Counter Terrorism Policing has facilitated interviews with two terror survivors who are calling for businesses and religious organisations to complete Counter Terrorism training to help protect the UK from future attacks.
Natalie Tait and Joanette Fourie, both from London, have shared their own accounts of being caught up in the London Bridge and Parsons Green attacks, to encourage more people to sign up to Counter Terrorism Policing’s online training package – ACT E-Learning – on the first anniversary of its release.
The ground-breaking training has been adopted by more than 3,400 businesses nationwide, delivering potentially life-saving information to nearly a quarter of a million people.
The training is free of charge to all qualifying organisations and consists of six primary modules designed to teach staff about the terrorist threat to the public and how to mitigate it, such as spotting the signs of suspicious behaviour or how to react during a firearms or weapons attack.
It is a package that could save your life and as Joanette personally experienced, it can change the way you react in an emergency situation for the better. She had undergone Project Argus training just two days before boarding the carriage that would carry her and an improvised explosive device to Parsons Green. She said: “Thanks to the training I had just done, I knew instinctively what had happened and what I needed to do.”
Unfortunately for Natalie, when the worst happened she was not so prepared and believes that she suffered more trauma during and after her experience as a result.
“What affected me most, both during the incident and in the weeks afterwards, was the uncertainty and the panic,” she said.
“Experiencing the training before this happened would certainly have helped me. When the fire alarm goes off at work, nobody panics. That’s because that training is drilled in from an early age.”
“If this training allows people to react more calmly in that awful situation then the resulting mental trauma can be reduced and that means we’re not letting the terrorists win, because they want to spread fear.”
The online course is interactive and can be tailored to suit business needs, offering those who complete it a nationally accredited commendation.
Originally designed with industries such as retail, entertainment and hospitality in mind, Counter Terrorism Policing’s National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth, also believes faith centres and religious establishments should consider delivering the training to their staff, volunteers and parishioners.
“ACT Awareness is available for faith centres to use and I would urge religious leaders to consider this training for their churches, mosques and synagogues.”
For more information about the ACT Awareness e-Learning package, and to find out whether your business qualifies for access to this free resource, visit www.gov.uk/government/news/act-awareness-elearning.