Police officers guard the block where the suspect of multiple stabbings allegedly lived, in Reading, Britain. File/Reuters
Schools, hospitals and offices should consider rehearsing their responses to marauding terror attacks, the government has advised in the wake of the killing of three men in Reading.
These attacks are fast-moving and violent, and feature one or more assailants trying to kill or injure as many people as possible. They have happened with increasing frequency in the UK in recent years.
Priti Patel, the home secretary, warned this week that the threat from so-called lone wolf terrorists was also on the rise.
The advice warns that rehearsals are the “only way” to ensure safety procedures are effective in the event of a marauding attack.
Police officers stand outside a building after a fatal multiple stabbing attack in Reading, England. File/AP
Drawn up after a series of simulations carried out in 2017 and 2018, the guidance is described as “most relevant” to office buildings. But its principles can be “usefully applied” to locations including cinemas, hotels, hospitals, schools, shopping areas, shopping centres and theatres.
It is understood the advice had been published previously but was reissued this week on the gov.uk website, in a bid to ensure it becomes more widely read, especially as many buildings prepare to reopen after lockdown.
The move is not thought to be linked to any specific threat or incident, however, it comes days after three men were stabbed to death in a suspected terror attack in a park in Reading.
Most deaths usually occur in the first few minutes of a marauding attack, before police are able to respond.
However, the simulations found that the method of alerting people to a nearby attack was crucial to minimising the risk to life.
The advice, from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, warns against the use of the word “firearm” over a public address system during an attack, because it can be misheard as “fire alarm”.
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