Police pull out stops for Project Argus

POLICE have pulled out all the stops to persuade the owners of town centre businesses to attend a workshop to devise an anti-terrorist action plan for Great Yarmouth after the previous workshop was poorly attended.

POLICE have pulled out all the stops to persuade the owners of town centre businesses to attend a workshop to devise an anti-terrorist action plan for Great Yarmouth after the previous workshop was poorly attended.

PC Pat Bailey, crime prevention and architectural liaison officer at Yarmouth, said PCSOs had distributed leaflets to more than 200 retailers in Yarmouth and Gorleston. And two police officers, Det Con Paul Beaumont and Det Con Peter Hawkins, visited the businesses in person to discuss Project Argus, which is due to take place at Yarmouth Town Hall this Tuesday.

A number of retailers said they had not been informed about the original meeting a couple of years ago so the aim was to get as much publicity as possible this time, he added.

Earlier this month, PC Bailey warned retailers not to be blasé about the possibility that terrorists could target the busiest shopping areas after only 16 out of a possible 50 companies were represented at the previous workshop.


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He said although there was no intelligence to indicate the town was in danger of a terrorist attack, retailers needed to be prepared for such an emergency.

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) has arranged the second workshop because of the poor numbers attending the first one.

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A series of questions and challenges will be presented to the business representatives who will then break up into smaller groups to discuss how to respond to the incident.

An evacuation procedure will then be drawn up, which will consider where the attack has taken place and how best to evacuate people without jeopardising their safety.

Strategies for preventing a terrorist attack will also be covered during the three-hour workshop, which will involve the emergency services.

“There has been a lot of work done and a lot of talking to people. There has been a lot of work to get this off the ground, but we will just have to wait and see what type of response we get,” PC Bailey said.

The workshop is due to start at 9am in the Assembly Room.

To find out more call 01603 222016.

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