At Corps Security, our thoughts are with the family and friends of the four people who lost their lives, all those who have been injured, and the many individuals whose lives will have been impacted by yesterday’s horrendous terrorist attacks in central London, only a couple of miles from our offices.
Unsurprisingly, the response from the police, emergency and security services has been remarkable. It’s a testament to the professionalism and devotion to public service that underpins what they do day in, day out. Londoners have also shown great resolve; not only in supporting those affected as the situation unfolded, but continuing their daily lives the day after.
While at the time of writing we know little about the perpetrator, this attack is a reminder that the emergence of ‘lone wolves’ – radicalised individuals that don’t appear to work as part of a group or cell – pose a significant challenge for the security services, as their willingness to act alone makes them hard to spot.
This makes it all the more vital that security professionals work with the wider security services and the general public in a comprehensive effort to increase vigilance and identify suspicious behaviour.
As security professionals, we must be on high alert to the potential impact of threats on the organisations that we are tasked to protect, reviewing contingency plans where necessary. Knowledge, information and intelligence must guide and shape this approach, especially in terms of risk and threat assessments, and determining security policy and strategy.
The public must do its bit by reporting any suspicious behaviour. As I have said before, ‘lone wolf’ terrorists are just as likely to be seen by ordinary citizens with good situational awareness as they are by an individual counterterrorism agent. A recently launched initiative by Counter Terrorism Policing urges the public to act on their instincts to help tackle the terrorist threat. Details of how the public can play its part can be found here.
Finally, all of us should familiarise ourselves with the ‘run, hide, tell’ advice produced by the National Police Chiefs’ Council so we know what to do in the unlikely event of a terrorist attack. More information can be found here.
We live in troubling times. Terrorist attacks such as those yesterday present a clear and present danger to our safety, and they are designed to challenge our freedoms and subvert our way of life. Ultimately, our combined vigilance, strength of purpose and support for the services and organisations that work to keep us safe will defeat this threat.