© 2001 Jemsec International. All rights reserved.


This booklet addresses the modern day threats high profile personalities, businesses and executives now face, especially when travelling and working abroad. The following guidelines addresses the most common threats and goes on to provide a solid structure from which the reader can implement counter procedures in order to prevent or reduce the risk of being targeted.


Security Basics

Co-ordinating Incidents


Suspect Device Search Procedures

Kidnap and Abduction



Fellow Hostages & Better Treatment

Routes & Agendas

Basic Emergency Self First Aid



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Security Basics


The first line of defence against the common criminal may also stop a terrorist from gaining access to your premises. If criminals or a terrorist group has targeted you, a major part of their decision to do so will have been how easy it would be to carry out their objectives.

 Remember! a criminal will first decide if the risk is worth the reward. A terrorist won't care..

Unfortunately, far too many businesses believe the answer lies in recruiting security companies. It is however, a sad fact that many static security companies employ staff that have no security background and receive very little if any training that could in any way reflect the security threats now faced by the business sector.

Terrorists and even the common criminal have moved forward with the advances of new technology, the security industry in the United Kingdom in particular has stood still for over thirty years. Although many such security companies boast about their security training certificates it is in reality little more than a selling point.

If you presently use a static security company you won’t need me to tell you how expensive they can be and in some circumstances more trouble than they are worth. As a result of reading this book you may find after conducting a threat assessment that you don’t need the services of a security company, but instead employ your own personnel to carryout such tasks as checking passes and vehicles in your car park!

Whatever, your decision, by adopting the following basic precautions you can greatly reduce the risk of being targeted by terrorism and common criminals.


  • Make sure all external doors are fitted with locks conforming to BS3621

  • Fit strong internal bolts to doors that are not in regular use

  • Regularly check all locks and bolts to ensure they are in good working order

  • Fire precautions may prohibit certain types of locks being fitted to fire exit doors. If you are unsure about fire safety requirements seek expert advice from fire and crime prevention departments

In addition to the above you should also consider buying an alarm system that will suit your requirements at a cost you can afford. Remember if you do decide to have an alarm fitted, ensure it also covers your loft space. Again if you are unsure contact your local crime prevention officer for advice.


  • As a minimum, good quality key operated locks should be fitted to all ground floor windows and to any windows to which access may be gained e.g. by flat roof or by climbing a drainpipe.

  • Window security grilles can also be fitted to windows that are considered especially vulnerable such as rear windows.

  • If windows have been designated as fire exit routes, ensure you do not contravene fire regulations. If you are in any doubt contact your local fire and crime prevention departments.

  • If you consider your premises are directly or indirectly at risk from bombs, the following precautions can greatly reduce death and or injury. Flying glass from windows not only risks the lives of the occupants it can also cause disruption and damage to offices and equipment.

You should consider having your windows specially treated by applying a thin polyester film to the inside of the glass. This has the effect of holding the glass together in case of an explosion. Another option is to replace existing glazing with laminated glass at least 7.5mm thick.

Polyester film alone does not, however, provide sufficient protection when close to a large bomb device. Special net curtains should be fitted to contain the flying glass and drop it to the floor.

For further advice on glass, film and curtains contact your local crime prevention department.

Access Control

The most effective access control is an efficient reception area, through which all visitors must pass, after their authenticity is established and which other routes can not by pass. Remember if a terrorist wants to plant a device or take hostages and hold them within a building they must first gain access.

The following procedures will greatly reduce unauthorised entry into large premises.

  • A visitor reception area should be made available for visitors to announce their arrival

  • Secondary doors should be fitted with a coded lock to prevent entrance into the main building

  • Reception should record details of visitors including arrival and departure times and issue a visitors badge. Some visitors may attend on a regular basis, in which case a choice of ‘to be accompanied’ or ‘unaccompanied’ badges can be issued but only after initial checks have been carried out. Passes must be returned on the completion of their visit

  • Reception should inform the person being visited of the arrival of his guest

  • The person being visited should go to reception and assume responsibility of his guest until they leave

  • Any people within the building not wearing a pass should be immediately challenged to explain themselves.

  • In order to save unnecessary confusion staff passes should also be issued.

Stop and Search

This is particularly relevant to premises, which are open to members of the public such as shops department stores and places of entertainment etc, but is also appropriate to other business premises.

Periodically, and specifically at times when the terrorist threat is high, you should consider searching all handbags and luggage brought into your premises. This is more than a defensive measure; the deterrent value is enormous. Only the most determined of terrorists will attempt to penetrate such a security screen.

People who operate very small businesses, such as small shops, newsagents or tobacconists where there is only one room with one entrance, searching hand luggage at the door may prove impracticable. Nevertheless, you can still be vigilant and ensure that any article brought into the shop is taken out again

Any personnel tasked to carryout searches should be properly trained to search systematically and recognise items, which may contain a bomb.

Your powers of stop and search (U.K.)

  • You have the right to refuse entry to any person who will not permit a search of their hand luggage.

  • You may also request a body search, however you have no power to carryout such a search unless the individual agrees.

Good housekeeping practice

Good housekeeping both inside and outside of your premises will greatly reduce the opportunity for an explosive device to be planted undetected.

Remember!  If you can’t detect it, they’ll keep planting it?


Preventative measures

  • All rooms, stairways, corridors and halls should be kept clean and tidy

  • All unoccupied rooms and store cupboards should be kept locked.

  • Specific attention should be given to communal areas such as toilets and reception areas. This is particularly important in the case of multi-occupancy buildings.

  • In public areas, furniture should be kept to a minimum. Thought should be given to the design of all furniture and fittings, both inside and outside the building in order to ensure that it does not have voids within its construction which will present the terrorist with an easy location to hide a device.

  • All staff should be encouraged to know their building intimately and understand the importance of reporting anything suspicious or out of place that may indicate terrorist activity.

  • Shrubbery should not be allowed to become overgrown, as this provides ideal cover for an explosive device or for anyone attempting to gain entry. This is particularly important if shrubbery is close to buildings.


Removing litter-bins can reduce the threat from terrorist bombs in public areas. However, if rubbish is allowed to accumulate against walls, in flowerbeds etc, explosive devices can easily be concealed amongst the rubbish. Consequently, if litter-bins are to be removed, the effected area should be swept regularly.

This option may prove costly; therefore, unless a site is considered particularly vulnerable unsealed litter-bins should be allowed to remain in situ.

However, thought should be given to there positioning and kept away from exits and secondary hazards such as glass. The agency or department responsible for emptying litter-bins should do so at least twice daily and to an unpredictable routine. Staff responsible for emptying litter-bins should receive appropriate training on the careful removal of litter-bin contents.

There are on the market a number of litter-bins capable of withstanding some of the effects of a small explosive charge, however they are not bombproof. Contact your local crime prevention department for further advice.


Staff can do much to protect their business and the local community from the threat of terrorism by keeping a sharp look out for suspicious or unusual behaviour. Such behaviour may include, for example, loitering, attempting to avoid CCTV cameras and frequent visits to a particular store without making any purchases.

It is good practice to:

  • Challenge persons who are in an area they should not be

  • Encourage staff to report anything suspicious and make sure they are told the result

  • Ensure packages and parcels are delivered under observation

  • Pay close attention to suspect vehicles

  • Remain vigilant at all times even if the threat of terrorism declines

  • Be aware of people placing rather than dropping an object into a litter-bin

In addition to the above clothing stores in particular should carryout a quick search for devices prior to closing. This will greatly reduce the threat and the success of an incendiary device being planted or igniting during the silent hours.

Remember! If they can’t put it down, it won’t go bang?


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Co-ordinating Incidents


If I was to ask the majority of businesses who they believe is responsible for their disaster co-ordination, they will probably say the police or their fire warden. If you also believe this, then the following chapters should serve as a wake up call?

The role of the disaster co-ordinator

A single person within your organisation should be selected as the disaster co-ordinator. Depending on the type and size of your organisation this could be the proprietor, the chief security officer or someone in senior management. It will also be necessary to appoint a deputy co-ordinator that will assume responsibility in the co-ordinators absence.

The disaster co-ordinator should have both the responsibility and authority for implementing your disaster plans and procedures. It may also be useful if the co-ordinator establishes contact with his opposite number in other similar premises in the area. Self-help groups could then be formed to share information and experience to the benefit of all.

Finally the co-ordinator should establish a relationship with the police crime prevention department, who will provide advice and assistance as required. Plans should be cleared with the relevant emergency services to ensure they are correct and workable.

Co-ordinators main responsibilities

  1. Produce a threat assessment to the organisation

  2. Devise and maintain a suspect device search plan

  3. Devise and maintain an evacuation plan

  4. Making the decision whether to evacuate the premises or move to a pre-arranged bomb shelter area

  5. Making the decision to re-occupy a building

  6. Liaison with the police crime prevention department

  7. Arranging staff training and rehearsals

  8. In larger organisations, the co-ordinator should have a suitably located control point that has good internal and external communications and all staff knows the location of which.

Responding to incidents

Every organisation should have plans and procedures for responding to bomb incidents or a gas explosion. The details will depend upon individual circumstances but there are some general principles, which apply to all.

Various groups choose terrorism to promote their political causes that often involve shocking acts of violence. The terrorist may choose specific targets; for example, persons or organisations associated with their political opponents. However, increasingly in recent years terrorists around the world have shown themselves willing to carry out indiscriminate attacks, which place members of the public directly at risk.

Because different terrorist groups choose different targets and employ different methods, it is not possible to provide a generally applicable guide to assessing the threat from terrorist attack.

Before doing anything else you should, however, reach a judgement about the nature of the threat to your own organisation in light of its particular circumstances. This assessment will help you decide on the kind of precautionary measures, which you should introduce to protect your organisation and draw up contingency plans which suit your requirements.

It is possible to reach a perfectly valid assessment by applying common-sense principles in the light of general knowledge gleaned from day to day reporting of world and home affairs in the media.

You should already have some idea whether your organisation is likely to be regarded as a specific target by a particular terrorist group. However you may be an indirect target without even knowing it. Consider your location, are you situated close to premises, which might specifically be targeted by terrorists or an individual?

Consider the record of accomplishment of active terrorist groups as reported in the media. Has premises similar to yours been targeted in the past. Is there anything about your organisation, which might attract a terrorist seeking to achieve publicity from an act of violence?

Remember your clients may put you at risk simply because you are conducting business with them?

Make an analysis of the vulnerability of your organisation. If a terrorist group or individual should decide to target your premises, what methods might they use and how easy would it be to do so. Keep your threat assessment in mind when you draw up plans and procedures for responding to incidents.


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The object of this chapter is to describe the main types of bombs, which are used by terrorist groups and individuals targeting your organisation. This chapter also refers to methods of protecting against them, and describes what to do if an object is found in circumstances which, lead to the suspicion that it might be a bomb.

We can provide an idea of the typical appearance of each type of bomb, however, it is important to be aware that bombs can easily be disguised to look like everyday objects. It might not always be possible to recognise a bomb from its outward appearance. What is important is the ability to recognise the kind of suspicious object, which might be a bomb.

Remember a suspicious object is an item, which might contain a bomb, which is out of place and cannot be accounted for. Any suspicious package should be treated with extreme caution and the police notified immediately.

The high explosive device

A high explosive device typically consists of the following components:

The explosive:

Commercial or military explosive is a dense putty-like material that may be in blocks, lumps, sticks or sheets. It maybe in its original wrappers, wrapped in cellophane or concealed in a container. In some devices the explosive maybe home-made and will be in the form of a powder or granules. This is as dangerous as military or commercial explosives.

Electric detonator:

This is a copper or silver tube with coloured wires attached and imparts the shock, which is required to detonate the explosive. It will normally be inserted into the mass of the explosive. In the case of home-made explosives, the detonator is taped to an intermediary, resembling coloured washing line, which then runs into the explosive.


This may either be a mechanical clockwork timer or an electronic timer, mounted on a printed circuit board. Often the timer will be housed in a small plywood box; one or a number of L.e.d’s may also be visible. The timer acts as a switch to close the firing circuit at a pre-determined time, which may be a number of hours, days or a matter of seconds.

Power source:

This will normally be a battery or group of batteries and is often housed in the same plywood box as the timer. The electric current is required to power an electric timer (if present) and to fire the detonator.


Wires of various colours are used to link the various components, junctions being covered with coloured plastic adhesive tape.


This can take any form and will be used to transport and disguise the components mentioned above.

When high explosive detonates the effects can include:

  1. Major structural damage to buildings

  2. Damage and injury from flying glass and from fragments travelling at high speed

  3. Injury and death resulting from the blast

How to protect against high explosive devices:

  • Prevent them from being brought onto your premises (i.e. physical security, access control, stop and search)

  • Reduce the opportunity for planting devices undetected (i.e. good housekeeping practice)

  • Keep your premises under surveillance (i.e. ensure all personnel remain vigilant)

The incendiary device

  • The retail industry is presently most at risk from incendiary devices

  • They are particularly difficult to detect

  • They may be small enough to fit into an audio cassette case or a cigarette packet

  • They are lightweight and frequently undetectable by x-ray or metal detectors

  • As it is almost impossible to prevent such devices being smuggled into your premises, preventative measures should be devised in order to detect them being planted or having been planted, before they ignite

  • Incendiary devices are normally designed to ignite after a pre-determined delay period which, maybe many hours long. This allows the device to be planted during shopping hours and to ignite during the silent hours, when the fire is least likely to be detected before it has taken hold.

  • Occasionally small explosive devices, designed to look like incendiaries, are planted in this manner

  • The extent of fire damage can be greatly reduced in premises fitted with fire sprinkler systems.

If an incendiary device ignites:

  • The person on hand should spread the alarm

  • Trained staff with fire extinguishers should make one-quick attempt to extinguish the flames if it is safe to do so.

  • Beware of the risk that other devices including, explosive may have been planted in the same area. Do not, therefore, linger in the area but proceed to a pre-determined place of safety.

To protect against incendiary devices:

  • Be vigilant to persons acting suspiciously

  • Carryout regular searches of your premises especially at the close of business

  • Pay particular attention to areas close to sources of flammable materials

  • Once the alarm has been raised, the premises should be evacuated in accordance with evacuation procedures

  • The police should be called immediately an incendiary device is suspected

  • Never touch or attempt to move a suspect device (see disaster co-ordination)

The postal bomb

  • Postal bombs take many forms. They may come in any shape or size

  • They may explode or ignite before being opened

  • They are normally designed to kill or maim the person opening it

To protect against postal bombs:

All staff required to open mail during the course of a day. Should be warned that if they suspect a package they should:

  1. Put it down gently and walk away from it

  2. Raise the alarm and evacuate the immediate area

  3. On no account attempt to move it away or place it inside anything including water

Know the tell tale signs:

  • Grease marks on the envelope of wrapping

  • An unusual odour such as marzipan or machine oil

  • Visible wiring or tin foil, especially if the envelope or package is damaged

  • The envelope or package may feel very heavy for its size

  • The weight distribution maybe uneven or the contents maybe rigid in a flexible envelope

  • It may have been delivered by hand by an unknown source or posted from an unusual place

  • If a package it may have excessive wrapping

  • There maybe poor handwriting, spelling, typing, wrongly addressed, or come from an unsuspected source or have too many stamps for its weight.

  • Display a poster detailing the tell tale signs in a prominent place in your post room

  • Ensure you periodically renew and reposition the poster to prevent it becoming invisible to the people working there

  • Where possible try and contact the person sending the letter raising your concern

  • Encourage regular correspondents to record their details on the cover

  • Try and establish if possible, whether anyone is expecting a letter or package, which has given rise to suspicion

  • If you suspect a large parcel, be aware it may contain a large explosive device and evacuate accordingly

  • Consider purchasing equipment to help detect postal bombs and a safe bin.

Contact your local police crime prevention officer who should be able to advise you of the various types of equipment available and how to obtain it

The vehicle bomb

It is well known that in recent years some terrorist and subversive groups have parked vehicles containing large bombs within high-populated urban areas.

Terrorists have also attached explosive devices to the underside of vehicles with the intention of killing or seriously maiming the occupants when the vehicle is moved.

Any vehicle is capable of carrying a large explosive device without showing any easily recognisable signs. As it may not be possible to recognise a vehicle bomb for what it is, defensive measures are particularly important and should be introduced when the level of threat justifies a general increase in security measures.

To protect against vehicle bombs:

  • Control access to your car park

  • If security staff can be made available, carryout a quick search of all vehicles entering your premises before being parked

  • A mirror attached to a long handle will assist in detecting objects fixed to chassis or underneath wheel arches. Although the most thorough means of searching is by visual inspection on hands and knees

  • Where space allows, ensure vehicles are kept well away from buildings

  • Keep your premises under surveillance i.e. CCTV

  • If a parked vehicle raises suspicion call the police and evacuate accordingly

Dealing with telephone warnings

Terrorists and subversive groups frequently (but not always) give telephone warnings of bomb explosions. So unfortunately do hoaxers whose threats are empty. In such cases you will have to decide how you are going to respond. In particular you will have to decide whether to evacuate your premises.

In all cases you should:

  1. Notify the police immediately and inform them of your actions

  2. Search the premises

  3. Consider whether to evacuate the building or not

Very often terrorist organisations issue telephone warnings to organisations, which would not, themselves, be effected by the explosion they are warning about. In these circumstances, your response is just as important as the safety of others may depend on how quickly you can warn them about it.

Responding to telephone warnings often involves making difficult decisions. What is often overlooked is how important, and how difficult, it is to gain the maximum amount of useful information from the call.

Who needs to know?

Switchboard operators most frequently have to deal with telephone warnings but any member of staff who has a direct line might also receive a threatening call. 


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Suspect Device Search Procedures


On receiving a bomb threat, you now have the unenviable task of locating the device. This may not seem such a big task to a small business that works from one or two small offices, but to a medium or large sized business the co-ordination required to successfully complete a thorough search might prove overwhelming.

Most businesses in the United Kingdom still believe that it is not their responsibility to search their premises. However, the following information on police policy may well change this view.

Police policy

It is helpful for you to understand police policy on search and evacuation (UK) and the police role in dealing with bomb threats. Normally the police will not themselves search a building following receipt of a bomb threat. This is for two very good reasons:

  1. The police are unlikely to know the layout of your premises, and the various places in which a device could be concealed. You and your staff should know, and should be better able to search more quickly and thoroughly.

  2. The police unlike your staff will not know what should be there. Consequently, they will not so easily be able to spot anything that is out of place.

The police will only search your premises in the event that they receive specific information regarding the whereabouts of the device.

The following information provides a sound structure from which to build your search procedures.

Search plans

It is vital to have search plans prepared in advance, and staff trained in them. The objective is to make sure that the whole building is checked as quickly and effectively as possible.

The following rules apply:

  1. The co-ordinator must ensure that the search plans are readily available at all times

  2. Architects drawings must be checked for accuracy and appropriately adapted, before being used for this purpose

  3. Sufficient spare copies should be available for use during search operations. The co-ordinator can then eliminate searched sectors as they are cleared

Search sectors

The first step in preparing a search plan is to divide the building into sectors.

Your building may already be segregated into departments and therefore, it maybe convenient for you to make these you’re sectors, each sector must be of manageable size for one or two searchers.

Remember! that effective and systematic searching takes time

Depending on room sizes, the sector may be one large room such as a factory floor, shop, department, or perhaps a number of small offices in an office suite. It is most important that cloakrooms, stairs, corridors and lifts are included in your plans.

Do not forget to include car parks and other areas outside the building including evacuation form up points

Search teams

  • Search teams should be formed from staff nominated to search those areas with which they are most familiar.

  • The numbers required will depend on the search task. Reserves should be appointed in case of absence.

  • Staff should be trained and regularly rehearsed

Initiating a search

It is important a search is carried out as soon as possible. Therefore, the co-ordinator must ensure procedures are in place for notifying his search teams.

The co-ordinator can initiate a search by:

  1. Sending a message to the search teams over a public address system. This should be coded to avoid unnecessary disruption and alarm

  2. Use of personal bleeper's or radios

  3. A telephone cascade system. In which the co-ordinator rings, say three members, who in turn rings a further three members and so on until all team members have been alerted

Search priorities

Remember it is likely that the co-ordinator will order an evacuation. Therefore, it is important to ensure that evacuation routes and form up points have been searched to ensure the safety of personnel when moving through them.

Further areas include:

  • Those areas that will be used as bomb shelters or evacuation assembly areas

  • Areas where the greatest numbers of the public or staff are likely to be vulnerable should be searched first

  • Consider also as a priority, those public areas to which the terrorist may have had easy access

  • Do not overlook car parks, the outside area and the perimeter

What to look for

It is difficult to give guidance to search teams about the appearance of bombs as they can be disguised in many ways. However, the following should be used as a rule of thumb.

The search teams are looking for an unidentified object:

  • That should not be there

  • That cannot be accounted for

  • That is out of place

How to search

Although the way in which the teams conduct their searches will depend, to some extent, upon local circumstances and their local knowledge, they should conduct it in a logical and thorough manner so that no part of their sector is left unchecked. With this in mind, you may consider adopting the method outlined in this typical example of a room search in a sector.

  1. The search should begin at the entrance to the room

  2. Each searcher or team should first stand still and look around the room

  3. They should note the contents of the room and make a quick assessment of those areas that will need special attention

  4. They should look for any unusual lights such as L.E.D’s that are often used in terrorist bombs

  5. They should listen carefully for any unusual noises, particularly ticking or whirring sounds

  6. If anything unusual is seen, the searcher or team should alert the co-ordinator who will decide whether to evacuate the building

  7. If nothing unusual is seen the search should begin

The search is carried out in three phases which we will call sweeps.

First Sweep

  • The first sweep should work around the edges of the room, taking in the walls from top to bottom and the floor area immediately beneath the wall

  • Look inside fireplaces, curtains, pelmets and behind and beside furniture around the edges of the room

  • The sweep should finish at the doorway from where it began

Second Sweep

  • The second sweep should take in the furniture and the floor

  • Drawers should be opened and searched and gaps in and under should also be explored

  • If the floor covering shows signs of recent disturbance, it should be lifted

Third Sweep

  • The third sweep should cover the ceiling, if it is of the kind that objects might be concealed

  • Start at one corner and systematically search the whole surface

  • After the search has been completed, and if nothing has been found, the co-ordinator should be informed immediately, so that the sector can be marked "clear" on the search plans

  • Searching should continue until the entire area has been deemed clear. Be aware secondary devices are not unknown

Use of radios

Until a suspect device has been found the use of hand held communications is often the only way of assuring appropriate and speedy lifesaving procedures for search and evacuation. However, once a suspect device has been located, those using hand held communications should immediately move away and ensure that they and anyone else in the area move outside the cordon as quickly as possible.

If a suspect object is found

Follow the golden rules:

  1. Do not touch or move

  2. If possible leave a distinctive marker near, but not touching the device

  3. Move away from the device to a designated control point

  4. Inform the co-ordinator

  5. The co-ordinator will then initiate his evacuation plan

  6. Stay at the control point and draw an accurate plan of the location of the suspicious package or device

  7. The person finding the suspect device should be immediately available for interview by the police

The above plans and procedures provide an easy and systematic procedure for your search teams to use. However, your particular circumstances or building may require certain changes to be made. If this is the case be sure you don’t over complicate the procedures, as this will almost certainly increase the possibility of search teams making mistakes. It is also extremely important to ensure that search teams are well practised and confident.


Many people believe evacuation is a simple task of getting everyone out of a building and requires very little planning. Sadly this attitude has without doubt contributed to the loss of life. The following plans and procedures provide a solid framework from which to formulate your evacuation plan.

If a suspect vehicle or object is found near your premises, or if you should receive a telephone warning, it will be necessary to decide whether to evacuate the premises. The purpose of evacuation is to move people from an area where they might be at risk to a place of safety.

This maybe achieved by:

  1. Internal movement to a bomb shelter area

  2. Partial evacuation

  3. Full evacuation

In all cases where a bomb threat has been received the co-ordinator should immediately inform the police and advise them of what actions are being taken.

Making the decision to evacuate

The decision to evacuate must normally be taken by the co-ordinator but the police will be ready to advise on request. In exceptional circumstances, where for example police have received specific information, they may themselves order an evacuation, if necessary overruling the decision of the co-ordinator.

However, on the other hand, it maybe necessary for the police in some circumstances to insist that the premises be not evacuated. They might for example, have reason to believe there is an explosive device outside the building and evacuation may put lives at greater risk.

There are four options open to the co-ordinator, which one is chosen depend upon their assessment of the threat, which the situation presents. The options are:


Do Nothing

This option may appear attractive if the threat appears to come from a drunk or a child. It should not be adopted unless the co-ordinator is sure that it is a malicious call or prank. If there is the slightest doubt, the co-ordinator must turn to one of the other options


Search and then evacuate if necessary

This choice means, of course, that people will be in the building for a longer period if there is a bomb present. However, if a bomb is found, they can then be evacuated away from the danger. If nothing is found and there are no other significant factors, the co-ordinator may then decide to declare the building safe. The co-ordinator may consider this option appropriate if assessing the threat level as low


Search and partial evacuation

When the threat level is considered to be moderate, but there is no reason to believe an explosion is imminent

If a suspect device is small such as a letter bomb and parts of the premises maybe some considerable distance away from the device, the co-ordinator might consider evacuating part of the premises alone, or retaining only essential staff and search teams on the premises


Evacuate immediately

If a call is received which the co-ordinator considers to indicate the existence of a high risk, there will be a case for evacuating as quickly as possible without conducting a search, especially where there is the possibility of an imminent explosion. When the time of an explosion has been disclosed in a threat call, the co-ordinator must ensure that any searches are finished and staff cleared at least thirty minutes before the deadline, irrespective of whether any device has been found or not

Evacuation plans

As in the case of search plans the co-ordinator should have up to date drawings of evacuation routes. This is especially necessary when there are a number of exits from the building.

The purpose of evacuation drawings is twofold:


Their use can aid the efficient and quick evacuation of a building by using all available exits. A public address system can help in raising the alarm and directing staff to particular exits when no other form of communications is available. The fire alarm can be used to raise the alarm, providing it can be sounded in a way that distinguishes it from a fire warning and staff has been trained to recognise the signal, and the fire alarm is not part of an automatic system connected to the fire brigade.

The use of a fire alarm is a poor alternative to a public address system and should only be employed temporarily pending the installation of something better.


To provide alternative routes for evacuation so that people can leave the building without being placed in danger by passing close to the suspect device.

For example, if you have four evacuation routes but one of the routes runs close to a suspect device, the co-ordinator can immediately instruct evacuation via the other three routes only.

Considerations when drawing up evacuation plans

  • Always consult the emergency services and neighbouring premises

  • When the public is present as in shops and cinemas for example, the co-ordinator should consider appointing evacuation marshals to help ensure the public can leave quickly and without panic using predetermined exit routes. Evacuation marshals should be pre selected and trained in their role.

  • Evacuation plans should show two designated assembly areas in opposite directions where people should congregate after evacuation. Assembly areas must be at least 400 metres away from the effected building. Some, fire assembly areas maybe utilised for this purpose.

  • Ideally all personnel and members of the public should be asked to take their personal belongings with them, since this will help to avoid unnecessary suspicion over articles of property left behind after evacuation. However, this is contrary to standing instructions for fire evacuation, and will be difficult to implement unless a public address system or suitable means of communication is readily available.

  • Employees and members of the public that have been evacuated may have to remain outside for a long period of time before the building is declared safe. Therefore it would be better if shelter can be provided. You might consider whether it is possible to seek accommodation by arrangement in alternative premises, as this provides the opportunity to shelter from weather, maintain good communications and cater for individual needs

  • Car parks should never be used as bomb evacuation areas. Secondary devices have often been placed within car parks in the event they are used as evacuation areas. In some cases, the primary explosive device is planted in this way.

  • Evacuation areas must also be included within your search plans and declared safe prior to instructing personnel to them

  • Standing instructions on evacuation should also include that lights should be left on and machinery shut down where practicable

  • A method must also be devised to check that everyone has left the building and all personnel, staff and visitors are accounted for and instructed not to re-enter the building until it has been declared safe by the disaster co-ordinator (your existing fire drill procedures may assist)

Making the decision to re-occupy the building

Once an evacuation has been completed the co-ordinator will at some stage have to decide when the building can be re-occupied. Where a suspect device has been found the police (if not already present) will attend immediately and assume control until the object is declared safe. Thereafter, control will revert back to the co-ordinator.

The co-ordinator should remember that there maybe another suspicious object somewhere in the building, undiscovered because the initial search was terminated and the building evacuated due to the discovery of the first suspect object. Therefore, the co-ordinator should, have the rest of the building searched before considering the building safe for re-occupation.

However, where police have ordered the initial evacuation, they will remain in control and declare the building safe for re-occupation.

Internal bomb shelter areas

In some offices and buildings it may sometimes be safer to evacuate to a pre-selected area within the building rather than onto the street. This option may prove particularly useful in preventing the need to pass through an area close to a suspect device or in circumstances where the location of the suspect device is not known. However, it may not be appropriate as a means of evacuating members of the public from shops or other public areas, for example, where members might exceed the capacity of the available accommodation.

Selection of internal bomb shelter areas

You should always seek the advice of a qualified structural engineer with experience in the effects of explosions as to whether the building contains an area which is suitable for use as a bomb shelter area. And if so, that it can safely accommodate the total number of people who might be evacuated to it. The institution of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Structural Engineers hold a list of qualified advisors.

Selection of internal bomb shelter areas

For ‘modern-framed’ structures and for ’heavy masonry framed’ structures predominantly constructed at the turn of the century, the following points may aid in identifying suitable bomb shelter areas:

  • They should be situated away from windows, external doors and external walls.

  • They should be away from the perimeter structural bay. This is the floor zone (on all floors of the structure) between the perimeter of the building and the first line of supporting columns.

  • Generally they should not be in a stairway or have access to a lift-shaft.

  • They should be in areas surrounded by full height masonry or concrete walls; e.g. internal corridors, internal toilet areas etc.

Evacuation packs

It is good practice to locate evacuation packs close to the exit routes, to be collected by nominated personnel if an evacuation is ordered. The packs should contain items, which will assist with the administration of the evacuation, and items, which might ease the hardship of a long wait in the assembly area.

Some suggested items for inclusion are as follows:

  1. First aid kit (this should contain equipment equal to the type of injuries an explosion could inflict).

  2. Emergency reporting procedures.

  3. Mobile telephone (this should be kept fully charged, and checked regularly).

  4. Management/search team contact telephone numbers.

  5. Telephone cards.

  6. Float for pay phones/hot drinks machines.

  7. Staff emergency contact list

  8. Floor plans of building.

  9. Co-ordinators checklist and chino graph pencils.

  10. Keys to secondary evacuation point (if applicable)

  11. Plastic raincoats.

  12. List of emergency repairers e.g. glaziers.

  13. Taxi telephone numbers, public transport map (recent).

  14. Emergency procedures for gas leaks and power failures.

  15. A mobile phone should be kept charged and regularly tested for incoming and outgoing calls. Those people who may be required to use it should be properly trained.


The final stage in responding to a terrorist incident is getting back to normal – the recovery phase. In the interests of your business or your public you should develop and test, recovery plans in case they are needed.

Managing the recovery

In the aftermath of a terrorist incident there will be confusion and disorder. The management structures in your organisation, which have been developed to deal effectively with its normal business, may not provide the best control structures for taking charge of an abnormal situation and restoring a measure of normality in the crucial hours and days following an incident.

You should:

  • With examples of previous incidents in mind, think through the measures, which will have to be taken to restore normal working practices.

  • Establish the most effective management structure to achieve this.

Access to your premises


You should be aware that the police would set up cordons at the scene of any major incident to control the movement of people and vehicles. Staff will not be permitted to enter any cordoned area if it is believed to contain a suspect device.

Nor will the police allow access to a cordoned area around the scene of an explosion. This is for safety reasons and allows the police to search the area and to gather evidence, which might be found at some distance away from the explosion.

While the police, in conjunction with the local authority, will strive to restore normality as quickly as possible, it is likely to be some time before staff will be permitted to visit premises within a cordon and then, perhaps only in limited numbers. At that point and for sometime thereafter, police will ask for official proof of identity before permitting entry.

You should therefore consider making company identity cards available to your staff. While a cordon is in place glaziers, building contractors and other workpeople will only be allowed entry on production of written authority from businesses employing their services.

Business letter headings should therefore be held away from the normal business premises. While the cordon is in place, the police will ensure the security of the premises within it. Once it is lifted, the responsibility reverts to the occupiers.

To avoid looting, businesses must be ready to re-occupy and secure premises

immediately once the cordon is removed.

Duplication of facilities

It is a wise precaution against many types of incidents, which might disrupt the normal operation of your business, to prepare alternative facilities to fall back upon in an emergency. This will normally mean arranging to use alternative premises for carrying on the business’s core function.

This may be achieved internally, where your business occupies a number of premises in different areas (at least half a mile apart), or by mutual agreement with another business. Such facilities could also function as an alternative evacuation assembly area.

Dealing with the media

Most of us are fortunate to live in a democracy with a free press, but it is important not to play into the hands of the terrorist by allowing sensational and or inaccurate stories to flourish in the aftermath of an incident. Therefore:

  • Staff should be discouraged from speaking to the media as they may not have a clear picture of events, and reporting of misleading information can cause distress to friends or relatives of people who might be involved in an incident.

  • Inaccurate reporting may also damage the interests of your business.

  • One person in each business should be appointed to deal with all enquiries from the news media.

  • He or she should be instructed to stick to the known facts and not be drawn into speculation.

These recommendations are not designed to constrict the media, but to help ensure accuracy.


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Anti-Kidnap & Hostage Procedures


The only effective defence against abduction is to prevent it happening in the first place. The level of preventative measures you put in place should equal the threat against you or your organisation and should include the risks you’re family face due to the type of work you carry out or because you are wealthy.

As in any area of security you need to identify what, where, who, and why you are at risk before you can draw up a security plan to thwart it.

What - is the threat?

Where - will it be carried out?

Who - will target you?

Why - are they doing it?

There are two types of abduction:

The Snap

  • This is when an individual or organisation acts upon the spur of the moment or react to opportunity’s presented to them.

  • Requires no pre-planning or reconnaissance.

  • Little threat of being compromised through suspicious behaviour.

  • This type of abduction can be argued as being the hardest to prevent, as they will normally happen when you are at your most vulnerable.

  • The person or persons who carry out snap abductions usually take children and woman for the purpose of murder and or rape.

It is generally accepted, a group of people or a terrorist organisation would not specifically wait for an opportunity to present itself for the purpose of gaining financial blackmail or political demands.

The Planned

  • This is when an individual or organisation actually plan and or manipulate people or circumstances to achieve their objectives.

  • Requires a great deal of planning and reconnaissance, which will be carried out over a number of days or even months.

  • In the process of gaining information or carrying out reconnaissance will often give rise for suspicion. It is at this time many attempts are thwarted.

  • Requires personnel with specialist skills.

  • Because this type of abduction requires so much planning and therefore money, it would be fair to say that the individual or organisation carrying out the deed will be financially motivated, or attempting to gain political demands.

  • Most countries have the policy of none negotiation when it comes too political demands, and will almost always end in the storming of a known building for which the hostages are held.

  • Some organisations will keep their hostages indefinitely until it suits their cause to release them, as was the case with Terry Waite.

  • If it is simply financial gain the captors seek, it is with the family or the organisation for which the hostage works their release lies, and the decision and or ability to pay the sum demanded.

It would be fair to say unless you or your family is extremely wealthy, a high profile or work in a high-risk country you are unlikely to be targeted in this way. However, it is true to say that we all face the possibility of a snap abduction as the only determining factors of being selected is being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Prevent the snap

The following principles will greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a snap abduction.

  1. Know Your Environment

  2. Establish the high-risk areas you frequent most.

  3. If you walk in daylight to work but return in darkness. Identify in daylight where you are most at risk and if needed select a different route for your return journey.

The above statement should also be applied if you’re jogging, riding a bike or riding a horse. Use past incidents as a guide to what type of incidents occurs, and where they happen.

Adult considerations for themselves

Returning Home from Pubs & Clubs:

Is your route the safest or just the most convenient.


Find out where the no go areas are for tourists.


Remember there is only canvas between you and them. Be selective of the type and the location you choose.

Car Parks:

Carefully select the car park you regularly use, select a space close to a light and or close to shops or car park attendants. Before opening you door look through the window to check if no one is hiding behind the front seats. Once inside your car lock the door immediately. If possible ask a car park attendant to escort you to your car if it is parked in a dark area or if it is late at night.

Considerations for the safety of children

Parks & Playgrounds:

A great number of children have been abducted from local parks and playgrounds often only a few hundred metres away for their homes. A neighbourhood playground watch can easily be developed for the safety of all, contact your local police crime prevention officer for assistance.

Holiday Parks & Campsites:

Remember all faces are strange faces therefore, it is impossible to identify a person as being out of place. For this reason you should not, sadly allow your children to wander anywhere without your supervision. You should also on arrival make a threat assessment of the areas where your children will be most at risk, this should include areas where they shouldn’t be.

Children’s Route’s too & from School

Walk the route your child takes to school. This should include the morning and afternoon as the traffic both in vehicles and on foot will alter. Do not allow your child to cut through parks, wastelands, woods or back alleys.

Places in your Area Where Children are attracted

Railway lines, conker trees, school playing fields, brooks, disused quarries, abandoned buildings, building sites, local hills.

Remember a person wanting to abduct a child will want it to be in a secluded location away from prying eyes therefore he/she will select one or a number of the above first.

The above list is by no means complete you should find out the attractions in your local area your child may choose.

Prevent the planned abduction

The following principles will greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a planned abduction.

  • Take as much time and care in planning your security as the person planning your abduction.

Know your environment:

  1. What is and who is normally in it.

  2. Vary your routes and timings.

  3. Develop an actions on plan (what will I do if).

  4. Take the time and try to devise a plan using your knowledge of your normal movements to abduct yourself.

  5. Take note of the people around you (I have seen him in all places I have visited today, why is he in the same queue as me in the supermarket?).

Your conduct after capture

It will be plain to see what kind of abduction has been carried out from the outset. Your actions and behaviour will play a big part on the treatment you will receive at the time of the abduction, immediately after and in the long term.

Time of abduction

  • Offers your best chance of escape

  • Often the most violent part of the abduction.

  • The abductors are nervous and often make mistakes.

  • If there is no chance of escape you should co-operate.

  • Do not annoy them by repeatedly asking why they are doing it, or what they want. This will almost certainly result in violence directed at you.

  • Do not beg or demean yourself, as this will only instil contempt towards you.

  • Do not make threats of what will happen if they do not release you. As this will only challenge them into proving they are not impressed and could result in violence.

  • Try to establish where they are taking you. Take in noises, smells, steep hills, and bumpy roads.

  • Listen intently to what the abductors are saying. However, if you hear a name, do not at any time reveal that you know it or that you know what they look like. To do so may compromise your safety.

Immediately after the abduction

  • This will be the period when they lay down the rules on how they want you to behave, they will often at this stage tell you why they are abducting you and what they want for your release.

  • This is often the time when they will pay you back for what you did during the abduction, this will be seen as setting an example of what you can expect if you do not co-operate in the future

  • This will also be a time of mixed emotions on the abductors part. They will be elated they pulled if off on one hand but the realisation of what could happen to them if things go wrong will make them touchy. Therefore it will not help your position by constantly reminding them.

  • You should use this time when they are all under stress to identify who are the greatest risk or most unpredictable, so you may at a later stage build a relationship that may better your chances of release.

  • This may also be the only chance of seeing the layout of the building before you are put in the room that you will be kept. This may prove vital at a later stage if an opportunity for escape arises. If you don’t know where to go there’s is no point going.

  • This is also an opportunity to find out exactly how many people are involved, and will play a big part when devising a plan of escape.

Long term

It is very important from the very outset to maintain your personal hygiene and personal fitness. Any opportunity for escape will be trashed if you are physically unfit to carry it out. Your quality of life after release could also be significantly effected.

  • Devise a method of keeping track of time and the date.

  • Build relationships with your captors refer to stories about your family and what you would be doing if you weren’t there.

  • Never give up hope hostages are released for the strangest of reasons.


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Anti-terrorist techniques

Terrorist attacks can be directed against a country, organisation or an individual. The lives that are lost and the horrific injuries, which are sustained, are results of those acts.

This chapter will not stop the intent of a terrorist to cause an explosion or shoot their victims. It will however, provide you with the knowledge that will help drastically reduce the chance of becoming an easy victim of a terrorist attack.

History of terrorist activity

The following list of attacks is by no means complete, and there are many hundreds more that go unlisted simply because of a very grey line between political violence and terrorism. The difference being nearly indistinguishable at times.

For instance, what was the motive of the assassin who took a shot at the pope? Was it anti-Catholicism, anti-Rome/anti-Italy or just a nut case trying to get his moment of dubious ‘fame’?

This list is only an example and does not include terrorist attacks carried out by the IRA

From 1968 to 1995 there was 134 listed terrorist attacks, resulting in 1,973 deaths and 1,653 injured.

  • 04 - attacks - 1960’s - 15 dead - 80+ injured

  • 65 - attacks - 1970’s - 847+ dead - 670+ injured

  • 60 - attacks - 1980’s - 991+ dead - 795+ injured

  • 04 - attacks - 1990’s - 119+ dead - 115+ injured

  • 47 attacks directed against aircraft, 13 of which were hijackings.

  • 3 attacks directed at buses, 1 of which a bus carrying children (12 dead, 19 injured.)

  • 6 take-over's, 1 of which was a school (22 dead, 60 injured)

  • 10 assassinations, 68 bombings, kidnappings, shootings including the Munich massacre – Olympic games.

  • The introduction of Semtex explosives into the terrorist arsenal has driven the death rate up and the effects of which are only governed by the amount of time the bombers allow the authorities to evacuate a building or area. Increasingly over the year’s terrorists have not given any warnings whatsoever, and now also use the double tap technique designed to hit innocent people on route too or within their evacuation areas.

Threat assessment

It stands to reason if a country is being targeted by a terrorist organisation, all the interests of that country, be it government, business, or its citizens will be fair game for the terrorist.

The following considerations should therefore be made:

  • Not only should you make a personal threat assessment, you should also consider what threats you may face abroad due to the policies or actions your country have taken. You may be at risk by simply being British or American.

  • You should also consider what actions you can take to reduce the threat, it could be said that a good example would be not to travel with an airline associated with a country which has been targeted for terrorism. Therefore reducing the risk of being a victim of a terrorist bomb or the hijacking of an aeroplane.

  • If you travel abroad on business, or simply on holiday you should consider what threats you are effectively walking into. If you take for example you travel to a Middle Eastern country and you book into a hotel widely used by Americans, you are in effect raising the chance of becoming a victim of a terrorist act simply because of where you are staying. Obviously your choice to stay in a different place should to a degree depend on the level of terrorist activity in the country in which you are staying.

  • The same can be said regarding restaurants and bars. It is not a good idea to frequent establishments where American or British servicemen drink. Targets such as these are considered soft and easy to carry out.

  • The terrorist is forever changing his tactics often for the better for his part. It is to your advantage to keep up to date on the present trends of terrorist tactics; this can easily be achieved by simply listening to news coverage on the television.

  • You should condition yourself to be always alert to everything around you especially in public areas such as terminals, restaurants, hotels and offices.

  • Make it your personal policy to report all suspicions of packages or persons.

  • Don’t get the feel stupid syndrome. Its far better to feel stupid you did tell someone than it is to feel sorry you didn’t.

  • Local knowledge

It can be said there are no go areas in every city in every country in the world. This could be a result of your religion, nationality or colour. The reason doesn’t really matter your actions should be the same.

  • On arrival it is wise to ask the local police station where the no go areas are for tourists, or better still ring up before you arrive.

  • Remember it is less work for the police to give you information, than it is to write up a report if you are a victim of a terrorist or violent act.

Political stability

It is fair to say that if a country is politically unstable it becomes a breeding ground for terrorism. Every time a new terrorist organisation forms they take terrorism a stage further in the scale and type of targets they choose.

Terrorism is an expensive business, a great deal of organisations turns to kidnapping and blackmail to fund their activities and have been known to include bank robberies. Therefore, the above may be relevant to you if you are wealthy, or work as a prominent member of a large organisation.

Actions on a terrorist attack

The only thing about a terrorist attack that can be said to be the same every time is the speed for which it is carried out.

Types of Attacks:

The Body Count

The only reason for this type of attack is to kill as many people as possible.

Typical examples would be a large vehicle bomb positioned in a heavily populated area, a suicide bomb driven into a building and a bomb planted on a plane such as the one that crashed at Lockerbie with the loss of 140 lives.

The Publicity Stunt

  • This type of attack will often result in nothing more than a report of a terrorist device being safely defused after receiving a coded telephone message from whatever organisation that planted it

  • This type of tactic is often used after a large bomb explosion; the desired effect is to cause as much disruption as possible. As a large device has exploded it means all claims of further devices must be treated as real.

The Hostage

The publicity gained from taking hostages is immense, especially if it is an aeroplane.

The drama surrounding the will they won’t they discussions on the television regarding some idiot asking another idiot ‘when do you think the authorities should storm the plane’ and ‘how do you think the hostages are feeling at this point’ do not help families of the hostages one bit.

It does not matter if the terrorist loses the fire fight in the plane or not the terrorists will still achieve their objective of bringing their cause to the worlds attention through the media.

Actions on a terrorist attack

On hearing gunfire you should:

  1. Immediately go to ground

  2. Try and determine from which direction the gunfire is coming from.

  3. Look before you run – Try and decide which route you are going to run and what can give you cover on the way. Remember anything you use for cover should be solid. A plasterboard partition wall will not stop a round (bullet), whereas a solid brick wall will.

  4. Never run straight always zigzag. Ideally you should only present the side of your body as a target. Full exposure of your front or back will present an easy target.

  5. The route you take should lead outside or away from the incident, locking yourself in a room within a building is not a good option.

  6. You should only attempt to tackle terrorists if all other options fail and the risk of not tackling him is greater than the one if you do.

Your actions on being stormed

Inevitably, a siege must come to an end; there are three ways this will happen.

  1. The terrorists give up.

  2. The terrorists blow themselves up.

  3. The terrorists are stormed.

On being stormed

When the assault teams storm a building there will be confusion, noise, smoke and gunfire. You will be disorientated, scared and have an overwhelming desire to run towards the assault team members, this action puts you in the assault teams line of sight and the terrorists line of fire.

The following actions should be taken when the assault team breaks in:

  1. Immediately go to ground.

  2. Put your hands up, palms forward and remain calm.

  3. Do not touch any weapon left or dropped by a terrorist.

  4. Remain on the ground until otherwise instructed by an assault team member.

  5. Obey his commands without hesitation or question.

  6. Your route out has been pre-planned by the assault team so trust them.

  7. If asked a question give a precise answer, don’t ramble. Do not complain if you are handcuffed. It is normal to do so until all have been identified.

  8. Remember the assault teams are not diplomats they will not say please or thank you. If you don’t get down when told to do so, you will get dumped down.

  9. If gunfire is directed at you do not run. Immediately go to ground, by running you may cross the assault teams line of fire.


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Fellow Hostages & Better Treatment


Giving leadership to fellow hostages

  • It is to your advantage and everyone else’s to calm fellow hostages down.

  • The majority on becoming a hostage will seek leadership from others.

  • If a terrorist intends to select a hostage to be killed, it will inevitably be the one giving the most trouble.

  • If children are present try and gain permission to organise some activity to pre-occupy them such as drawing or stories, it doesn’t matter what.

  • Try and make a list of the hostages who are sick or injured. The terrorist will usually ask the authorities to supply medicines or first aid kits.

Negotiating better treatment

  • The beginning and immediately after the initial terrorist act is not the time to approach the terrorists.

  • Make a list up in order of priority of the needs of the hostages.

  • Study the terrorists and decide which of them will be the best to approach.

  • Any request should imply that is in the terrorists best interests to grant your request.

  • Never demand.

  • Never argue the fact try again later.

  • Carefully pick your moment to approach them.


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Agenda & Route Planning


Agenda planning

If you are considered a high-risk terrorist target or travel to a high-risk country your business and private agenda will be high on the list of priority information the terrorist will want to obtain. Your agenda puts you in a specific place at a specific time. From your agenda the terrorist/abductor can plan in great detail how he is going to carryout his tasks with relative ease.

You should therefore keep your agenda secret and only tell the people who are directly involved the details as and when they need to be told. Also express to those you tell the need for their discretion.

When arranging your business meetings outside of your office and you are considered to be a high risk, you should ensure appropriate security measures have been put in place both for your journey too, from and at the venue. The terrorist relies heavily on information concerning their targets. By starving them of all easy information, will force them to take greater risks to achieve their aim, it is at this stage many attempts are thwarted.

Route planning

The following considerations should be made:

  • When selecting a route you should look on the map to identify where the possible dangers may lie.

  • Look for ‘S’ bends, bridges, tunnels, narrow roads or lanes, roads that cut through woods or forests, lay-bys and isolated junctions.

  • Always stick to roads that are busy.

  • Never use the same route twice; if you go one way return another

  • Never leave at the same time; always alternate your timings.

  • Before you set off on your journey always take a look at the vehicles around you, if they set off the same time as you monitor them in your mirror to see if they are using your route, drive around a roundabout twice and look to see if they copy.

  • If you are convinced you are being followed do not panic, return back to where you started your journey and relay your concerns to the police.

Emergency routes

You should also have an emergency route, which you can take if you become suspicious of a vehicle on your planned route. Your emergency route should not be used for any other purpose other than described above. If the terrorist knows you have an emergency route he will simply include it in his planning which then renders the route useless.


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Basic First Aid Techniques


You are now entering what is effectively, a minefield? You may even wonder why this section has been included in this book? If this book is to provide a complete security structure, first aid has to be included and is to a certain degree relevant to any security crisis.

First aid procedures can change weekly! What is the right action today maybe considered wrong tomorrow. For this reason I will only include combat medical first aid techniques that should only be used in circumstances such as disasters which effectively swamp the emergency services, or when you are in a position of being denied any medical aid, due to being kidnapped or taken hostage.

In many circumstances especially on becoming a hostage you may receive injuries either inadvertently, or as a result of repeated beatings. Your chances of survival may lie in your own ability to self-treat your injuries, and those of fellow hostages.

You can increase your chances of survival in a hostage situation if you become an asset to the hostage takers. Knowing first aid along with providing leadership to fellow hostages will certainly help put you in this bracket.

Commercial first aid packages are available. The Ambulance service should be your first choice if their courses are available in your area. If not look around! Do not just settle for "St John’s".

It is important to realise that there is only a certain amount you can do as a first aider to help injured people. After all you’re not a doctor, surgeon or a medic.

Aims of first aid

  1. To save life

  2. To prevent the casualties condition becoming worse


The principles of first aid are the general rules or guidelines, which should always be adhered to by the first aider if the aims are to be effective.

  1. Do not become a casualty yourself

  2. Always treat casualties in the correct order (priorities of treatment)

  3. Prevent further injury to the casualty e.g. fire, collapsing buildings, road traffic.

  4. Ensure the casualties comfort with good splintage and pain relief.

Priorities of treatment

Some injuries are more serious than others are and in general they should always be treated in the following order.


E.g. Unconsciousness, choking, chest wounds



E.g. Open wounds



E.g. Fractures



Common sense must be used when deciding the priorities of treatment and it must be remembered that the above priorities are only a guide. E.g. a burn of 20% is much more serious than a broken finger and should be treated first.

Principles of casualty rescue

Often at the scene of an incident, people rushing in without thinking make the situation worse and this can lead to the unnecessary suffering of casualties and more importantly injury to the first aider. To ensure the efficiency of a first aider at the scene of an incident the following principles should always be carried out.

Look – 

  • For any further danger

  • At the number of casualties, and their injuries

  • For a safe place to treat the casualties

Listen – 

  • To the casualties and bystanders and ascertain what happened?

Think – 

  • Which casualties to treat first

  • If casualties can be moved

Act – 

  • Carry out the appropriate actions

Priorities of evacuation

Once the casualties have been treated they are given a priority of evacuation. This ensures that those casualties requiring the earliest treatment, receive it, and those with minor injuries are left to the end. Organising priorities of evacuation is particularly important when evacuation transport is limited and only a percentage of the casualties can be evacuated at the same time. I.e. natural or man made disasters

Priority 1

Casualties needing URGENT resuscitation and/or surgery.


Priority 2

Casualties needing EARLY surgery and POSSIBLE resuscitation


Priority 3

All other casualties




External bleeding


There are three types of bleeding:


Arterial Bleeding: 

Blood spurts out of the wound in time with the heartbeat and is bright red in colour


Venous Bleeding: 

Blood wells out from the wound in an even flow and is dark red in colour


Capillary Bleeding: 

Blood oozes from the wound. This type of bleeding often stops without treatment



  1. Reassure the casualty and place him at rest

  2. Inspect the wound for foreign bodies

  3. If there are no foreign bodies apply DIRECT PRESSURE to the wound and ELEVATE the limb

  4. Apply a sterile dressing (First Aid Dressing) over the wound. Ensure the dressing is correctly applied and completely covers the wound. If a sterile dressing is not available, use a piece of clean material. (If your are taken hostage material should be put to one side for this purpose in order to keep it as clean as possible)

  5. A maximum of THREE First Aid Dressings may be used on top of each other

  6. If the First Aid Dressings stop the bleeding – leave them in place. DO NOT REMOVE (If your are being held captive close attention should be given to the condition of dressings, infection will be your biggest worry. Therefore, it maybe necessary to change dressings regularly). Treat the casualty for shock and evacuate (If your are taken hostage negotiating the injured persons release should be considered as important as the first aid)

  7. If bleeding still continues after 3 first Aid Dressings have been applied, use a pressure point.

Pressure points

A pressure point is a place where an artery crosses over a bone close to the surface of the skin. The two most commonly used pressure points are:

  1. Brachial

  2. Femoral

Application of pressure

  • Place the thumb or fingers over the pressure point and apply sufficient pressure to arrest the bleeding. If you have weak hands and fingers use your foot.

  • Redress the wound more effectively

  • Apply for 15 minutes – then slowly release the pressure

  • If the bleeding still continues apply pressure for a further 15 minutes.

  • The pressure must be released every 15 minutes or damage to the tissue below will occur and may result in blood poisoning.

Internal bleeding

This is very dangerous as it can easily go unnoticed. There are several main causes:

  1. Blow to the abdomen or back (beatings with rifle butts and being kicked)

  2. Crush injury to the chest

  3. Blast injury

  4. Penetrating wound of the buttock

  5. Penetrating wound of the abdomen

Signs and symptoms

  • History (what happened)  

  • Pallor 

  • Cold, Clammy skin 

  • Rapid, weak pulse 

  • Restlessness and thirst  

  • Dimness of vision 

  • All the above are symptoms of  TRUE SHOCK

  • Bleeding within the abdomen

  • If the bleeding is within the abdomen there may be additionally:

  • Vomiting of blood

  • Blood in the faeces or urine

Bleeding within the chest

If the bleeding is within the chest there may be additionally:

  1. Coughing of blood

  2. Distressed breathing


  • If unconscious or fainted, check and clear the airway

  • Keep casualty warm without over heating

  • Protect from the elements

  • Rest

  • Reassurance

  • Relief of pain

  • Arrest of any haemorrhage bleeding

  • Give fluids if safe

  • Evacuate as priority dictates

  • W.R.A.F: Warmth, Rest, Arrest of haemorrhaging, Fluids if safe


The definition of unconsciousness is an interruption in the normal activity of the brain


F - Fainting
I - Infections to the brain
S - Stroke
H - Head Injuries
S - Shock (True)
H - Heart Attack
A - Asphyxia
P - Poisons e.g. Alcohol, Drugs
E - Epilepsy
D - Diabetes



  • Check for further danger

  • Check and clear the airway

  • Check for any injuries to the front of the body (quickly) and remove any bulky objects from pockets

  • Place casualty in the ¾ prone position

  • Check for any injuries to the back of the body and treat as necessary

  • Try to determine the cause of unconsciousness

  • Carry out 15 minute observations

Other points

  • Keep the casualty warm

  • Never leave casualty alone

  • DO NOT give painkillers

  • DO NOT give fluids

  • Evacuate as soon as possible. Priority for evacuation depends on the cause of unconsciousness

  • Turn into the alternative ¾ prone position every two hours in order to prevent hypostatic pneumonia (a build up of fluid in the lungs) and pressure sores, particularly important if you a have to sleep on a hard surface)

(Note: casualty may only be turned if injuries permit)

15 minute observations

Once the casualty’s condition has been stabilised and the airway is secured, certain observations must be carried out so that a record of the cause of the unconsciousness and condition of the casualty may be passed on to Medical personnel at a later stage in the evacuation.


Note the:

  • Rate

  • Strength

  • and regularity


Note the:

  • Colour of the skin (pale, flushed)

  • Whether skin is sweaty or dry

  • Whether skin is cold or warm to the touch.

  • Observe for signs of cyanosis (blueness of the extremities)


Note the:

  • Reaction of the pupils to light.

  • Are they dilated or contracted?

  • Are they equal or unequal in size?


Note the:

  • Rate depth and regularity of respirations.

  • And ensure the airway remains clear.

Levels of response  

This helps to assess how deep the unconsciousness is. It could be anything from a simple faint that lasts only a few minutes, to a coma that can last for years.

Assessing the levels of response

To be carried out in four stages:

Normal Speech  

  • Is there a response from the casualty when spoken to in a normal voice using simple commands?

Loud Speech

  • Is there a response from the casualty when spoken to in a loud voice using simple commands?


  • Is there a response from the casualty when brushing the face or gently shaking them?

Painful Stimuli

  • Is there a response from the casualty when pinching the ear lobes?


The definition of a fracture is a chip, crack or brake in the continuity of a bone.


Direct violence

  • A kick on the leg

Indirect violence  

  • Outstretched hands to break fall (Clavicle)

Muscular Action  

  • Snap patella (twisting, crouching)

Types of fracture

Closed Fracture

  • No damage to overlying skin (simple)

Open Fracture

  • Gunshot wounds, shattered bone, protruding bones

Complicated Fracture   

  • Could have trapped nerves and/or organs (open/closed)



S - Stop Bleeding
I - Immobilise limb
T - Treat for shock
E - Evacuate


Severity of the burns depend on:

  1. Depth

  2. Area

  3. Age

  4. Health

Area of burn

The larger the area of burn, the greater the loss of bodily fluid

All burns of 18% or more require a transfusion. To estimate the area of loss, use the WALLACE rule of nines.



Head 18%

Chest 18%

Back 18%

Arm 9%

Leg 14%

Genitals 1%


Head 9%

Chest 18%

Back 18%

Arm 9%

Leg 18%

Genitals 1%


Burns are classified into two types

  1. Deep

  2. Superficial

Deep burn

These are less painful because the nerve endings have been damaged or destroyed. They appear to be dull, white or brown in colour and charring may also be present.

Superficial burn

These are the most painful types of burns, when only the outer layer of skin is affected. They appear red and maybe blistered. They are more painful because the nerve endings have been unaffected. With correct treatment the skin will regenerate naturally without the need for skin grafts.


  • If water is available the burnt area should be immersed for at least 10 minutes.

  • Cover the area with a dry sterile or clean dressing.

  • A burnt face should be left exposed with the casualty sitting to reduce oedema (swelling)

  • Burns of the hands and feet may be covered with plastic bags. With open end sealed at the wrist or ankles.

  • Place casualty at rest.

  • Treat for shock.

  • Evacuate.

The don’ts

  1. Do not - Remove burnt clothing from burn

  2. Do not - Apply ointments or lotions

  3. Do not - Prick or burst any blisters.


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Please remember that the purpose of this booklet is to highlight the basic security guidelines that we believe your company should already have in place.

This book will aid you in formulating your security objectives and provide you with enough information to assess your companies weaknesses, shortfalls and additional requirements.

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