When the National Terrorism Public Alert level was raised from Medium to High late last year and the Sydney Siege occurred just months later, a number of organisations contacted Dynamiq about how they could effectively prepare for incidents such as an armed assault or active shooter. 

“At present, I would say many organisations may not have taken adequate steps to identify the particular threats they’re exposed to. Some organisations have general plans in place, however they may not address the specific threats faced by them in the context of the overall security environment,” Dynamiq Principal Consultant and security threat specialist, Joseph Iannazzo said.

While many companies are concerned about a terrorist attack in the cities in which they are located, Mr Iannazzo said they should be just as concerned about other significant security incidents occurring inside their own walls. 

“The threat of a terrorist act is a trending issue currently being discussed by the media and risk managers alike. However, the likelihood of a malicious insider or a disgruntled worker, contractor or customer should be just as concerning,” he said. 

Mr Iannazzo cited a recent FBI report which analysed 160 active shooter incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2013.

“Out of those 160 incidents, 23 occurred in business environments generally closed to pedestrian traffic.  These incidents almost exclusively involved employees, with 22 employed or previously employed at the business,” Mr Iannazzo said.

Mr Iannazzo said the findings also reflected the damage that can occur in a matter of minutes. In 64 incidents where the duration of the incident could be ascertained, 44 of the incidents ended in 5 minutes or less.

“This highlights the importance of effective planning and the fact that staff should be engaged in training and discussions on the tough decisions they may face,” Mr Iannazzo said.

Mr Iannazzo said there are parallels in responding to an armed attacker, be that an armed assault act of terrorism or an active shooter incident, and Dynamiq is hosting a webinar next week to address some of the commonly asked questions. 

“It’s an unfortunate reality that there will likely be a future terrorist attack in Australia and as a result, in my view and in the view of many in the industry, the Threat Level in Australia could increase from High to Extreme for a period of time,” Mr Iannazzo said.

Dynamiq is hosting a webinar,  Responding to armed assault, acts of terrorism and active shooter incidents next Wednesday 11 March at 10:30am. To register to attend or receive a recording click here.


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