The challenges

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The issues identified here affect us all, and the Government is placing more emphasis on how Threat is identified and dealt with. Since the early 1990s, concern that terrorists might use chemical, biological and radioactive materials as weapons has steadily increased. This has resulted in a number of new pieces of legislation which look to address these problems.

The challenges to business are many, but three strong reasons as to why a business should plan to deter or at least minimise the impact of unlawful activity include:

Legal obligations

In the event of an incident, written risk assessments and plans will come under scrutiny. Health and Safety at Work regulations also put a duty of care on the owner to ensure the reasonable safety of everyone who visits their premises. Although the police, regulatory bodies and other agencies can offer advice, it is up to the owner / operator to act upon it.

Business continuity

Ensuring that your organisation is able to cope with an incident or attack and return to normality as soon as possible is crucial. An attack on a contractor or supplier can also impact on business continuity. This is particularly important for small businesses that may not have the resources to withstand even a few days of financial loss.

Loss of reputation

If you are unable to deliver despite companies being aware that you were the victim of unlawful activity, your reputation will soon come under threat. There is also limited value in safeguarding your own business premises in isolation. Take into account your neighbours' plans and those of the emergency services.

Security of pathogens and toxins

As a result of the anthrax attacks in the US in autumn 2001, the British government introduced legislation intended to enhance the security of certain pathogens and toxins held within the UK.
We will support the implementation of security fixtures in accordance with NaCTSO and Home Office guidelines.

Security of radioactive material

There are very specific requirements for the site protection of radioactive sources. This applies to most sealed radioactive sources e.g. those used in universities, hospitals and industrial establishments as well as mobile units designed for off-site use such as radiography and well-logging equipment.

Security of precursor materials

The vast majority of terrorist attacks both in the UK and overseas have employed explosives against the intended targets. In the UK the robust security regime that is applied to both commercial and military explosives means that terrorists have been forced to either make their own or to smuggle them in from abroad. Over 90% of terrorist attacks in the UK have used Home Made Explosive. Products such as fertiliser, weed killer and hair bleach have all been used as ingredients in powerful improvised explosive devices resulting in many fatalities, injuries and damage on a massive scale. Examples include Manchester 1996, Omagh 1998 and London 2005.

Crowded places

Attacks around the world have shown that terrorists will attack those targets they perceive as being attractive. Amongst the likely targets for international terrorists are locations with comparatively limited protective security measures which afford the potential for terrorists to cause mass casualties. The bomb attacks on the London underground and bus in July 2005 serve as a stark reminder of the challenges that we face.

Bars, pubs and nightclubs

The terrorist incidents outside the Tiger Tiger bar in Haymarket, London on Friday 29th June 2007 and at Glasgow Airport on Saturday 30th June 2007 indicate that terrorists continue to target crowded places; as they are usually locations with limited protective security measures and therefore afford the potential for mass fatalities and casualties.

Shopping centres

The terrorist incidents outside the Tiger Tiger bar in Haymarket, London on Friday 29th June 2007 and at Glasgow Airport on Saturday 30th June 2007 indicate that terrorists continue to target crowded places; as they are usually locations with limited protective security measures and therefore afford the potential for mass fatalities and casualties. Furthermore, these incidents identify that terrorists are prepared to use vehicles as a method of delivery and will attack sites outside London.

Stadia and arenas

Stadia and arenas with their large numbers of regular crowds are always going to be vulnerable. However, although they can be monitored and screened as they move into controlled areas it is important to remember the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in 1989 provided a critical lesson. Safety should always have priority over security.

Visitor attractions

Tourism is a most important and fast growing industry. It is also one of the most vulnerable, offering terrorists and organised criminals a range of high profile targets. Visitor attractions may be particularly at risk, as they are often important cultural, religious or political symbols often with limited protective security measures in place.

Visitors' enjoyment is the principal objective of the owners and managers of all attractions. This requires a safe environment.