Overseas Holiday Markets Looking to Bolster Security to Prevent Attacks
Attacks on Christmas markets and festivals in 2016 have motivated officials to boost security in order to prevent mass-casualty attacks.
- By Sydny Shepard
- Oct 17, 2017
The current threat level in the UK sits at "severe," a stark and menacing reminder that security officials believe another mass casualty attack is imminent. With the holidays just around the corner, officials and law enforcement are detailing their plans to ensure that holiday festivals and markets overseas are safe places for locals and tourists to gather.
According to The Telegraph, the Local Government Association has warned councils to be vigilant and has encouraged them to follow government guidance in protecting areas susceptible to mass casualty incidents.
Guidelines include installing obstructions such as concrete bollards in pedestrian areas to prevent vehicle attacks like the one that happened at a Christmas Market in Berlin last year where 12 people died and another 56 were injured. Similar barriers have already been installed on three of London's bridges in the aftermath of June's terror attack on London Bridge, where a van drove into crowds, killing eight people and injuring 48 more.
In both instances, the attackers were motivated by Islamic extremism. Councils are taking action to prevent these occurrences, but many fear that this might motivate more attack attempts.
In Southampton, Hampshire, concrete bollards are being installed ahead of a Christmas Market that is to open on Nov. 11. Other festivals are putting their staffs through anti-terror training with police as part of Project Griffin, a counter-terrorism initiative where business personnel attend briefings organized by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office.
Police have also confirmed that festival attendees will see an increase in the amount of uniformed officers on duty during the events.
A force spokesman said: "The public may see additional protective security measures and barriers at events this year, in response to a number of vehicle-based terrorist attacks we have sadly seen both here in the UK and abroad. There could also be increased security checks at some events and venues so we advise the public to arrive in plenty of time to allow for this."
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.