It’s not surprising that the initial response by the authorities in Manila to a rampaging gunman, setting fire to gaming tables in the Resorts World casino was to suspect an act of terrorism - especially as ISIS opportunistically claimed the attack as their own. As the investigation progressed, the authorities have dismissed any terrorist or political motivation. The attack was simply a someone with a gambling problem intent on stealing chips! Regardless of the motivation, the outcome was dreadful: 37 people killed and many more injured.
There has been no such confusion in London or Manchester. In the recent attacks in two of the UK’s major cities, from the outset the motivation has been very clear. These were brutal acts of terror, intended to harm innocent people enjoying their leisure time and there is no indication that the threat is diminishing.
Casino operators - like operators of all other venues of public entertainment or resort - should now be reviewing their contingency plans to ensure they do all they can to protect staff and customers in the event of a terrorist attack or any armed incursion, like a robbery.
The first step is to conduct a proper risk assessment. If you don’t know how to do it, get help. And remember a risk assessment needs to be revisited and reviewed at least annually or whenever there is a change in the way terrorist or criminals are operating. Too often good plans are written and then lay on the shelf in the surveillance room unopened and untested for months.
Test your response. Do a walk through with key staff and make sure you are confident they know what you expect them to do. Brief your staff regularly. Make sure that they know what you expect of them in the event of an incident. In the event of what the police call a ‘marauding attack’, like the attack in Borough Market, be prepared to lock your premises down to keep attackers out. It saves lives.
Engage with your local police, join local business networks and ensure you have all the information locally available. Report any suspicions you have and be prepared to share your concerns about unusual behaviour. You’ll be surprised how much the police will share with you. Look to see what other similar premises in your immediate area are doing and don’t let your premises become the easy soft target.
Protecting your premises need be not difficult or expensive: not to do so might be unimaginably costly.
Roy Ramm Managing Director Extra Yard Security Ltd 123 Aldersgate Street London EC1A 4JQ T: +44 (0)20 7553 7960 M: +44 (0)7710 74874861 email@example.com