How likely is a shopping centre terrorist attack in the UK?

17th March 2015

Last year, the Home Office raised Britain’s terrorist threat level to severe. While many plots have thankfully been foiled by the security services, threats remain on many fronts and the potential for an attack in crowded places (e.g. stadia, sports events and shopping centres) is a very real one. NaCTSO (National Counter Terrorism Security Office) and the BCSC (British Council of Shopping Centres) have issued specific guidelines to the industry for just such a scenario.

The terrible events of the attack on a shopping centre in Nairobi brought this threat to the forefront in retail centres and malls worldwide. Only recently, al-Shabaab, the terrorist group responsible for the Kenyan atrocity, released an internet video urging Muslims worldwide to attack shopping centres and malls across the globe. They particularly focus on the West and suggest specific targets in Britain, such as centres on London’s Oxford Street. Meanwhile, a suspected terrorist is currently on trial in the US for an alleged proposed attack on Manchester’s Arndale centre at Easter in 2009.

So, if the threat is real then what can be done to minimise both the risk and if carried out, the effect? The security guard’s job within UK shopping centres has evolved over the years to involve much more than just a supervisory security role. A guard is often involved in facilities management, health and safety, and general advice and safety for shoppers. Therefore, anything that can be done to target resources and provide instant communication and data must be a good idea: Enter Shop Alert 2020.

Shop Alert is a centre-tenant communication tool and major incident handling system. It has been installed in British shopping centres for over 20 years. The all-new Shop Alert 2020 has evolved to become a web-based IP system, which can make its implementation and use much simpler than previous versions. Along with the new technology, there is a new range of apps –  major-incident apps such as bomb warning, evacuate, muster point and firearms attack, and communication apps such as messaging and in-centre email.

It may well be impossible to completely remove the threat of an attack in UK crowded places but with Shop Alert there is the opportunity to help minimise the resultant effect.

Centre, owners, managing agents, police, insurers and underwriters can arrange a free demonstration of the system via our Shop Alert page.

It may well be impossible to completely remove the threat of an attack in UK crowded places but with Shop Alert there is the opportunity to help minimise the resultant effect.

Centre, owners, managing agents, police, insurers and underwriters can arrange a free demonstration of the system via our Shop Alert page.

 

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