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Police advice on how to react to a terrorist attack -run, hide and tell…

In the UK, there is now some police advice in a video on what to do in the unlikely event of getting caught up in a terrorist attack. The first tip is to run, the next is to hide, phone the police if you can and say where you are, and wait for the armed police to turn up, and when they do, try not to get shot by them by waving your hands around too quickly.

For those unfamiliar with hiding from armed killers, the video suggests.

“The best hiding place with protection from gunfire will have a substantial physical barrier between you and the attacker.”

Another handy tip is:

“Insist others come with you, but don’t let their indecision slow you down,” the video says.

A fuller version of the video is here.

Well that’s made it all fairly clear then. The video is pretty much what you might have expected. As Bob Geldof put it in ‘I don’t like Mondays‘ ‘…And the lesson for today is how to die…’.

Truth be told, the advice is realistic given the legal situation in the UK. Do our friends in Texas have a different take on what to do?

44 comments to Police advice on how to react to a terrorist attack -run, hide and tell…

  • rxc

    I don’t know about Texas, but down here in FLlrida, one of the local County Sheriffs has advised people who have a “carry permit” that they should be prepared to use their legal weapons to protect themselves. This advice, of course, has not been received well by those people who would prefer the populace to be unarmed, docile, and willing to be led to taxation and slaughter.

  • Uncle Kenny

    “Do our friends in Texas have a different take on what to do?” Yes. Next question?

  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    When I read this I thought, “it’s the pussification of society”. Not sure where I’d heard that word, I googled it. George Carlin may have invented it. Then I found a blog post by a fitness trainer, of all things.

    Though society may become increasingly pussified, it will, at some point, still need to find its backbone and that’s when good men will rise and the cancerous weakness that once rooted them out will come calling for help.

  • I must admit that I read this and thought “Hmmm” at first as it is a bit cowardly, but upon reflection “Run, Hide and call the cops” is probably a reasonable approach given the fact that the UK populace has been disarmed and recalling events in Paris.

    Can’t stand your ground without any firearms can you? What are we meant to use? Harsh language?

  • Mr Ed

    What are we meant to use? Harsh language?

    Well, any words of religiously-aggravated harassment of armed jihadis might get the police at your side (but not on it) a bit faster…

  • lucklucky

    Yeah, probably if you say something islamophobic in case of an islamic terrorist attack police my arrive faster.

  • RAB

    As I have said over at our place, several times… I carry a backpack when out walking the Bonkers dog. It usually contains a phone, a frisbee for the dog’s delectation, poo bags for cleaning up after her, a notebook and pen, often a tablet computer, a lighter and a multi functional knife, all normal stuff, wouldn’t you agree? But I feel that the pack is a bit light, a bit lacking. So what I want is a Glock and six extra clips in there to balance it up. Just in case I run into a Mumbai or Paris situation in downtown Bristol. What’s the matter disarmers? Don’t you trust me, and people like me, who would prefer to go down, at least, trying to fight back, rather than cowering behind a dustbin waiting to kiss my ass goodbye?

  • Laird

    The Police Chief in the District of Columbia, of all people, has recommended that sometimes active resistance to a shooter is required. This advice isn’t being universally well received, as one would expect, but various other police chiefs across the country (and not all in Texas!) have expressed similar sentiments. One doesn’t always need to be armed with a gun, either; sometimes other “weapons of convenience” will present themselves. What is needed is the mindset to resist, rather than simply to cower in all circumstances. That seems to have been bred out of the UK populace, however, based on reports I’ve read about people being prosecuted for resisting burglars with knives or even iron bars.

    RAB, you (and others) might consider carrying an illegal handgun in that backpack (provided you can obtain one, of course). In a life-or-death situation, I’d prefer to take my chances with the legal system than rely on an assailant’s mercy.

  • rxc

    “..I’d prefer to take my chances with the legal system than rely on an assailant’s mercy.”

    In the US, the saying is “Better judged by 12 than carried by 6.”

  • RAB

    That’s good advice Laird.

  • David Aitken

    I’ve seen several references to “run hide fight” (google) as the way, and order, to deal with it. Run if you can; hide if you can’t; fight if you have to. Fighting might mean throwing whatever you have handy if you can’t either run or hide. Throwing shoes, keys, cellphones, kindles, whatever might disrupt the attacker enough to prevent some carnage and give some proactive people a chance to take him down. I’m no expert, though.

  • staghounds

    Mr. Aitken is right, probably even if you’re armed with a typical everyday carry pistol.

    Chances are that active shooters are going to be too far away for you to hit when you first perceive them, yet well within their range to hit you. And adding another person with a gun to the mix is likely to be unhelpful. Everyone who sees you- other victims, other armed victims, first responders- will think you are the shooter’s ally. Except for the shooter of course, who will know that you are target #1.

    Disregarding the run-hide-fight process is likely to make you less safe.

    Personal safety is not everyone’s first priority, though.

  • TimR

    “Gun free zones” can be more accurately described as “victim rich zones”.

  • Chip

    Makes you wonder how much this advice and other evidence of passivity play in the decision making process of terror planners. Are they more likely to target a place in Texas than one in California?

    Especially after the quick end to those idiots who tried to attack Pam Geller at the free speech event.

  • Eric

    So what I want is a Glock and six extra clips in there to balance it up. Just in case I run into a Mumbai or Paris situation in downtown Bristol.

    Six extra magazines! Just how many assailants are you planning for?

  • Six extra magazines! Just how many assailants are you planning for?

    All of them?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Texas. In 1991, Dr. Suzanna Gratia-Hupp survived a mass shooting in a restaurant in Texas. Here she is, giving testimony at a Senate hearing, sometime before March 8, 2009. Note particularly her ending statement.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvTO-y-B2YM?rel=0&w=420&h=315%5D

    And in another video of very good quality, she gives similar testimony before a committee apparently headed by Sen. Dick Durbin, who I am bitterly ashamed to say is a true POS whom the citizens of Illinois have been sending to the Senate for decades. This testimony is from Feb. 13, 2013. There are a couple of additional, interesting details.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3414MVvkAXE?rel=0&w=420&h=315%5D

  • Julie near Chicago

    Hi, Perry & Co.,

    I just sent messages with not just one but two UT links, which are awaiting moderation as expected. I just thought I’d mention it. :>)

  • Fred the Fourth

    I have always asserted these:
    1. I have a right to defend myself.
    2. I have a right and a responsibility to defend those who depend on me.
    Now, the police advice may be good advice if one is intent on saving one’s own skin, but is, in my opinion, terrible advice if one is intent on saving civilization.

  • Quentin

    When I read this I thought, “it’s the pussification of society”.

    Rob, I believe the term ‘pussification’ was invented by Kim du Toit who sometimes posts in these parts and whose blog was excellent – indeed required – reading.

  • Mr Brown

    Only in america

    you can shoot each other with your guns, but condemn other counties more civilized then you

    think about it

  • Paul Marks

    An awful, pathetic, film – instructions for slaves.

  • Ljh

    I remember the sad fate about ten years ago in the UK of a woman who called the police because her husband, from whom she was separated, had arrived at the family home armed with a gun. Armed police did arrive and “assessed the situation” for two hours before entering the house. Her son was dead in the entrance hall and she was deadin the wardrobe she was hiding in with her mobile phone. At least the cops were unharmed. GOK how they would respond to a Bataclan style attack.

  • David of London

    so all off you guns helped the people of San Bernardino

    dont tell me they did not run and hide

  • To paraphrase the (British) poster:
    Keep Calm
    Return Fire.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mr. Brown, many of us Samizdatistas from around the world have been thinking about it for years.

    See the two videos of testimony before the U.S. Senate by Suzanna Gratia-Hupp, to which I posted links above.

    Understand also, please, that the large majority of murders in the U.S. occur in geographically-small pockets where normal society has broken down; a great many of these are the result of illegal-drug dealing and of gang wars. Gun murders are rare in most of the country.

    As for mass murders and shootings here, all but two of them have occurred in so-called “gun-free zones,” where it is illegal for people to carry guns for self-defense. See, for instance, Dr. Lott’s “A Look at the Facts on Gun-free Zones,” at


    This article presents several cases where an armed citizen interrupted a series of murders, thereby saving many lives and garnering praise from such ignoramuses as police captains, sheriffs, and government prosecutors.

    As for “more civilized countries,” in addition to the facts above, consider this quote from a piece by Dr. John Lott at


    “After adjusting for America’s much larger population, we see that many European countries actually have higher rates of death in mass public shootings.”

    The quote links to a long, well-documented article by Dr. Lott published on June 13, 2015, entitled “Comparing Death Rates from Mass Public Shootings and Mass Public Violence in the US and Europe” at

    The quote contains a link to a long, well-documented article entitled “Comparing Death Rates from Mass Public Shootings and Mass Public Violence in the US and Europe,” published June 23, 2015:


    . . .

    Echoing Laird above, various sheriffs or police chiefs around the country have expressed support for citizens’ carrying in their jurisdictions, in order to be able to defend themselves (the citizens *g*) and others. One such is Milwaukee Country Sheriff David A. Clarke, who has gotten some public attention on this. I believe there are a few videos up on UT, by the way.

    . . .
    By the way, the worst school mass murder in U.S. history was carried out by an Andrew Kehoe, 55, in Bath, Michigan in 1927. Mr. Kehoe used not firearms but rather bombs. See for instance the Wikipedia article entitled Bath_School_disaster .

  • Julie near Chicago

    Coises! Smited again!

  • Mr Ed

    Julie, it appears that the hamsters are having a bit of pre-Christmas downtime. I therefore have to moderate blocked comments as and when they come to my attention. I hope that you are not offended by my not staying up all night here in GMT lest I be needed to moderate a comment, the resources of Samizdata do not extend to providing me with matchsticks to prop my eyelids open, and leaving the hamsters chewing on matchsticks has obvious hazards that I as a critter-friend cannot bear to contemplate. However, the smiting has been revoked, for now anyway.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mr Ed,

    While I sympathize with you mightily, I must tell you that I am offended beyond all recompense and will never ever visit Samizdata again, except for purposes of reading the interesting discourse here, adding some commentary of my own, and — I will note — looking for your own usual interesting and sometimes hilarious stuff.

    Oh wottheheck, it’s Christmas! Merry Christmas, Mr Ed (and everyone else) and may Santa Claus leave the most desirable stuff in your stockings.



    P.S. Seriously, thanks, Mr Ed, for your attempts to maintain some sort of order amongst this unruly herd of cats, and even more, for keeping out no-‘count low-life scum who try to crash our party. Thanks to you and all the mods, and to you in particular for getting up to the task even without the matchsticks. Joyeux Noël :>))

  • jdm

    Thanks to Julie NC for an oh-so civil response to that brown dickhead, and to Mr Ed for letting her post it. I wouldn’t’ve have been so polite had I decided to respond to an obvious troll – or just a pathetically ill-armed debater – because I’m pretty darn sure that if that brown creature has read JNC’s info, it is *not* thinking, as would any sentient being, “my, what an interesting collection of information for which I may need to revise my opinions: they seem flawed”.

  • Julie near Chicago


  • San Bernadino is in California. The gun laws aren’t that much different from the UK. Slightly different. No one in California – who is not a movie star, politician or other big-wig – has a carry permit. The people are too civilized and the police don’t allow it.

    Houston, Texas has put out a video entitled. Run. Hide. Fight. Several other municipalities and even a few universities have produced similar videos. (Some have used the same 3 terms, some have changed to escape any copyright problems.)

    It can take police a long time to arrive at an active shooter incident. If you wait to be rescued, you may wait a long time. Best to get out of the situation.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Zendo, that’s a nice website you have there. A bit subversive (links to places like John Lott’s site, Massad Ayoob, Samizdata, so forth), which is very nice, and informative stuff claiming that homeowners are successfully fending off attacks from the uncivilized (nobody in California of course), and informative stuff about we should not be too trusting when it comes to computer privacy and indulging the urge to share; mixed in with stuff for the children, like video cartoons about some guy named Einstein who seems to have had the hilarious idea that space and time are really something called space-time, and it bends if you put it near something with a bit of mass to it. HaHAhaHAhaHA!!! :>)))!!! Made me think of Tweety and Sylvester.

    Very good, interesting stuff. Thanks. 😉

  • Laird

    Mr Brown, I consider any country which does not permit its citizens to defend themselves, forcefully and effectively, as being only marginally civilized at best. They are most certainly not “more civilized.”

  • I don’t know what our state policy is here in Texas, but the general consensus is:

    1. Find cover (or concealment, if no cover is available)
    2. Return fire
    3. Make every shot count.

    Myself, I carry my trusty Springfield 1911 at all times, along with two spare 8-round mags. I’m pretty sure I can resolve any situation with 25 rounds of .45 ACP (3 x 8 plus one in the chamber). And if I get to the boot of my car… let’s just say I have further options. Among my several acquaintances, I’m probably the most lightly armed.

    Terrorist assholes, take note.

  • Tarrou

    More civilized than the US? You mean Europe, or Britain, where the social services serve up thousands of their own children to immigrant rape gangs and use the police to arrest parents who try to extricate their children? Where passersby hold kaffeeklatsch with a nutter waving the severed head of one of their servicemen? Where you snivel and whine and beg for our help every time you run into any foreign policy dispute that you can’t solve by immediate and unconditional capitulation?

    I hope to fucking Darwin we never become so “civilized”.

    As to the problem at hand, you puts the front sight post on the shithead shooting up the place, you press the trigger to the rear, and repeat until the slide locks back.

  • Julie, thanks for that. I do my best, given that I do it just for my own enjoyment.

  • the other rob

    Laird is correct, as is typically the case. Julie, likewise. I would add only one thing: conventional wisdom is that you flee a knife but charge a gun. See, for example, a train in France some months ago. Also, some Marines a few years back when, iirc, an NCO went postal.

    As to the situation in Texas, I just drove the length of the state, after flying to another city to buy a new truck. While I could have brought a side arm with me, I was reluctant to endure the delays involved in waiting for checked baggage, so elected to simply buy a new one after deplaning.

    Upon arrival in my destination city, I spotted a couple of State Troopers, approached them and asked “Where’s a good gun store round here?” One of them proceeded to give me a very comprehensive rundown on the state of local firearms retailing, I followed his advice and drove home with a .50AE Desert Eagle, made by Israel Military Industries and purchased at a very fair price with a box of hollowpoints thrown in.

    So that pretty much summarises the view that’s taken in Texas.

  • Dusky Flathead

    “and a Desert Eagle, that’s one great big old pistol,
    I mean fifty caliber, made by badass Hebrews…”

    Choctaw Bingo, James MacMurtrie, a great song and a window into the mindset we are talking about here.

  • the other rob

    Well, that’s just adorable. Mr. Flathead appears to believe that I’m a natural born redneck.

    In fact, as those Samizdistas who know me outside of the blog are aware, I was born an Englishman, before becoming an American, was educated at Oxbridge/Ivy league places on both sides of the pond and am not too bad at running a successful business, either.

    Perhaps, instead of mocking rednecks from a position of ignorance, Mr. Flathead might consider why somebody like me might choose to move to a part of the world that he knows little about, but hates anyway because he has been told to.

    Could it be that he’s full of shit and, for all its faults (because everywhere has some faults) Texas is pretty much the last bastion of the freedoms that we care about? Or maybe I’m just a natural born redneck anyhow, who didn’t know it until I finally came home. 😉

  • Alisa

    Or maybe I’m just a natural born redneck anyhow, who didn’t know it until I finally came home.

    Sounds as good as any other explanation to me – one can do much, much worse than being a redneck 🙂

  • Laird

    Agreed, Julie. Me, I’m a naturalized redneck, having spent the first 40+ years of my life in the northern deserts before finding my way to the promised land.