe and could save your life.
The National Police Chief’s Council have produced guidelines to follow if you find yourself in a firearms or weapons attack.
There are three key steps to keeping safe during an attack:
- If there is a safe route, run.
- Insist others go with you.
- Don’t let them slow you down.
- Leave your belongings behind.
- If you can’t run, hide.
- Find cover from gunfire.
- Lock the door and barricade yourself in.
- Move away from the door.
- Be very quiet and silence your phone.
- Dial 999 when you are safe.
- Give your location.
- Give the direction the attacker is moving in.
- Give as much information as you can.
- Can you safely stop others from entering the area?
How can someone with disabilities follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice?
Police advice in the event of a firearms or weapons attack is that people should Run, Hide, Tell. Wherever possible Run to a place of safety. If there’s nowhere to go, then Hide. Finally, and only when it is safe to do so, Tell the police by calling 999.
All situations are different and we recognise that people’s ability to Run, Hide, Tell will vary for reasons such as age, fitness and capability.
When running is not an option, people should make every effort to move away from the area as quickly as they can. The RHT guidance highlights the importance of people caught up in such a scenario assisting those around them who may need help.
Should an attack take place in a workplace, companies also have a duty of care to make provision to facilitate the evacuation of disabled employees and should have a bespoke plan in place.
How does the Run, Hide, Tell guidance apply to deaf and hard of hearing people specifically?
The Run, Hide Tell advice highlights the importance of people who are caught up in a firearms or weapons attack , wherever possible, assisting those around them who may need help to move away from danger. For example someone who is deaf or hard of hearing may be unable to tell where a source of a gunshot may be coming from so may be unsure in which direction to go.
The initial priorities for officers who respond to a firearms or weapons attack will be to assess the threat and risk, as well as the potential vulnerability of anyone caught up in the incident.
Leicestershire Police firearms officers receive core training on how to deal with different communities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. This includes deaf awareness and pointers on how to interact with deaf or hard of hearing members of the public and reminds them that they need to consider factors such as sensory impairment or communications difficulties.