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How to stay safe in the event of a terrorist attack abroad

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After the recent Manchester Arena, Westminster and London Bridge attacks, it can be all too easy to assume that terror attacks are becoming more frequent. Thankfully, though, the chance of being caught up in one remains extremely rare – and, as expert Emma Kenny has pointed out, “You’re more likely to be a survivor of an attack than a victim of one”.

This being said, it’s still important to know what to do in case you find yourself caught up in an unexpected situation.

With this in mind, the UK’s counter terrorism police force has released a video advising UK holidaymakers what to do in the event of a terror attack abroad.


Read more: This is how to contact the police when you’re too scared to speak out loud


“It's very unlikely [that you will be caught up in a terror attack],” Detective Chief Superintendant Scott Wilson told the BBC.

“It's very much like the safety briefing you get on an aeroplane before it takes off – it's very unlikely that plane is going to crash, but it's very important you are given that knowledge of what you should and what you shouldn't do.”

Produced with the Foreign Office and travel association Abta, the four-minute video features a staged firearms attack in a hotel.

It advises holidaymakers to follow three crucial steps:

1) Run

  • If there is a safe route, run
  • Insist others go with you, but don’t let their indecision slow you down
  • Leave belongings behind

2) Hide

  • Lock yourself in a room if possible
  • Barricade yourself in
  • Keep away from doors and windows
  • Be quiet, silence your phone

3) Tell

  • Call the police when it is safe (112 for the EU)

Around 40,000 reps from big travel companies – including Thomas Cook, easyJet and Thomson holidays – have been trained on how to look out for suspicious individuals who could be terrorists scouting resorts as potential targets. 

Wilson said the project was prompted by the Tunisia terror attack in Sousse in June 2015, in which 38 people were killed. 


Read more: Lucy Mangan: Tragic events have the ability to unite us


However Wilson and counter terrorism police have reassured the public there is no specific intelligence that Britons will be targeted this summer, and the film is part of a general awareness campaign.

Images: Alessia Armenise

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