The Emergency Planning Society has said its members in the UK would be extra-vigilant in ensuring ‘HVM’ – hostile vehicle mitigation – was incorporated into Britain’s busy cities.
Tony Thompson, chair of the EPS and a former British Transport Police Superintendent, said that EPS members in their professional capacity regularly carried out counter-terrorism exercises in the UK. But they also – particularly those working in Emergency Planning Units within local authorities – contributed to the planning process for new build, ensuring such issues as HVM are integrated into general safety measures.
“The public should be reassured that emergency planners are very aware of the vehicle borne threat, which is why the public will often see bollards and barriers in their city around buildings that could face a terror attack. This work has been going on for the past 15 years. These measures are mainly directed at stopping car bombs being driven into buildings, but they will obviously also deter the type of horrific attack we have seen in Nice and now London.
“The Westminster attack will re-emphasise the work already taking place in the early stages of the planning process for new public access buildings or where crowds are likely to gather – and of course for all existing established sites important to the critical national infrastructure of the UK.”
The EPS is also currently registered with the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, and EPS approved trainers can now deliver modules offered under ‘Project Griffin’, the national counter terrorism awareness initiative for business designed to protect cities and communities from the threat of terrorism.
Project Griffin holds briefing events to increase public and employee awareness of how best to reduce and respond to the most likely types of terrorist activities. The events are presented by trained advisors delivering a range of counter-terrorism awareness modules.
The EPS – the professional association for those working in the resilience and emergency response sector – also expressed sympathy for the victims and the family and friends of PC Keith Palmer.
Tony Thompson said:
“Our thoughts are with the victims and all those affected by it. Our members – including many who will be involved in the response to the Westminster incident – will continue to play their role in keeping the UK safe. The public must not be intimidated by such attacks but be defiant and vigilant.”
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