Westminster attack: Fuller’s robust plan ‘sees pub safely evacuated’

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

The Red Lion: Westminster pub implemented evacuation plan
The Red Lion: Westminster pub implemented evacuation plan

Related tags: Red lion, Red lion pub, Terrorism

A Fuller’s pub in Westminster implemented its “robust two-way communication plan” after the terrorist attack outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday afternoon (23 March).

The Red Lion pub was safely evacuated after the incident where a man drove a car along the pavement on Westminster Bridge knocking down pedestrians. The attacker went on to stab an unarmed police officer in the grounds of parliament.

Armed police shot the attacker, who later died. three other people died in the attack, with several other members of the public in a “critical” condition.

A spokesman for the pub said: “I can confirm that the Red Lion in Westminster has been safely evacuated and is currently closed. We have a robust two-way communications plan that we put into operation during incidents like today to share advice and ensure the safety of our teams.”

At the time of going to press, the Red Lion was still closed due to the area continuing to be cordoned off.

The spokesman confirmed that once it gets the all clear from the police, it will reopen. He added: “Our thoughts are with the families of all those affected by the incident.”

‘Pubs must be vigilant’

Industry groups have urged pubs to be vigilant to the threat of terrorism following the tragedy and have advised staff be aware of the available guidance.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has a section that covers risk assessment guidance, 'Managing Safety in Pubs and Bars' on its website.

Guidance from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office tailored for pubs and restaurants is also available to read on the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers’ (ALMR) website.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Yesterday’s tragic events in London are a reminder that it is important for pubs to be vigilant to the threat of terrorism.

“Pubs should monitor advice from the police, brief staff, and certainly consider terrorism as part of their risk assessment of the premises.”

She continued: “Safety should be regularly reviewed, and issues to consider are any weaknesses in a CCTV system, and how you would respond to a threat, such as a suspect package or suspicious item, search plans and evacuation plans.

“In London, there is also a co-ordinated alert system for most outlets linked to the police, and similar arrangements in other parts of the UK."

‘Valuable refuge and place of safety’

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Operators should make sure they are familiar with the guidance and that staff members are briefed appropriately.

“Pubs and other outlets close to parliament no doubt had their own plans for emergencies, in order to provide a valuable refuge and place of safety for anyone unfortunate enough to have been caught up in yesterday’s tragic events at Westminster.” 

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