MAY ADJOURNMENT – GUIDANCE REGARDING A TERRORIST ATTACK – 3 May 2018
[Bob Stewart: ... My second topic is something that struck me as I passed by the television monitors this morning. If there is a terrorist incident in our wonderful building, we are told to “run, hide and tell”. I was slightly shocked by that, and I asked a policeman whether that is also the advice they are given. The police officer said, “Yes, but don’t worry, sir, that is the last thing we would do. We would not run, hide and tell.” If that is the way we are telling security personnel to conduct themselves, I am extremely concerned about what the implications might be if someone did not run, hide and tell, but instead ran towards the incident, put themselves in danger and was hurt. Does it mean that the Government might say, “Your advice and instructions were ‘run, hide and tell’ and you did exactly the reverse. Therefore we will not give you compensation”? This issue concerns me a great deal. I do not believe for a moment that the people responsible for our security would do such a thing as “run, hide and tell”. I spoke with the Chair of the Defence Committee a few minutes ago, and he said that he wanted to comment on that point, so I will sit down.]
Dr Lewis: I am grateful to my hon. Friend, and I am frankly surprised that common-sense advice from the point of view of an untrained civilian should be extended – if indeed it is – to those who are professionally engaged in maintaining the security of this place and those who work in it. Of course we expect people to rise to the occasion when they are on duty, and we expect those who are not charged with being on duty to keep out of the way of those who are. How concerned is my hon. Friend at the prospect that people who work in the security field are beginning to think that they might pay some sort of financial penalty if they do what most of us would admire, and tackle the danger rather than hide from it?
[Bob Stewart: I thank my right hon. Friend for that intervention, which I forced on him. That is the worry. We cannot have our security personnel thinking, “If I do this and I am hurt, I might suffer financially.” That would be wrong. Actually, I think the advice is slightly wrong for everyone. If any of us see a situation where someone is in danger, I think we should think ,“I’ve got to help.” That is the first thought that should go through our minds.]
[For Julian's speech in this debate click here.]