‘Project Griffin’ might be a name you have heard being used, but what does it mean, and more importantly, what does it mean for the events industry? Here at drp, we’ve now been involved in a total of four Project Griffin training sessions, spanning a period of 9 months, and we’d like to share some advice and tips for those wishing to know more about it.
So, what is Project Griffin?
The aim of Project Griffin is to advise and familiarise managers, security guards, and employees of public and private sector organisations across the U.K. of the many security and terrorism threats we are facing as a country. One of its central purposes is to ensure the public know how to be vigilant and aware. With this awareness comes the capacity to spot and report any suspicious activity or possible terrorism and crime. Project Griffin was originally developed by the City of London Police in April 2004 and, since then, it has been implemented by police forces across the U.K. and overseas.
How important is implementing Project Griffin into the events industry?
Project Griffin is of increasing importance to the events industry. It trains teams to be highly vigilant and alert in relation to spotting suspicious behaviour. It covers areas that are relevant to the event industry, such as;
- Suspicious Packages
- Hostile Reconnaissance
- Onsite security and suspicious behaviour
While there is security and a police presence at some events, there is not always the budget or capacity for this; we all need to take responsibility, and be on the lookout, for potentially dangerous situations – remaining aware at all times.
What is drp doing to ensure delegate and staff safety at events?
All drp team members have either undertaken Project Griffin training, or will have the opportunity to do so in the coming months. We are currently working with the police to continue our team capabilities with another NACTSO training course – Project Argus. This will be attended by our live teams, ranging from carpenters through to directors.
In addition to this training, we have also spent a huge amount of time updating our crisis planning and management procedures to ensure that they are relevant for the current threat, and will be conducting training with all our onsite teams. We have also taken on a crisis insurance policy which can be activated in the case of a variety of scenarios including terrorist attacks.
Could the events industry do more in this area?
As an industry, a number of companies have a crisis management procedure in place, and may feel that this is enough for their teams. However, some of these procedures may be 10 years out of date. The threat with which we are dealing has changed – companies need to be aware of this, and review their crisis plans in the current climate.
drp is fully aware of this and we have actively been working in the past 18 months to ensure that our procedures are all-encompassing and current. It is also reassuring for our teams and clients to know that the support structure is in place for them should the worst happen while they are onsite.
What’s the most important thing to consider when putting together a safety / counter-terrorism plan?
It is vital not to try and make your plan too formulaic. If you tailor your crisis procedure to a specific scenario(s), then you may find it becomes unusable in a crisis that differs from that situation. Keep your plan flexible to a range of situations, so it remains relevant for anything that could be thrown your way.
Is there any advice to companies looking to implement Project Griffin into their businesses?
Work alongside the Project Griffin trainers to tailor the programme to your own workplace / team activities. This will not only increase the engagement but also helps the team to visualise how the training is relevant for their daily life.
Marie Lacey – Account Manager and heading up Crisis Management Training and Project Griffin at drp