Attacks in the UK and abroad remind us all of the terrorist threat we face, which in the UK is considered as SEVERE.
Police and security agencies are working tirelessly to protect the public but it is also important that communities remain vigilant and aware of how to protect themselves if the need arises.
National Counter Terrorism policing is providing advice to the public on the steps they can take to keep themselves safe in the event of a firearms or weapons attack.
The police service has released the short public information film called ‘Stay Safe: Firearms and Weapons Attack’ which sets out the key options for keeping safe should the worst happen. The film is now freely available below and online via the National Police Chiefs’ Council YouTube account.
If you are deaf click on the following link for a version of the video with British Sign Language.
The film advises those who get caught up in an incident to ‘run, hide and tell’ - guidance which can be applied to any place. We know that from case studies and real life testimony based on the experiences of people who have survived attacks the advice given in the film has saved lives.
Our advice, wherever possible, is to follow the Run Hide Tell guidance until the police arrive on the scene. The guidance recommends RUN, if you can, if you can’t run, HIDE and then, when you can, TELL the police what’s happening so they can get help there quickly to stop the threat. Also tell others of the threat so they don’t approach danger.
However, if someone is in immediate danger, their life is being threatened and there is no alternative we would never criticise their actions if instinct takes over and they feel the need to fight back.
How can someone with disabilities follow the Run Hide Tell advice?
Police advice in the event of a firearms or weapons attack is that people should Run, Hide, Tell.
Wherever possible Run to a place of safety. If there’s nowhere to go, then Hide. Finally, and only when it is safe to do so, Tell the police by calling 999.
All situations are different and we recognise that people’s ability to Run, Hide, Tell will vary for reasons such as age, fitness and capability.
When running is not an option, people should make every effort to move away from the area as quickly as they can. The RHT guidance highlights the importance of people caught up in such a scenario assisting those around them who may need help.
Should an attack take place in a workplace, companies also have a duty of care to make provision to facilitate the evacuation of disabled employees , and should have a bespoke plan in place in the event of an emergency situation.
How does the Run Hide Tell guidance apply to deaf and hard of hearing people specifically?
The Run, Hide Tell advice highlights the importance of people who are caught up in a firearms or weapons attack , wherever possible, assisting those around them who may need help to move away from danger. For example someone who is deaf or hard of hearing may be unable to tell where a source of a gunshot may be coming from so may be unsure in which direction to go.
The initial priorities for officers who respond to a firearms or weapons attack will be to assess the threat and risk, as well as the potential vulnerability of anyone caught up in the incident.
Our firearms officers receive core training on how to deal with different communities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. This includes deaf awareness and pointers on how to interact with deaf or hard of hearing members of the public and reminds them that they need to consider factors such as sensory impairment or communications difficulties.
More advice and information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/stay-safe-film