Security Meeting for Holidaymakers

Summer Holidays

The latest edition of the Government’s CONTEST Strategy has recently been published and as well as setting out the UK’s response to terrorist attacks, it also provides advice and guidance for holiday makers.

The responsibility for the safety and security of British nationals overseas rests with the governments of the countries they are in. However, their capability and capacity to do so can vary significantly, and in many cases has been severely tested by the scale and nature of the local terrorist threat.

Helping people understand the risks in countries to which they travel is a key part of the UK governments work: the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Travel Advice online had nearly 47 million hits in 2017. This advice highlights terrorist threats to British nationals overseas so they can make informed decisions about their travel. Where the risks are sufficiently grave, the government will continue to advise against travel.

The UK has a world-renowned system for responding to terrorist incidents overseas in which British nationals are involved. This involves detailed crisis management planning; the use of specialist resources, such as Rapid Deployment Teams; the deployment of police to support investigations in the aftermath of an attack; and hostage and crisis negotiation experts. The UK government will continue to test and improve their systems for responding to incidents overseas, including through regular exercising – a recent Marauding Terrorist Firearms Attack crisis exercise in Nigeria included 350 participants – and maintaining their specialist kidnap negotiation and hostage rescue capabilities.

The UK Government does not pay ransoms or make substantive concessions to terrorist hostage takers. Ransom payments to terrorists are illegal under UK and international law as a terrorist finance offence.

While holidaying should be a restful and relaxing time it is important to think about your safety, and that your family, should a terrorist attack occur.  The UK government have developed a Run Hide Tell video for holiday makers which is worth watching before you set off on your travels -

Published 2nd July 2018

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