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Stay safe: what to do in the event of a firearms or weapons attack

****Current threat level substantial****

A decision has been made to reduce the threat level from severe to SUBSTANTIAL with immediate effect.

It must be remembered that whilst an attack is no longer regarded as imminent, substantial does mean an attack is a strong possibility.

There are five levels of threat:

  • low - an attack is unlikely
  • moderate - an attack is possible but not likely
  • substantial - an attack is a strong possibility
  • severe - an attack is highly likely
  • critical - an attack is expected imminently

Please check the MI5 site as their site is often updated quicker than our own. The level is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre and the Security Service (MI5).

Threat levels don’t have an expiry date. They can change at any time as different information becomes available to security agents.

Police and security agencies are working hard to protect the public but it is also important that communities remain vigilant and aware of how to protect themselves if the need arises.

The short public information film below sets out practical steps that you can take to stay safe in the event of a firearms or weapons attack: 

You can also find this video along with more information on Stay Safe on the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) website.

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 Run, Hide, Tell 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. Officers are also trained to consider factors such as sensory impairment or communications difficulties.

If you have any concerns

Do you have any concerns that someone is at risk of radicalisation, is involved in terrorism or is promoting an extremist ideology?

Click here to report concerns or for prevention information.

Useful Links

Let’s Talk about It - Contains detailed information about Prevent, Channel, Travel Advice, Charitable giving advice and a host of useful resources

Foreign Travel Advice (gov.uk) - UK government travel advice

National Counter Terrorism Security Office - The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) is a police unit that supports the 'protect and prepare' strands of the government’s counter terrorism strategy.