The counter terrorism police are now offering free online training to the public on how to respond to a terror attack.
The award-winning online training course is being made available publicly for the first time and has been put together by Counter Terrorism officials. It is available free of charge for anyone who wants to take part.
The training is made up of seven modules that take a few minutes each to complete. The following e-modules are available as part of the course:
- Introduction to Terrorism
- Identifying Security Vulnerabilities
- How to Identify and Respond to Suspicious Behaviour
- How to Identify and Deal with a Suspicious Item
- What to do in the Event of a Bomb Threat
- How to Respond to a Firearms or Weapons Attack
- Summary and Supporting Materials
In total it takes just 45 minutes to finish the training and you can pause and re-join at any time. More than 1.5 million modules have been completed to date. The police are inviting people to take the course and become Counter Terrorism Citizens.
Westminster World asked the students of University of Westminster if they would avail of the online training. One university student said “I probably would do the training but in an actual attack I think I would probably freeze.”
Another student said “I don’t really understand why you would (do the training) or why it should be up to the public, it’s the job of the police.”
“ACT Awareness eLearning is especially useful for anyone working in or regularly visiting crowded places,” said Lucy D’Orsi, Senior National Coordinator for Protective Security.
“We developed each stage alongside industry experts and to date over one and a half million modules have been completed.
“The course has been so popular, with nine out of 10 users saying they would recommend it, we want to open it up to as many people as possible.”
While Police said the introduction of online training was not in response to the London Bridge terror attack but “the event was a stark reminder of the ongoing threat and the need for vigilance”. Looking at previous terror attacks in the UK it is clear the public have played an important part.
In the most recent London Bridge attack it was members of the public that took down the knifeman before the police arrived. One man who helped restrain the attacker succeed in dislodging a knife from the attackers man. Two men used a fire extinguisher and let it off in the face of the attacker to try to keep him at bay.
"Extraordinary things… done by ordinary people"
Toby Williamson, chief executive of Fishmongers' Hall where Friday's terror attack at London Bridge started, has paid tribute to members of staff who intervened to stop the attacker https://t.co/H2ccNkCcYZ pic.twitter.com/jXFyFxYd6f
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) December 1, 2019
Currently the UK’s terrorism threat level is substantial, meaning an attack is likely. The grading was lowered from severe earlier this year.
You can access the online training here.