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Staying Safe During Firearms and Weapon Attacks in the UK

While firearms and weapon attacks in the UK are rare, tragic events worldwide remind us of the importance of being prepared. The terrorist threat in the UK varies, but sometimes it is severe, meaning an attack is highly likely. Even with a small risk, preparedness is crucial.

Guidelines for Responding to an Attack

The National Police Chiefs Council has produced guidelines to follow if you find yourself in a firearm or weapon attack. The three key steps for staying safe during an attack are: Run, Hide, and Tell.

1. Run

If there is a safe route, run. Insist others go with you, but do not let them slow you down. Leave your belongings behind.

2. Hide

If you cannot run, hide. Find cover from gunfire, lock the door, and barricade yourself in. Move away from the door, be very quiet, and silence your phone.

3. Tell

When safe, dial 999. Give your location and the direction the attacker is moving in, and provide as much information as possible. If possible, prevent others from entering the area.

Considerations for Different Situations

All situations are different, and people's ability to run, hide, and tell will vary due to factors such as age, fitness, or capacity. When running is not an option, individuals should make every effort to move away from the area as quickly as possible. The Run, Hide, Tell guidance emphasises the importance of assisting those around you who may need help during such scenarios.

Workplace Responsibilities

Companies have a duty of care to make provisions for evacuating disabled employees during an attack. Employers should have a plan in place to facilitate this process.


Being conscious of your surroundings and having a plan can help you stay safe during a rare firearms or weapon attack in the UK. Following the Run, Hide, Tell guidelines may save your life and the lives of others.