BWM Consultancy - Counter Intruder / MFTA or Active Shooter


There has been a recent increase in violent incidents, by both disturbed individuals and terrorists, across Europe in recent weeks and it is only a matter of time before a ‘soft’ target such as a UK school or church is attacked.


The increase in threats to schools from intruders has identifiably increased and this can be seen through media coverage of threats to schools in London, the South, Scotland, the Midlands, South Wales, Devon, Lancashire and Yorkshire in the last 12 months. Of particular concern nationally is the risk to students’ dependent on where they live and on whom their parents are; in this specific case the impact on parents which could be realised through attacking their children schools.


Of current importance, with the upsurge of threat against churches, clergy and parishioners, and with an allocation of additional funding for safeguarding of churches from the UK government announced on 26th July 2016, it is a prudent moment to review counter-intruder procedures as a result of the increasing instances of attacks from disturbed individuals and terrorists, and to thereby ensure that you have taken appropriate precautions against the prevailing risk.


Whilst there are many sites with no plans, of those that do have them, the majority of education and religious establishments plans that try to counter the intruder threat today are nothing more than checklists taken from generic national guidance, and actually provide no real life information about how individual staff, and the school or church as a whole, would deal with the intruder threat. These plans tend to focus around shelter, lockdown or evacuation as the basis for the reaction, but are without due cognisance of intruder activity. Furthermore, the training staff receive is not normally delivered by someone who understands the threat, and the issues around dealing with it, and is also usually delivered solely around generic checklists, with the result that training itself becomes an instrument to merely to ‘tick a box’. It is also a serious concern that training is often delivered without thought about how the response will actually be implemented, and without including what the intruder will do to disrupt the plan the school or church would wish, or expect, to carry out. If the response isn’t planned and trained sufficiently in advance, then the shock of trying to deal with understanding and delivering the basic plan, never mind the complications and problems caused by the intruders actions, will cause potentially fatal delay. The underlying problem however is that most plans make a number of assumptions that could prove to be fatal if the situation escalates to violence.

In addition, it should be noted that the UK national protection projects (ARGUS & GRIFFIN) do not offer detailed counter-intruder planning or training for schools and churches; they focus instead on providing knowledge to create newly ‘gifted amateurs’ from school and church staff to allow them to attempt to interpret this information and subsequently construct plans and training; this is a big ask to address such a serious situation. Instead, BWM fill that critical gap with expertise and experience at a very reasonable cost.

Safeguarding - What is Counter Intruder/MTFA-Active/Shooter?

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