Scotland business

Scottish firms asked to join terrorism awareness scheme

armed police officer
Image caption Last week Police Scotland announced plans for more armed officers after warnings the country would not be able to cope with a major terror attack

Scottish businesses and organisations are being urged to sign up for a scheme to keep their staff and the public safe in the event of a terrorist attack.

The scheme, called Project Griffin, is aimed at workers in busy or crowded places, including the hospitality industry and the health service.

It will outline the threat of terrorism and teach people what to do if they are caught up in a terrorist incident.

It will also help them recognise and report suspicious activity.

The industry self-delivery scheme has been rolled out by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO), with the aim of reaching one million people across the UK.

Police Scotland is inviting public limited companies and key public sector partners to register for the scheme.

Local counter-terrorism advisors will provide briefings to trainers from registered companies and organisations, who will be able to feed the information back to colleagues.

Police Scotland has called for increased vigilance from Scottish communities, in particular the public and business sectors, following recent high-profile terrorist attacks in Europe.

Last week, it announced plans to increase its number of armed police officers by about a third following warnings the country would not be able to cope with a major terror attack.

However, the force stressed there was no specific terror threat to Scotland.

'Crucial role'

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, from Police Scotland's operational support division, said: "The threat level for the United Kingdom against international terrorism remains at severe.

"This means the threat of an attack is considered to be highly likely.

"The threat level to the United Kingdom from Northern Ireland related terrorism was raised on 11 May from moderate to substantial. This means an attack is a strong possibility.

"Businesses and organisations can play a crucial role in keeping staff and the public safe through the Project Griffin self-delivery scheme.

"Companies are best placed to explain to their staff what action they can take to enhance security and how to respond if the worst happens. I would urge companies and partners to sign up."

Police Scotland has included a "Red Stop Button" on most pages of its website to enable people to report the presence of terrorist or extremist material, or discussions online.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Police Scotland has a "Red Stop Button" on its webpages for people to report terrorist or extremist material or discussions online

Ch Insp Ronnie Megaughin, deputy director of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, said: "This extension of Project Griffin, which will enable a greater number of businesses to ensure their staff are sufficiently aware and prepared for an act of terrorism, is most welcome.

"Whilst being prepared and knowing what to do is vital, it is equally important that as many people as possible who work in busy places are aware of the threat and are better equipped to recognise and report suspicious activity.

"Self-delivery of Project Griffin modules will enable businesses to contribute to the safety of their own staff and also to the wider safety of the public."

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