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Terrorist Attack 

The Thames Valley is a safe place to live and work, and the probability of getting caught up in a terror attack is small. However, whilst it is important to go about daily business normally, it is also sensible to be alert to any individual who might want to put the public in danger. If anyone is acting suspiciously it is essential to report them. The information may be vital and could prevent a terrorist incident from taking place.

How could this affect me?

Terrorist attacks are intended to cause mass injury, death and destruction, resulting in devastating damage to communities, property and economies. This has happened in the Thames Valley on a rare occasion, and is a global risk. To help prevent this everyone can play a part in keeping the Thames Valley safe. Each year, reports from the public in the UK have helped the police keep communities safe from terrorism. For more information see 

Get prepared
  • How to be prepared
    • Be alert. If you come across anyone or anything you suspect might be linked to terrorist activity, tell the police – they want to hear from you. It might be where you live, work or even in a shop or business premises. If something doesn’t look or feel right the best thing to do is report it. The police and other authorities will never say you shouldn’t have, and you could save someone’s life by doing so
    • When reporting suspicious activity, in an emergency – always dial 999. If you’ve witnessed any suspicious activity, trust your instincts and report it, in confidence, using our online tool to report possible terrorist activity  our specially trained officers will take it from there
    • Contact the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 or online at Action Counters Terrorism
    • Contact Crimestoppers – a national organisation independent of the police, where you can give information free and in confidence, on 0800 555 111
    • Remember – Action Counters Terrorism – so trust your instincts and ACT. Any piece of information could be important, so it is better to be safe and report it
    • Business delegates can attend an ACT Strategic event to gain an understanding of how to prevent against, manage, and recover from a terrorist attack. The sessions are free and facilitated by Counter Terrorism Specialists in a group setting
  • What to do during a terrorist attack

    Follow the RUN. HIDE. TELL. Advice for a Marauding Terrorist Attack (MTA):


    • Escape if you can
    • Consider the safest options
    • Is there a safe route? Run, if not Hide
    • Can you get there without exposing yourself to greater danger?
    • Insist others leave with you, but don’t let their indecision slow you down
    • Leave belongings behind
    • Do not attempt to film the incident. Run


    • If you cannot Run, Hide
    • Find cover from gunfire. If you can see the attacker, they may be able to see you. Cover from view does not mean you are safe Bullets go through glass, brick, wood, and metal. You must still hide, even If you are behind a locked door
    • Find cover from gunfire e.g. substantial brickwork/heavy reinforced walls
    • Be aware of your exits
    • Try not to get trapped
    • Be quiet, silence your phone and turn off vibrate
    • Lock/barricade yourself in
    • Move away from the door


    • Call 999 – What do the police need to know? If you cannot speak or make a noise, listen to the instructions given to you by the call taker
    • Nature of the incident – what is happening?
    • Location – where is the incident taking place? Give an address or general location
    • Suspects – where are the suspects?
    • Direction – where did you last see the suspects?
    • Descriptions – describe the attackers, numbers, features, clothing, weapons etc
    • Further information – casualties, type of injury, building information, entrances, exists, hostages etc
    • Stop other people entering the building if it is safe to do so

    If you have been exposed to a hazardous substance, follow the REMOVE REMOVE REMOVE advice:

    • REMOVE yourself from the immediate area to avoid further exposure to the substance.  Fresh air is important. If the skin it itchy or painful, find a water source.  Report to the emergency services
    • REMOVE outer clothing if affected by the substance.  Try to avoid pulling clothing over the head if possible.  Do not smoke, eat, or drink.  Do not pull off clothing stuck to the skin
    • REMOVE the substance from skin using a dry absorbent material to either soak it up or brush it off.  Rinse continually with water if the skin it itchy or painful

    If your building is evacuated. If the emergency services tell you to evacuate your home, you must do so. Refusing to leave will put you, your household and those trying to help you at risk. You should therefore:

    • Consider what options you have to stay with an emergency friend or relative
    • If you are stranded the council will provide basic accommodation at a welfare/rest centre
    • Evacuation may be for some time, from a few hours to much longer, so be sure to bring your Emergency Pack
    • If you have pets, plan where they can stay, as there will only be basic facilities at the rest centre
    • Rest centre staff are trained to give you support and advice. They’ll help you through the stress of evacuation and prepare you for what to do afterwards
  • What to do after a terrorist attack

    Support is available for anyone who has been affected by a terrorist incident.

    The Victims of Terrorism website provides information on how to get help and advice following a terrorist attack. It signposts to official helplines and support services available to victims, survivors, witnesses, family members, and all those affected.