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Hospitals may be targets for attacks, police counter-terror experts warn

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‘Worst-case scenario is your staff, patients and visitors could be killed or injured,’ guide states

by Narjas Zatat - Independent.co.uk

New guidance issued by a police counter-terror unit has warned hospitals and GP surgeries that they may be targets for attacks.

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office released an updated ‘Crowded Places Guidance’ document, which tells medical professionals: “It is possible that your surgery, for example, could be the target of a terrorist incident. This might include having to deal with a bomb threat or suspicious items left in or around the area.

“The worst-case scenario is your staff, patients and visitors could be killed or injured, and your premises destroyed or damaged in a ‘no warning’ multiple and co-ordinated terrorist attack.”

Hospitals are warned that the nature of such an attack may be covert, “through interference with vital information” or “enabled by an insider or someone with specialist knowledge or access to your venue”.

Security services are on heightened alert following two terror attacks in the past month in Manchester and London.

The former took the lives of 22 children and adults, making it the worst the country has seen since the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

The latter saw eight people killed and 48 injured after a lorry and knife attack in London Bridge.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/hospitals-counter-terrorism-office-warning-target-attack-guidelines-a7784196.html