By Elaine Doyle
You have just received a call from ASIO: Your organisation has been identified as a target of terrorism. The threat has risen from expected to imminent. What do you do?
If you are in charge of an organisation faced with a terrorism attack the common misconception is that the police will protect and secure staff, clients and property...but this is not true. The onus is on the organisation to plan and prepare for such a crisis (1). In the event that an organisation has been notified and there is no terrorism crisis plan or the plan has not been executed the organisation and its individuals could be liable.
Crowded places are vulnerable to terrorism. Owners and operators of crowded places such as sporting venues, shopping centres, hotels, function centres and educational institutions - any business where large crowds gather - have a duty of care to protect all those who use and visit their sites.
Australia’s strategy for protecting crowded places from terrorism report (2) outlines an organisation’s responsibility in relation to preparing and protecting crowded places from terrorism.
The purpose of the strategy is to build strong partnerships between government, private sector and the community. Through access to threat and protective security information, partners are better equipped to deter, detect, delay, respond to, and recover from a terrorist attack.
Fundamentals of an organisation terrorism crisis plan:
Conduct a counter terrorism audit
Identify security gaps and vulnerabilities
Make sure your plan is signed off, financed and ready to execute
Run practice drills of the plan to train staff in familiarisation of the execution of the plan
Document and resolve flaws that may arise during the practice run to fine tune your plan
Suspicious or unusual behaviour should be reported to local police. In Australia contact the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 00, or for life threatening situations call 000.
Crisis Shield work with organisations to plan, prepare and train staff for the event of a terrorist attack. If you need support in building your plan or training your staff, contact one of our consultants today.