Preparing for a Terror Attack; since September 11 2001 Britain Has Been Warned of the Inevitability of Terrorist Attacks. as a Result North East Organisations Have Been Put through a Series of Mock Explosions to Prepare Them If the Situation Was to Arise

Article excerpt

Byline: HELEN RAE reports.

JUST imagine a bomb blast at St James's Park, or a suicide bomber in the MetroCentre.

These are the kind of frightening situations which business managers in Tyneside have to prepare for.

Terrorism is something which all regions, including the North East, have to be acutely aware of.

More than 80 bosses attended project ARGUS, at Newcastle Civic Centre yesterday.

The scheme is a National Counter Terrorism Security Office initiative, used to explore ways to teach employees how to prevent, handle and recover from a terrorist attack.

Sound recordings were used to simulate a series of explosions in quick succession and those attending were asked to consider what their response would be in the situation.

The project is supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers and Newcastle City Council.

Stephen Savage, head of public health and environmental protection at the council said: "It is crucial events such as this are done for businesses in the region. The threat of a terrorist attack is real but no more so than any other part of the country. We are not trying to scaremonger people but make them aware of what they need to look out for and what precautions they should take. There is not an enhanced security threat in Newcastle but people need to be prepared as the instance of a terrorist attack is, unfortunately, something that needs to be addressed. …