Staying Safe - Key principles that you can take in the event of a Terrorist Attack

Firearms and weapons attacks are rare in the UK. However in view of the tragic events in Paris since November 2015 it is appropriate to highlight the key ‘Stay Safe’ principles that you can take in the event of such an attack.


  • 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
  • Leave belongings behind


  • If you can’t 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
  • Find cover from gunfire eg substantial brickwork/heavy reinforced walls
  • Be aware of your exits
  • Try not to get trapped
  • Be quiet, silence your phone
  • Lock/barricade yourself in
  • Move away from the door


  • Call 999 – What do the police need to know?
  • Location – Where are the suspects?
  • Direction – Where did you last see the suspects?
  • Descriptions – Describe the attacker, numbers, features, clothing, weapons etc
  • Further information – Casualties, type of injury, building information, entrances, exits, hostages etc
  • Stop other people entering the building if it is safe to do so

 Further details can be found in guidance and information published by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) on GOV.UK. This includes ‘Recognising the Terrorist Threat’ and a short film. You can also view this on the National Police Chiefs Council website/Youtube.