The harsh reality of surviving a terrorist attack in the UK

The nature of the terrorism threat today is that an attack could happen in broad daylight in the middle of a crowd of civilians who are shopping, attending a theatre, or just walking down the road. The types and methods of attack no longer involve explosives or firearms, there are everyday weapons such as knives and vehicles being used, and this terrifying reality makes the threat very personal. It also means that there is much more that people can do to defend themselves, or limit damage – provided that they have the right training!

  • What would you do if you found yourself in the middle of a terrorist attack?
  • Would you be able to recognise hostile surveillance and reconnaissance – the process whereby terrorists identify a target and plan an attack?
  • Do you understand the process of radicalisation?
  • Could you survive, escape, evade or resist a terror attack?

For most civilians, the above are completely foreign concepts associated with military personnel, and security experts, but these are exactly the skills that could save your life in the harsh reality of finding yourself in a terrorist attack. In the time it takes for the police to mobilise, what you do for yourself and others can make all the difference – and save your life!

Most people have heard of the Prevent Strategy, which is aimed at identifying potential extremism, and linking the community with the security services. This does nothing to protect businesses and individuals in the event of a terrorist attack! The damage that can be done in the time it takes the police to arrive is catastrophic, even though the police response times are impressive when this sort of incident occurs. For this reason it is important that the public takes ownership for its own safety, ability to limit damage and survive, much in the same way that we are all well-practiced in the event of a fire. Becoming skilled and practiced during a terrorist incident is possible with the right training.

The governments counter terrorism strategy is labelled as CONTEST. The aim of CONTEST is to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.

The scope of this revised CONTEST strategy has been broadened to cover all forms of terrorism, and the counter-terrorism strategy is organised around four work streams, each comprising a number of key objectives:

Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks

Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism

Protect: to strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack

Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack

Training relating to the above is given to police, military and security professionals, and rarely offered to civilians. Combat Academy UK is now offering this advanced course to the public across the UK. Headed up by Major (Retired) Huw Roberts, who was the former Chief Instructor for the Royal Military Police Close Protection Unit, has collaborated with other experts from the world of policing and private security, to create a course that covers all four of the key strategies against terrorism. Civilians will now be offered cutting edge training from one of the leading personal safety, security and self defence training providers in the UK.

The course is hard-hitting and based around reality, although flexible enough to cater for civilians from all walks of life, ages and physical ability. The course is designed to impart a level of empowerment, competence and confidence to make the right decisions in the worst scenarios.

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