Crowded Places Guidance For The UK – New Guidance Published By The ‘National Counter-Terrorism Security Office’ (NACTSO):

Crowded Places Guidance For The UK – New Guidance Published By The ‘National Counter-Terrorism Security Office’ (NACTSO):To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

The National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (NACTSO) has published new ‘Crowded Places Guidance’, focusing on preventing and protecting people against terrorism. A copy of which is attached.

As the terrorist threat evolves the guidance has been designed to be a living document taking the best advice from some of the UK’s leading experts and organisations. There are many links within the guidance directing readers to websites providing support in any planning.

The new and updated guidance, published this month is intended to give protective security advice to those responsible for managing the security of crowded places and those who manage and run businesses, employers, organisations, amenities or utilities etc. NACTSO hopes the advice can be of use to anyone who wishes to improve their own security, knowledge of security issues or those wishing to audit security standards.

The new Crowded Places Guidance for the UK has been written by NACTSO with the support of The ‘Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure’ (CPNI) and over 100 subject matter and academic experts. It covers the key areas of protective security including physical, personnel, personal and cyber. It provides guidance on how different sectors can act to help make their business, institutions or organisations etc., safer and more secure. Its purpose is to support those who are charged with security at crowded places and how to mitigate the threat and help make the UK less vulnerable to an attack. Every location is different and those responsible are urged to review security using the information in this guidance to review Security Plans.

The guidance is interactive and designed to assist crowded place sectors assess the risk and build a security plan to help mitigate that risk and recover more quickly should there be a terrorist attack.

The guidance states that the foundation for the ability to manage during a crisis lies in the preparations that are made. It says that it is important that everyone recognises the risks, develops security plans, trains staff, carries out rehearsal exercises and understands roles and responsibilities.

The guidance adds that Leadership will come from all levels within an organisation during an incident but must come from the top to change the security culture.

The Police and NACTSO have re-stated the fact that terrorist attacks are rare in the UK, but recent events have shown that an attack can happen anywhere, any place and without warning. Those locations either public or private where large groups of people gather, for reasons such as entertainment, business, transportation, tourism, sporting or social occasions, have always been preferential targets for terrorists. Terrorism has evolved in recent times, with many conflicts overseas influencing terrorist acts in the UK. Social media in particular is being manipulated to incite, inspire and enable groups and individuals to target these crowded places.

The UK Threat Level from international terrorism is ‘SEVERE’, which means that an attack is highly likely. Such an attack can come in many forms, not just physical but it can include interference with vital information or communication systems, causing disruption and economic damage. Against this background there is a need to make UK crowded places as accessible as possible and to minimise the threat. The guide points out that there is a balance to be achieved where we must all take responsibility for security to mitigate the threat and impact of terrorism.

Guidance within this booklet is intended to not only make the UK more resilient to a terrorist attack but also to support the fight against other crimes.

Those with any information about suspicious behaviour or activity can report it in confidence, either by calling the police or making an online report.


Night-time economy sector

Cinemas and theatres

Stadia and arenas




Places of worship

Hotels and restaurants

Major events

Visitor attractions

Commercial centres


Managing the threat

Managing risk,

Business continuity

Threat level and building response plans


Suspicious items

Good housekeeping

Attack methodology Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)

Vehicle bombs

Bomb threats

Chemical, Biological, Radiological (CBR) attacks

Firearms and weapons attack ‘RUN, HIDE, TELL’

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Vehicle as a weapon

Physical security

Evacuation, invacuation, lockdown, protected spaces


Access control

Mail handling

Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM)

Digital built assets and environments

Personnel security

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce

National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

Email Attachments – Click to download

Attachment 1 – LTB350/17Crowded Places Guidance For The UK – New Guidance Published By The ‘National Counter-Terrorism Security Office’ (NACTSO):

Attachment 2 – NaCTSO – Crowded Places Guidance (2017)


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