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What to do if you find yourself caught up in a terrorist attack

August 2016

With Britain’s terror threat now on severe, the NPCC have released a film and leaflet in order for members of the public to gain knowledge on how to ‘Stay Safe,’ and what to do if they were to find themselves caught up in a terror attack.

The guidance released follows the main message of RUN, HIDE, TELL:


  • - 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 your 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 doesn't mean you are safe - bullets go through glass, brick, wood, and metal.
  • - Be aware of your exits
  • - Try not to get trapped
  • - Be quiet - put your phone on silent mode and turn vibrate off
  • - Lock and barricade yourself in
  • - Move away from the door


Dial 999 and tell the police:

  • - 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, types of injuries, building information, entrances, exits, hostages etc.
Terror Attack Guide Call

Deputy Assistant Commissioner of National Counter Terrorism Policing, Neil Basu said:

“The public should not be alarmed by this step. While the general level of threat to the UK is SEVERE, the probability of being caught up in a firearms or weapons attack is very, very small. However, it is important the public know what to do in the event of getting caught up in such an incident.

“We know that from case studies and the testimony of people who have survived attacks that the advice given in the film has saved lives.

“With the threat level remaining at a high level, the police and security service continue to operate at a heightened state of readiness - we are working on hundreds of investigations and making an arrest a day. However, it is only with the ongoing support of communities that we can defeat terrorism - you are our eyes and ears so please be alert, but not alarmed.

“We are asking everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency, 999.”

The leaflet and film can be found on the NPCC’s website here:

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