Our advice, wherever possible, is to follow the Run Hide Tell guidance until the police arrive on the scene. However, if someone is in immediate danger and their life is being threatened we would never criticise their actions if instinct takes over and they feel the need to fight back, or step in to try and assist an injured person.
When we launched ACT for Youth in 2017, a special lesson plan was included to try and teach children basic first aid techniques which could be used to treat injured people whilst hiding during an attack. ACT for Youth was a ground-breaking collaboration between Counter Terrorism Policing, the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO), the PSHE Association and St John Ambulance to provide age-appropriate terrorism safety advice to 11-16 year olds.
We have since worked with St John Ambulance to extend this first aid messaging to the wider public, and developed an online package now available on gov.uk/NaCTSO. The guidance is quite clear and outlines that supportive action should only be taken when or if you are safe. However, in the unlikely event of being caught up in a gun or knife terror attack the core advice will always remain the same: RUN, HIDE, TELL.