On November 13, 130 people died and hundreds more were injured, in a series of attacks in which radicalized Islamic terrorists either detonated suicide bombs or opened fire indiscriminately in cafes, restaurants and — with the highest fatalities — the Bataclan music venue in Paris.
In a clear response to the attack, and an acknowledgement that a similar attack could take place anywhere in the UK, the National Police Chiefs' Council has released a five-minute video giving advice on what the public should do in a similar attack.
"If you hear gunshots, the best option is to evacuate, but only do so if it won't put you in greater danger. First, consider your route. Act quickly and quietly, leaving your belongings behind. Insist others come with you, but don't let their indecision slow you down. Once you have identified a safe route, run. Consider your route as you leave. Will it place you in the line of fire? Is it safer to wait for the attacker to move away before you continue? If you can't move to safety, hide," the video states.
'Do Everything They Tell You'
The film continues with advice on where to hide and how to remain silent — switching off mobile phones — so as not to attract attention.
"Run, hide, tell". Yes, this is actually official State advice: pic.twitter.com/g4QjvYCRzK— State Control™ (@State_Control) December 18, 2015
In the event of police storming a building in which terrorists are shooting and innocent people are hiding, the video continues:
"When the police arrive, they will be armed. They may be dressed differently, depending on their function. The police may be unable to distinguish you from the attacker. They may treat you firmly. Do everything they tell you to do."
Speaking on behalf of National Counter Terrorism Policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Neil Basu, said: "The public should not be alarmed by this step. While the general level of threat to the UK is SEVERE, the probability of being caught up in a firearms or weapons attack is very, very small. However, it is important the public know what to do in the event of getting caught up in such an incident.
"With the threat level remaining at a high level, the police and security service continue to operate at a heightened state of readiness — we are working on hundreds of investigations and making an arrest a day. However, it is only with the ongoing support of communities that we can defeat terrorism — you are our eyes and ears so please be alert, but not alarmed," he said.