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Terrorism in Australian Shopping Centres: The Role of Owners and Operators in Keeping Everyone Safe

 

In 2017, the Austraila-NewZealand Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC) released a document entitled Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism. It aims to share tactics with owners and operators of crowded places (which include shopping centres) so they’ll be better equipped in protecting the people in their premises.

 

According to the document, owners and operators of shopping centres should do the following to fulfil their responsibilities:

 

Conduct a risk assessment and vulnerability analysis of their establishment

These processes not only cover the physical attributes of the shopping centre but also include a review of the current security plan. Ideally, these are done with a private security provider and the local police force.

 

Develop a comprehensive security plan based on the results of the assessment, implement it and test it regularly

The threats and risks that were seen during assessment will be factored into tweaking the existing plan or developing a new one if needed. The effectiveness of the security management plan can be measured with its proper implementation, constant monitoring, and regular review.

 

Have a full understanding of how changes in the national terrorist threat levels directly affect their security protocols

The current National Terrorism Threat Level of Australia is PROBABLE – the middle point of a 5-level scale. This indicates that individuals and groups within the country have the intent and capability to perform terrorist attacks and pose a threat to many public places. Owners and operators of shopping centres should be aware of how their security protocols should adjust in the event that the national threat level changes.

 

Know about the main factors that terrorists consider in selecting their targets

Understanding how likely their location will be picked by terrorists for an attack will help owners and operators better understand the risks they’re facing. It will also inform them of the professional assistance they need.

The following tools can be used to assess your own risk levels:

Crowded Places Self-Assessment Tool

Crowded Places Security Audit

 

Disseminate information about possible security threats to all staff and patrons

The success of any security plan relies on the level of awareness of all stakeholders. Owners and operators should do their part in raising awareness about the possible terrorist threats. They should also keep the stakeholders informed of the policy updates and relevant announcements through effective communication channels such as memos, posters, and others.

 

Report to the police any suspected terrorist activity and security incidents

It is recommended that security incidents or suspicious activities be reported to law enforcement as early as possible. The National Security Hotline (1800 123 400) may be contacted for reports that are not time-critical.

 

Conclusion

Many lives were taken during the different terrorist attacks all over the world. The Australian government is hopeful that by empowering owners and operators and building sustainable partnerships with the private sector, the devastating effects of these attacks can be mitigated.

Prosek Security can help your business comply with the provisions of this strategy by assisting you in the conduct of the risk assessment and vulnerability analysis of your establishment. Our team of security experts can also guide you in accomplishing the self-assessment tools and help you achieve compliance with government-mandated protocols and standards. Get in touch with us now to schedule a free consultation session with us.