Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News

We are all adapting – including Counter Terrorism Policing

9 Apr 2020 by Adam Thomson Head of the N C T Security Office

We recently released a UK Protect document that provides some business focussed Covid-19 security advice from NaCTSO, the Centre for Protection of National infrastructure (CPNI), National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and Secure By Design (SBD).  I know that we often have poor reach into local small and medium enterprises and would really appreciate it if you could forward into your network – it is all public facing information that is freely available and can be shared onwards with any businesses or organisations.

On location or online, CT Policing is still working with our partners in the business community to help keep communities safe.

The good work we have done together over the past few years is not stopping – just adapting. More of our advice is now available online and even easier to access via our app from work, home or on the go. So wherever you are, you can still play a significant role in helping protect yourself, your colleagues, family and friends.

The coronavirus is having a dramatic impact on all organisations, large and small. We appreciate that managing your work and home lives is your main priority right now. However, it is important we remind everyone that when COVID-19 is over, the threat from terrorism will remain.

Adapting to the new landscape is exercising all of us and CT Policing is no exception. However, thanks to many of the partnerships we have formed in recent years, we have options available to continue helping you to help us.

Based on the analysis from the Joint Terrorism Assessment Centre, and knowing what businesses and communities are facing from COVID-19, we have security advice on queues outside business premises, vacant businesses and remote working.

Queues outside business premises

COVID-19 has created a new environment. One of the features of this is the queues outside shops and other businesses as people maintain social distancing.

The NaCTSO National Vehicle Threat Mitigation Unit provide the following advice to those businesses who are managing queues outside their premises:

Whilst there is no specific intelligence of an attack at these locations, there is a recognised and ongoing threat to crowded places from a vehicle being used as a weapon. This method of attack utilises the speed, energy and manoeuvrability of a vehicle to drive into pedestrians. This could also be a precursor to a multi layered (bladed weapon or firearms) attack.

5 things that my business can do to reduce the threat

  1. Raise awareness of this threat through staff briefings, (which could include our ACT e-learning package).
  2. Ensure there is a good communication system in place to inform people of an incident. Carry out a short exercise or test to check procedures and equipment for this are working correctly.
  3. Use available traffic calming measures to reduce the speed of all vehicles in the area.
  4. Follow government guidance of keeping two metres between those queuing. This could reduce the amount of potential casualties.
  5. Where possible, route queues behind permanent physical structures (e.g. street furniture, bollards, trolley parks & bike racks) to provide a visual deterrent and delay.


Remote Working and Personnel Security

The government direction to work from home where possible creates a number of challenges, not least the concerns about security.

Our colleagues from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) have produced practical guidance on mitigating these risks, intended to inform employers about the personnel security vulnerabilities during such periods.

This guidance highlights the importance of maintaining good personnel security practices during the impact of a pandemic such as the COVID-19 virus.

ACT e-Learning

If you are asking your employees to use some of their time working from home to update their skills and training, please direct them to the new ACT Awareness e-Learning package.

The more people that take this course, the safer we all are. And remember, HMIC does allow staff that are furloughed to undertake training.

Closed Business Premises

If you have been instructed by the government to close your business in line with the COVID-19 guidance, or you have chosen to close, it is a good time for you to review your security to reduce the chances of your premises being targeted by criminals. Working with our partners Secured by Design, the National Counter Terrorism Security Office have put together these Top 10 Security Tips for Closed Business Premises:

1. Property maintenance

You should check your premises regularly, at least once a week, to see if there are any obvious signs of an attempted break-in or damage.

It is important that premises continue to be well-maintained during this extended period of closure to prevent the spiral of decline. This includes removing litter and graffiti as soon as possible and making sure that landscaping is cut back to assist with surveillance from passers-by and your CCTV system.

Flammable and combustible materials and substances should be stored in a secure, lockable container, cage or room. Bins should be securely stored away from the building to prevent arson.

2. Monitored intruder alarm system

A monitored intruder alarm system is a deterrent to burglary as it increases the likelihood of being caught.

Make sure it is regularly maintained, in good working order and is remotely monitored for a police response by a National Police Chiefs’ Council compliant Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC).

Ensure that staff are familiar with opening and closing procedures to prevent false alarm activations. Update your key holder list and share it with third parties, where necessary, e.g. your intruder alarm company.

3. Security fogging system

A security fogging system is triggered by an alarm sensor and will instantly fill the area you are trying to protect with a dense, harmless fog that reduces visibility, making it virtually impossible for an intruder to access the items they want to steal. If you already have such a system, check with your supplier that it is still in good working order.


If you have CCTV, make sure it is regularly maintained, in good working order with sufficient storage capacity and as a minimum, is providing coverage of the most vulnerable areas, including doors and windows where access is likely to be gained.

The recording equipment should be kept in a secure cabinet inside a lockable room within the building. All CCTV should comply with the Information Commissioner’s Office guidance, see www.ico.org.uk.

5. Doors and windows

Doors and easily accessible windows should be in good working order, free from rot or damage and have good quality locks that have a Kitemark showing that they meet the relevant British Standard.

There are various types of doors and windows, e.g. U-PVC, aluminium, timber, etc. and these may have multi-point or single-point locking mechanisms.

All external doors should have a minimum of two locking points with locks that meet the British Standard.

All doors and windows that are not part of a designated fire escape route, should be closed and locked.