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Protect against but be prepared for terrorism

London launch of simulation roadshow for businesses located in crowded places

London business leaders will today (Monday 29 January) be told to ‘protect against but be prepared for’ a possible terrorist attack in a crowded place. Influential business organisation London First will host the launch of Project Argus, a new initiative from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO).

Project Argus will consist of a nationwide programme of events for business leaders, using a series of multi-media simulation techniques to help identify steps they can take to prevent, handle and recover from a terrorist attack.

The launch, to over 100 London business leaders, will take place at UBS headquarters in the City. It will be hosted by Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, and addressed by Tony McNulty, Home Office Minister of State for Policing, Security and Community Safety. The preview of the simulation exercise will be presented by Chris Phillips, Head of National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO).

Businesses will be taken through a realistic terrorist attack using multi-media simulation, designed to help each organisation to prevent, handle and recover from a terrorist attack. Further, ‘Project Argus’ events, free to business participants, will be run by NaCTSO in main cities across the UK over the next two years.

Baroness Jo Valentine, London First Chief Executive, said:

“London First aims to make the UK capital the best city in the world to do business. That includes improving our security and our resilience. We aim to help our members and London businesses generally to improve London’s preparations for and protection against terrorist attack.

“Project Argus is a valuable initiative from NaCTSO, building on our jointly developed publications: ‘Expecting the Unexpected’ and ‘Secure in the Knowledge’. I urge businesses in London and across the UK to make the best use of the valuable insight provided by the simulation events.”

Tony McNulty, Home Office Minister of State for Policing, Security and Community Safety, said:

“The terrorist threat does not respect conventional boundaries and therefore presents a new type of challenge. That is why our response must include new types of cooperation.

“Countering terrorism is no longer the preserve of Government and law enforcement. We all need to work together, including the business community and the public. Project Argus will help engage businesses and ensure that they are as prepared as possible should crowded places of work be targeted by terrorist groups.”

Notes to editors

Event details
Monday 29th January 2007, 9.00 – 10.30am
At UBS, 1 Finsbury Avenue, London, EC2M 2PP
Media are welcome to attend the beginning of the event.

London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of 300 of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. Our members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is an independent, professionally led strategic body. In the public interest and, in equal and active partnership with Government and the Association of Police Authorities, ACPO leads and co-ordinates the direction and development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In times of national need ACPO, on behalf of all chief officers, coordinates the strategic policing response. ACPO TAM is the Committee of senior police officers responsible for setting the strategic direction of police counter-terrorism activity.

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