Scottish security operatives face realistic terror scenarios in nightclub exercise

The Security Industry Authority (SIA), which is the regulator for the private security industry, ran the safety resilience exercise at Kokomo on Glasgow’s West Regent Street. The SIA organised the exercise, which is the first of its kind in Scotland, in partnership with Police Scotland counter-terrorism officers and Glasgow City Council.

The training event at Kokomo confronted security staff with a series of real-time simulations, involving actors, of possible emergency scenarios. These included a mass stabbing, an acid attack, a marauding terrorist attack taking place outside the club, and a suspect package.

Ronnie Megaughin, the SIA’s Acting Director of Inspections & Enforcement, said:

Putting these security operatives into realistic terror scenarios is one of the best ways to prepare them in the event of a real-life incident. We stage a terror incident, watch how they deal with the scenario, and then provide an instant debrief from counter-terror experts. We know from past experience that operatives, and their managers, really appreciate what they learn from these events and find them worth their while. Any of these security staff could find themselves as the first responder at a serious incident, and this training could literally be the difference between life and death.

Lee Crofts, the SIA Criminal Investigation manager who co-ordinated the event, said:

The main aim of exercises like this is to enhance public safety in the night-time economy by working with venues and security staff. It’s also to showcase best practice by putting the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) security e-learning package, which we’ve been recommending to all SIA-licensed operatives, into practice. We’re really pleased with the commitment that all the security staff put into the Kokomo exercise.

This emergency planning exercise at Kokomo continues a programme of exercises and follows on from events in Chesterfield and London in autumn 2021. A pilot event took place at Buxton in Derbyshire in October 2019.

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