How to help battle the ongoing fight against terror

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Your help needed: pubs must help reduce risks to their customers
Your help needed: pubs must help reduce risks to their customers
We don’t need to be reminded of the atrocities recently in Carcassonne, France. This historic city was blighted with an act of terrorism leaving five dead, including a police officer who exchanged himself for a hostage and paid the ultimate price.

This is a harsh reminder that lives can be lost if we fail to be vigilant. Pubs, bars, concerts, restaurants and now supermarkets have been targets of terrorist attacks and as we approach world and national sporting events, festival season, busy bank holidays and summer days, large crowds make prime targets for terrorists.

Operators of licensed premises play a major part in sustaining the fight against terrorism. Although absolute security is impossible, there are things that operators can do to reduce the risk of injury
or death. This may be a good time to review your risk assessments and policies. Regularly communicating the de-tails will enhance the effectiveness of security and, therefore, instil confidence in your security measures.

Premises licences issued under the Licensing Act 2003 include conditions that promote the licensing objectives but there is usually more you can do and should do to reduce the risk of danger to customers and members of the public.

The police cannot do it all. They have limited resources and rely on operators, door teams and members of the public for information. Most premises have CCTV systems that should be regularly maintained to ensure they are working to prevent and also detect crime. A good, vigilant and reliable door team, conducting proper searches, assessing the public and reading situations is key. Sometimes, a ‘gut feeling’ saves lives.

The requirement for CCTV and door supervisors are usually conditions on premises’ licences issued under the Licensing Act 2003, but drafting a condition requiring common sense to be used is not possible. Everyone should be vigilant. The ability to quickly identify suspicious items and behaviour can prevent an incident. People accessing private areas, making notes, taking photographs or videos must be viewed with suspicion. Searching a premises before it opens and after closing has obvious benefits.

The helpful Government publication, on prevention of terrorism in Crowded Places Guidance​ and the National Counter Terrorism Security Office’s ‘Project Argus’, provide simulated multi-media terrorist scenarios and advice on security in places of entertainment such as theatres, stadiums and arenas, hotels, restaurants and at major events.

This is not just about doing your bit to promote the licensing objectives by preventing crime and disorder, promoting public safety, protecting children but it’s also about making life difficult, if not impossible for people who feel they have a right to be a thorough public nuisance.

Related topics: Licensing law

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