Run : Hide : Tell
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley appeared on BBC Breakfast today to push the message on public vigilance and assistance in the war on terror. In the wake of city attacks by – more frequently – radicalised loners seeking individual victims and notoriety in knife attacks – Rowley is in charge of Special Operations at the Met and makes frequent media appearances seeking community support. As he says, the British culture works against reporting anything suspicious – don’t want to disturb, make a fuss, stand out, waste police time and so on. He emphasised that the current 500+ ongoing investigations frequently rely on public input – to spot at-risk people before they are radicalised, to report on any public situation that instinctively is out of the ordinary without fear of falling foul of the law themselves.
New funding and training has seen a taregtted approach to delivering trained and armed officers to our streets – certainly London is seeing a significantly increased presence of weapons-carrying specialists, including in the British Transport Police. Recognising that no force can cover or prevent every possible threat, Rowley is pushing a new message on how to handle threatening situations.
Run Hide Tell
If you can, get away from the situation as quickly as possible
Be safe and hide from any perpetrators or threatening situations
Let the police know as soon as it is safe to do so
Great to see this advice on national telly but the Met – and other forces – probably need to up their game in terms of advertising. There is good material on the Met Police, National and government websites but the message needs to be louder. Whilst I suspect that in-your-face is being avoided as the Home Office treads a line between informing and panicking, the simple 3 word message could be more readily and quietly shown in malls and stations.