Pubs warned to be vigilant over terror attacks

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Terrorism, Security

Alert: venues will be advised on security improvements
Alert: venues will be advised on security improvements
Pubs and clubs in crowded areas are being urged to take part in an online self-assessment to make sure they can counter terrorist attacks because...

Pubs and clubs in crowded areas are being urged to take part in an online self-assessment to make sure they can counter terrorist attacks because they are seen as "soft targets".

The vulnerability self-assessment tool (VSAT), will produce a report of recommendations for each venue, which will assist licensees in prioritising where they may need to make improvements to security.

It comprises 33 questions and should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete. The launch comes to light just two weeks after the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, who was shot at his hideout in Pakistan.

Although there is no specific intelligence to suggest pubs are a target, an attack on the UK is highly likely, Britain's most senior police officer Sir Paul Stephenson has warned.

The VSAT initiative has been planned for some time but, according to Dave Skirvin, Lancashire police's counter-terrorism security advisor (CSTA), pubs need to be aware of the dangers.

Skirvin added: "There's been no specific intelligence of any possible attacks, we're just trying to make premises in crowded places aware that they need to be vigilant. Pubs, clubs, offices and shops in crowded places are all seen as soft targets."

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office and the national network of CTSAs are setting up regional launches for the national initiative to gain momentum.

The launch will be in the south-west on 17 May.

Licensees should contact their local CTSA to register for the free service. Contact details can be found on regional police websites.

What does the VSAT provide?

• A list of best practice advice

• Tips on how to get your business up and running as soon as possible after an attack

• Increased contact with security experts

• Training opportunities

• Written assessment report including recommendations covering the following: physical security, staff security, information security, good house-keeping and risk management

Related topics: Other operators

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