AN information film providing advice on the how to keep safe in the event of a firearms or weapons attack has been released to the public to coincide with the busiest shopping weekend of the year.
The four minute film, Stay Safe: Firearms and Weapons Attack, sets out three key steps for keeping safe and is freely available at www.npcc.police.uk/staysafe.
The film, which has been seen by tens of thousands of people at police-led security briefings, is accompanied by an online information leaflet.
Recent events around the world remind us all of the terrorist threat we face, which in the UK is considered as ‘SEVERE’, meaning an attack is highly likely. 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.
On Thursday, Preston was brought to a standstill when shoppers had to be evacuated from the Fishergate Shopping Centre after a member of the public found a device in the toilets.
Police released CCTV images of a man they are hunting after the discovery of the suspicious device that ignited.
Lancashire Police said they are treating the incident as a criminal investigation and are appealing for anyone who knows the man - seen wearing a hat and carrying a bag and travelling up an escalator - to come forward.
Police said they believe the incendiary device had ignited and could have caused “damage or injury”.
The recovered device is now being analysed and appears to be a “crude improvised incendiary device”.
The film and leaflet advise that if you are caught up in an incident to ‘run, hide and tell’ - guidance which can be applied to many places and situations.
RUN if you can. If you can’t run, HIDE. Then, when you can, TELL the police what’s happening so they can get there quickly to stop the threat. Also tell others of the threat so they don’t approach danger.
Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Rebekah Sutcliffe said: “The release of this video is designed to reassure rather than alarm and people should not feel anxious by its release.
“While the general level of threat to the UK is severe, the probability of being caught up in a firearms or weapons attack is extremely low.
“Regardless, it is crucial the public know what to do in the event of such an incident.
“Our advice has already been issued to tens of thousands of people during police-led security training sessions but it is only responsible that we issue this public safety guidance more widely.
“We know that from case studies and the testimony of people who have survived attacks that the advice given in the film has saved lives.
“With the threat level remaining at a high level, the police and security service continue to operate at a heightened state of readiness - we are working on hundreds of investigations and making an arrest a day.
“However, it is only with the ongoing support of communities that we can defeat terrorism – you are our eyes and ears so please be alert, but not alarmed.
“We are asking everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency, 999”.