Project Griffin – National Counter Terrorism initiative goes from strength to strength
“I have done so many training courses in London, but to be honest this was the best of my life.”
“Interesting and scary.”
“Very scary and a lot of detail.”
“Never be ashamed to call the police if you suspect something.”
“Excellent course, brilliant speakers, top quality content.”
All the above are examples from the Griffin feedback sheets that we have collected over the years, coupled with a more sobering comment, “Hopefully something I hope I never have to use”; a sentiment echoed by many people.
What is not measured is what can be described as the feel good factor. It is noticeable that the attendees feel valued, feel that they have a role to play and that they can make a difference. It does increase confidence overall, including confidence in the City of London Police’s ability to deal effectively with a terrorist incident.
What Griffin has done is to explode the myth (pardon the pun) that ordinary members of the public have no part to play in the fight against terrorism. It has gone a long way to providing the ammunition for them to act with confidence, whether it is reporting suspicious behaviour or dealing with a suspect package.
From the outset Griffin has been fortunate to have the services of many expert presenters from across the counter terrorist spectrum. Special Operations personnel, Counter Terrorism section, Bomb disposal teams from the Metropolitan Police Service have all been regular contributors and all have had one thing in common: there has been a personal commitment from them to deliver a professional and informative presentation.
With the way the day is set out, it is understood that there is a lot of information delivered in a short space of time so it is important that the content keeps them engaged. This they have delivered, and continue to do so.
It is sometimes difficult to single out individuals, but I feel one individual is worthy of mention. We are blessed with the quality of our presenters and I am sure they would support this special mention.
One of the highlights of the day is undoubtedly the input by the Metropolitan Police expo team. Jon “BJ” Clarke has shown enormous commitment to the Project since its inception, and beneath that hardened exterior is a person who obviously cares about his subject. His delivery shows that. Jon has finished night duties and then attended Griffin to deliver his presentation, has worked extended shifts to cover Griffin, and all the people I see around the City remember “BJ”. His infamy extends beyond the City as many Forces also remember Jon when we have taken Griffin to other Forces.
From us all in the City Griffin team, thank you.
Project Griffin champions throughout the UK
On a personal note, it is with enormous pride that as I walk round the City I see the Griffin lapel pin all over the place, or I get a cheery wave from a Security Officer who has attended the day. On occasions the same people have stopped me and just said a simple “thank you”.
Throughout the United Kingdom we have seen the enthusiasm of many “Griffin champions” who have shown the same drive and enthusiasm that has been evident in London. They believe also that it does and can make a difference.
The success of Griffin is also down to a lot of behind the scenes personnel. From the City’s perspective it is the team that puts the awareness day together, it is the team that runs the bridge call for us, it is the team the puts the content of that bridge call together. Their contribution impacts significantly, but they are quite often the “forgotten people”.
Skills for Security are also an integral part of Griffin. As we go to print we can proudly announce that the new and improved Griffin refresher programme has gone live thanks to the tireless work undertaken by Jayne and Steve from Skills. There is a new module included under the Lone Actor/Active Shooter banner, which we hope will prove informative. Our thanks to them for their continued support. For access to the programme centre approval is obtained through Skills for Security. www.skillsforsecurity.org.uk
The Griffin website has also undergone improvements and updating with endorsements from all the Executive Committee. Contact details of all participating Forces throughout the United Kingdom are now available and we will continue to make sure the website remains current, user friendly and provides the public with the ability to attend awareness days throughout the country.
Griffin certainly has come a long way.
City of London Police