Brian Sims

Security operatives face realistic terror scenarios in training exercise

LEICESTER’S MOSH Nightclub recently played host to a set of simulated emergency exercises for the club’s management, staff and security team. The exercise saw the club’s security operatives challenged by four realistic scenarios under the guidance of Leicestershire Police, the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office.

The initiative, which is part of the UK-wide Operation SENTRY, was led by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Its purpose is to ensure preparedness in the unlikely event of a mass casualty event at a Leicester club.

The emergency exercise is designed for front line security operatives to enable them to put into practice ACT Awareness e-Learning as well as the newer ACT Security e-Learning. This free course was designed by Government counter-terrorism experts from the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure and the SIA.

The custom-built training provides up-to-date counter-terrorism knowledge to help security professionals prepare for and respond to terrorist incidents while on duty. The counter-terrorism learning features specific drills that were showcased in order for operatives to be able to deal with:

*mass stabbing (gang-related knife attack)

*a marauding terrorist attack taking place outside the club

*an acid attack

*a suspect package

The event was all about strengthening the resilience of Mosh Nightclub staff and enabling them to test their emergency plan.

Realistic scenarios

Ronnie Megaughin, head of compliance and inspections at the SIA, said: “Putting Mosh Nightclub’s security operatives into realistic terror scenarios is one of the best ways in which to prepare them in the event of a real-life incident. Security operatives may be the first people on the scene in an incident. The staged terror incidents enabled operatives to take part in and deal with the scenario, and then receive an instant debrief from counter-terror experts.”

Megaughin continued: “We know from experience that operatives and their managers really appreciate what they learn from these events and find them worth their while. Any of these security staff members could find themselves as the first responder at a serious incident. Training exercises like this could literally be the difference between life and death.”

Inderjit Singh, the SIA’s regional investigator for the East Region (and who led on the event) commented: “We’re really pleased with the commitment that the Mosh Nightclub’s security staff put into the exercise. The main aim of exercises like this is to enhance public safety in Leicester’s night-time economy by working with venues and security staff. It’s also to showcase Best Practice by putting the Action Counters Terrorism awareness e-Learning package, which we’ve been recommending to all licensed operatives, into practice. I would like to thank all of our partners and notably Mosh Nightclub’s management for hosting the exercises in order to help enhance public protection.”

The emergency planning exercise at Mosh Nightclub continues a programme of similar exercises and follows on from events in Chesterfield and London last year and in Glasgow last month. A pilot event took place at Buxton in Derbyshire back in October 2019.

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