Pool Re report highlights terrorist threat to retail and hospitality

Pool Re’s specialist terrorism risk division Solutions has launched the second in a series of sector risk reports which identifies a number of potential terrorist threats to the retail and hospitality sector.

This report has been created to support the retail and hospitality sector’s understanding of the threat of terrorism to their businesses, providing detailed information required to better assess vulnerabilities and effectively manage and mitigate the risk. It is particularly aimed at supporting businesses such as small shops, multi-branch retail businesses, hotels, restaurants and bars, and other leisure and entertainment venues.

The report assesses various attack methodologies, the likelihood of their occurrence and their potential impact on businesses, and considers ways in which retail and hospitality businesses can manage and mitigate terrorism risk, including increasing understanding, seeking advice, strong preparation, training, security assessments and reinforcing business continuity plans and appropriate insurance cover.

Relevant case studies are highlighted, such as the 1999 London nail bombings in Brixton, Brick Lane and the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho, the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the 2013 Westgate Mall attack, the 2016 Berlin Christmas market attack and the 2017 London Bridge / Borough Market attack as well as the 2017 Oxford Street ‘false alarm’ on Black Friday. The impact and significance of these events for the retail and hospitality sectors are also examined.

Ed Butler, chief resilience officer at Pool Re, said: “With restrictions in the UK further easing this week and the re-emergence of crowds, retail and hospitality locations are especially at risk given their visibility and public significance. Innovations to accommodate social distancing like external queuing, outdoor dining spaces and the pedestrianisation of roads have created new vulnerabilities. At the same time, many businesses have lost experienced staff and have redirected scarce resources away from counterterrorism and protective security investment. Critically, terrorism is currently very low on businesses’ agendas.”

The report can be downloaded free and is available here.

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