The hospitality industry is being asked to play a key role in helping to tackle terrorism under a new initiative launched this week by police at the Security and Counter Terrorism Expo.
The initiative, launched by the Government's National Counter Terrorism Security Office wants hospitality, retail and leisure companies to run courses to educate staff on what to do if a terrorist attack takes place. It aims to educate one million staff a year.
The initiative is open to public limited companies which have teams of qualified trainers, with priority given to those operating in crowded places, such as city centres and sporting or entertainment venues.
Specialist officers under NCTSO's Project Griffin Programme are already briefing around 100,000 city centre workers every year.
However, this new self-delivery programme aims to reach 10 times that number by using companies' existing trainers to teach staff in how to protect against terrorist attacks and what to do if an atrocity occurs.
The move follows recent terrorist atrocities in Paris and Brussels which have led to calls for more vigilance from all communities, including the business sector.
A spokesperson for the National Police Chiefs' Council said: "The vast majority of the major hotel chains have sent members of their teams to police led Project Griffin events. However, it has proved more challenging for restaurants as it is generally difficult for them to release staff.
"One of the benefits of this new self delivery initiative is that it will allow businesses to organise the briefings at times that fit into their work patterns, making it easier for them to take part without it impacting on their business."
Speaking at the Security and Counter Terrorism Expo DCS Wilson said companies have an important role to play in raising staff awareness of potential terrorist threats. "Police can help explain what the threats and risks to different sectors are but companies are better placed to explain to staff exactly what action they can take to enhance their security and how to respond if the worst happens.
"Individual organisations have vital protective security information such as building layouts, security equipment and safety procedures. They have the local knowledge that could be vital to keeping staff and the public safe. This is why we have devised self-briefing packages bespoke to different sectors.
"We have developed excellent working partnerships since the launch of Project Griffin and hope this approach will help us provide many more eyes and ears to assist the police.
"Companies who meet the criteria should contact us and we will work with their training teams to ensure they have all that they need to deliver Project Griffin approved training themselves."
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