Stay Safe - Run, Hide and Tell

Terrorist attacks in the UK and abroad 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 together to protect the public but it is also important that communities remain vigilant and aware of how to protect themselves if the need arises.

National Counter Terrorism policing is providing advice to the public on the steps they can take to keep themselves safe in the event of a firearms or weapons attack.

The video above is a short public information film called Stay Safe: Firearms and Weapons Attack, which sets out the key options for keeping safe should the worst happen.

Run, Hide Tell advice

The film advises those who get caught up in an incident to ‘run, hide and tell’ - guidance which can be applied to many places and situations.

Our advice, wherever possible, is to follow the Run Hide Tell guidance until the police arrive on the scene.

  • RUN to a place of safety. This is a far better option than to surrender or negotiate. If there's nowhere to go, then...
  • HIDE - it's better to hide than to confront. Remember to turn your phone to silent and turn off vibrate. barricade yourself in if you can. Then finally, and only when it is safe to do so...
  • TELL the police by calling 999. Also tell others of the threat so they don’t approach danger.

Plan your response

The film has already been delivered and widely used across industry as part of police-led counter terrorism security advice sessions for employees. In the same way people plan how to respond to a fire it also makes sense to plan the response to firearms or weapons attack. These are emotive subjects but experience shows by becoming more alert to surroundings and plan and think ahead people have far greater chance of surviving.

The intention of the film is not to unnecessarily scare the public but to ensure that they know what steps to take in the event of being involved in firearms or weapons attack. It is only responsible that the police issue this public safety guidance as they would do with any other personal safety issue.

We urge the public to be alert but not alarmed by the threat, and reassure them that the police service carries out daily activities to help maintain the protection and security of our citizens, public institutions, critical national infrastructure, and businesses and places, including those who are potential terrorist targets.

Our security measures and activities are constantly reviewed to reflect where the threats exist and the level of threat we are facing.

The level of threat is complex and ranges from lone actors intent on carrying out crude and violent attacks to sophisticated networks pursuing ambitious and coordinated plots - as we saw starkly demonstrated in France and other parts of the world.

This increased level of activity is matched by increased action by the police and security services, who are working on hundreds of active investigations and making an arrest a day.

Additional material is also available via www.npcc.police.uk/staysafe.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.