Pool Re’s terrorism risk division, SOLUTIONS, has released the second in a series of reports which looks into the potential terrorist threats faced by the retail and hospitality sector.
SOLUTIONS’ report assesses various terror attack methodologies, the likelihood of their occurrence, and their potential impact on businesses. The report also notes ways that retail and hospitality businesses can manage and mitigate terrorism risk.
In addition, it highlights relevant case studies, 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 both the retail and hospitality sector are also examined in the report.
Key findings of the report include:
- The British Government is considering a new legislation – a “Protect Duty” – which will impose greater responsibilities on business owners and operators in the retail and hospitality sector.
- Retail and hospitality spaces will be some of the most crowded places when “lockdown” eases.
- A terrorist attack against the retail and hospitality sector is likely to cause disruption to local economies and damage public confidence.
“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,” said Pool Re chief resilience officer Ed Butler.
Butler added that innovations to accommodate social distancing – such as external queuing, outdoor dining spaces and the pedestrianisation of roads – have created new vulnerabilities, and that many businesses have lost experienced staff and redirected their scarce resources away from counterterrorism and protective security investment.
“Critically, terrorism is currently very low on businesses’ agendas,” the chief resilience officer commented.