The Metropolitan Police advises all business review their continuity plans and ensure staff are trained to respond to incidents.
Pubs are advised to be on high alert after hospitality venues were among those targeted in incidents which left 129 dead in the French capital on Friday.
Westminster Police have asked for businesses to remain vigilant. “We cannot ignore the fact that we operate in crowded places which present as soft targets,” a spokesman said.
“Please be aware and report suspicious behaviour. Ensure your security staff are compliant around entry checks, left luggage etc. The more eyes we have on the ground the better.”
The Met is reviewing all information available and will further advise businesses as soon as possible.
Assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said: "The public may notice changes to policing including ports, streets and major events in the UK. We can't let terrorists defeat us."
Police forces across the country are currently examining their policing responses and adapting them where appropriate.
The threat from International Terrorism to the United Kingdom remains at severe - an attack is highly likely.
Chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers Kate Nicholls said: “The events in Paris are a shocking and tragic reminder of the threat we all face and the fact that it was hospitality businesses which were singled out is particularly chilling."
ALMR is working closely with the Met Police and Mayor’s Office to ensure that we have the best possible systems in place to provide insight and support for operators.
"The message is to be alert but not alarmed and working together we can continue to help thwart threats and make sure our customers have a safe night out," Nicholls added.
Counter terrorism advice
The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) has provided a document to advise provide pubs and clubs.
It aims reduce the risk of a terrorist attack and limit the damage an attack might cause.
“Crowded places, including bars, pubs and nightclubs, may feature in the attack plans of terrorist organisations in the future; as they are usually locations with limited protective security measures and therefore affords the potential for mass fatalities and casualties,” the document states.
“There is a long history of such attacks and there have been recent attacks on bars and nightclubs in other countries around the world.
“It is possible that your premises could be involved in a terrorist incident. This might include having to deal with a bomb threat or with suspect items left in or around your premises or sent through the post. In the worst case scenario your staff and customers could be killed or injured, and your premises destroyed or damaged in a ‘no warning’, multiple and co-ordinated terrorist attack.”
So how can licensed premises prepare?
- carry out risk assessments and put suitable measures in place to manage risks
- ensure that all staff are trained in bomb threat handling and evacuation procedures, or at least have ready access to instructions
- Keep access points to a minimum and make sure the boundary between public and private areas of your building is secure and clearly signed
- avoid the use of litter bins in and around your premises if possible
- co-ordinate safety arrangements between owners, managers, security staff, tenants and others involved on site
Evacuate if you receive a threat, are made aware of a threat, or discover a suspicious package.
Evacuation instructions must be clearly communicated to staff and routes and exits must be well defined. Appoint people to act as marshals and as contacts once the assembly area is reached.
Do not touch suspicious items. Move everyone away to a safe distance and prevent others from approaching.
Communicate to staff, visitors and the public to take cover being a hard object.
Notify the police and ensure that whoever found the item or witnessed the incident remains on hand to brief the police.
And in the worst case scenario, the National Counter Terrorism Security Office advises:
- Under immediate gun fire – Take cover initially, but leave the area as soon as possible if safe to do so
- Nearby gun fire - Leave the area immediately, if possible and it is safe to do so
- Leave your belongings behind
- Do not congregate at evacuation points
- Out of sight does not necessarily mean out of danger
- If you can’t escape - consider locking yourself and others in a room or cupboard. Barricade the door then stay away from it. If possible choose a room where escape or further movement is possible. Silence any sources of noise, such as mobile phones, that may give away your presence.
See the full document here or visit http://https//www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374593/Pubs_and_Clubs_Reviewed.pdf
Chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, Brigid Simmonds, added: “Whilst it is important that we all continue with our day-to-day lives, after the tragic events at the weekend, it is right that pubs should be vigilant and monitor closely any advice from the police and other authorities on potential security threats, and ensure that staff are briefed.
“In London, there is a co-ordinated alert system for most outlets linked to the police, and similar arrangements in other parts of the UK. The BBPA will ensure that any advice is passed on to our members.”