Free counter-terrorism training available to public for first time

9 December 2019, 08:26 | Updated: 9 December 2019, 08:45

Police chiefs said offering the training to the public was not made in response to the London Bridge attack
Police chiefs said offering the training to the public was not made in response to the London Bridge attack. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Counter-terrorism training is going to be made available to the public for the first time to prepare them for major incidents.

So-called "CT Citizens" will be trained in how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour on a course devised by counter-terrorism and security experts.

The training was previously only available to staff working in crowded areas.

But Counter Terrorism Policing has now opened the training modules to people who want training to help them deal with incidents.

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said the London Bridge terror attack on November 29 was a "stark reminder" of the "ongoing threat and the need for vigilance".

After the latest terror attack on London Bridge the public will now be able to get free training on how to react to a major incident
After the latest terror attack on London Bridge the public will now be able to get free training on how to react to a major incident. Picture: PA

However, the NPCC said the decision to open the training to the public was not made in response to the attack, which left two people dead.

The online training, which was originally devised in partnership with retail giant Marks & Spencer, is available from Monday and free to anyone who wants to take part.

Called ACT Awareness, it is made up of seven modules and takes 45 minutes complete.

The training says it aims to provide "recognised corporate CT guidance to help industry better understand, and mitigate against, current terrorist methodology."

The training features modules on how to identify and deal with a suspicious item, what to do in the event of a bomb threat and how to deal with firearms or weapons attacks.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D'Orsi, the senior national coordinator for protective security, said: "ACT Awareness eLearning is especially useful for anyone working in or regularly visiting crowded places.

"The threat level remains at substantial, meaning an attack is likely, so giving everyone the chance to be extra eyes and ears for police and local security teams helps to keep all communities safe.

"The festive period is obviously a very busy one, so this is a good time to join up and become a CT Citizen."

She said more than 1.5 million modules have been completed to far.

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