Schools, hospitals and offices told to prepare for 'marauding' terror attacks after three stabbed to death in Reading

SCHOOLS, hospitals and offices are being told to prepare for "marauding terror attacks" by the government after three people were stabbed to death in Reading earlier this month.

The Home Office have published advice urging the public to rehearse their response to "fast-moving" terror incidents amidst fears of more "lone wolf" attacks in the coming weeks.


The advice booklet was first drafted in 2017 and 2018, but has now been made available again on the Gov.uk website in the aftermath of the Reading attacks.

Three people were stabbed to death in the suspected terror attack in Forbury Gardens on June 20, with suspect Khairi Saadallah, 25, charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. 

The advice specifically highlights the danger of "fast-moving and violent" attacks – where assailants can move quickly through a scene and injure or kill as many people as possible before police arrive.

"Marauding attacks" include the terror incidents on London Bridge and Westminster Bridge in 2017.

The booklet reads: "Defending your organisation against a marauding terrorist attack is undoubtedly a challenging task.

"However, with well developed procedures, security systems, training and rehearsal, lives can be saved."

BE PREPARED

The advice is said to be most relevant for office buildings, but can also apply to cinemas, shopping centres and stadiums.

It also contains practical advice to help alert people to an attack while minimising the risk of death and injury, such as avoiding the use of the word "firearm" in public, as this could be mistaken for "fire alarm".

It covers everything from "low-sophistication" attacks, which involve a blade or vehicles, to more complex plots involving explosives.

It adds that "rehearsing the response" to a terror incident is the best way to ensure the safety of the public .

With well developed procedures, security systems, training and rehearsal, lives can be saved

The advice reads: "Rehearsing the response to a marauding terrorist attack is the only way to ensure that the procedures and technical systems function as expected and to highlight areas for improvement.

"You can go so far with briefing documents, videos and lectures but when you put these people into safe and managed stress test situations that's where you start to see the real benefit of a full rehearsal."

It comes as terror suspect Khairi Saadallah, 25, was charged last week with three murders and three attempted murders in a Reading park on June 20.

Friends James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49, and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, were killed as they sat in a circle of about 10 people enjoying a socially distanced drink in Forbury Gardens shortly before 7pm.

The attack was declared as a terrorism incident by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, senior national co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, and Counter Terrorism Policing South East continues to lead the investigation.

Saadallah is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court today.

He arrived in Britain eight years ago, initially living in Manchester, and was granted refugee status in 2018.

It has been alleged that he was involved in the government's Prevent deradicalisation programme.



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