Project Griffin Awareness Days – “fascinating and motivating”
Project Griffin seeks to enlist the help and support of individuals or groups, from across our communities, responsible for the safety and security of buildings, businesses, districts or neighbourhoods. Here, two recent attendees at Project Griffin Awareness Days share their thoughts on the programme and the impact it has made on them.
Tom Gbonda, Carillion plc Security Guard at Nationwide
Project Griffin aims to protect our communities from the threat of terrorism: ‘It brings together and coordinates the resources of the police, emergency services, local authorities, business and the private sector security industry.’ The topics covered included the current threat, bomb scene management, cordons, hostile reconnaissance and firearms.
This training has given me the tools to carry out my job with confidence. However, in the event of danger, I was advised to stay away from harm. My safety and that of my colleagues and the general public is of great importance.
The area that fascinated me most, and, I am sure, is germane to my job, was the examples of suspicious behaviour, for example:
- People asking detailed or unusual questions about buildings and business operations, facilities (such as room layouts).
- Evidence of tampering in plant rooms, unknown odours, substances etc.
- People using recording equipment, including camera phones, or seen making notes or sketches for no apparent reason.
The speakers encouraged us to report anything suspicious to management or police officers. “Don’t rely on others, if you suspect it, report it,” said John Yates former Assistant Commissioner in the Met Police. “Trust your instinct, have faith in your judgement.”
I wish to express my sincere appreciation to Carillion plc and Nationwide for giving me the opportunity to attend. I would encourage you to attend Griffin training whenever you have the opportunity.
Claire Whatley, Emergency Planning Officer, City of London
I found the Project Griffin Awareness Day fascinating and motivating. As an Emergency Planning Officer, I understand the value of Project Griffin and work closely with police colleagues to promote it widely. By attending the Awareness Day, I have up-to-date and accurate information on counter terrorism. Additionally, I gain an awareness of what Griffin-trained guards are able to do, so that in the event of an emergency, I know where and how they can be deployed. It is also important for the police and local authority to have the same information and deliver a consistent message to the public.
I whole-heartedly support the idea that counter terrorism awareness is not just the job of police. As part of the City business community, we all have some responsibility. I believe that the more people who are aware, the better. Anyone who has a professional role or interest in security, such as representatives from the faith community, receptionists and post room staff can all play their part. We can all take note of what we see around us. Project Griffin training can vastly improve your knowledge of what to look out for. The information on how someone can become radicalised is particularly enlightening. You must put all preconceptions aside on how you spot a terrorist. Behaviour, not appearance, is key.
It is a great comfort to me to know that once a month, sixty or seventy people are trained locally. It gives me an extra reassurance that there is an ever growing number of people looking out for us all.