Travel staff trained to deal with terrorist incidents

The travel industry is providing training for staff in the UK and overseas to help keep travellers safe for summer.

Sessions have been conducted and attended by over 23,000 employees which include advice on how to spot suspicious items and activity, as well as what to do in the event of a terrorist incident.

The programme is being run in partnership with the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) which has created a short presentation offering travel companies an easy way to deliver counter terrorism awareness information.

The product, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, includes three new films which show staff how to identify and respond to a terrorist threat safely, and covers the core counter terror guidance needed by staff working in a Crowded Place at home or abroad.

A leaflet comes with the presentation which refers to the ACT: Action Counters Terrorism guidelines for reporting any suspicious activity or items.

Holidaymakers are also being given material to watch to help keep them safe in the event of an attack. The film highlights the steps people can take to minimise the impact of an attack.

Scott Wilson, National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, said: “The chances of being caught up in a terrorist incident are still low, but sadly we have seen atrocities take place in the UK and abroad. So it is important everyone - staff and customers - stays alert and knows what to do if the worst was to happen. Understandably people want to go on holiday to relax and enjoy themselves, but we need to remain vigilant at all times.

“We want people to think of this in the same way they do the safety film airlines show before take-off. They don’t expect anything bad to happen but it is a sensible safety precaution to show people what to do. A few minutes of your time spent watching the video before you go on holiday could save you and your loved ones. And find out in advance the local emergency number. For EU counties it is 112. Other numbers can be found on the foreign and commonwealth Office website.”

Nikki White, Director of Destinations and Sustainability from ABTA, added: “We recognise the importance of raising awareness and providing clear guidance for our Members and their employees. We know that customers would look to those staff working in their hotels and resorts to take the lead and respond quickly to an emerging situation. Representatives of the travel industry, taking part in the training, have responded positively. We will continue to work closely with the police to make sure we are doing all we can to help raise awareness of these messages.”

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