CPNI advice: Immediate actions to improve security of a site or venue

6th Jun 2017

CPNI (Centre for National Protection of National Infrastructure) Advice. 

There are some simple, practical actions you can take immediately to help improve the security of your site.


Posture and activity of security officers

One of the most disruptive measures to counter terrorists and wider criminality is a security force that appears to be vigilant and proactively engages with the public. They do not want to be spoken to by an officer and will actively avoid – this can and should be polite but professional. If they are spoken to it is likely to make them feel very uncomfortable and exposed.

Where possible, for example at shift briefings, ensure that your security officers understand the importance of this and are encouraged to do this where practical and reasonable to do so. For example, if security officers patrol to areas in a car (such as a car park), encourage them to get out of the car and engage with people, as simple as saying good morning.

For further information see: cpni.gov.uk/understanding-hostile-reconnaissance

Unpredictable security measures

Unpredictability results in uncertainty and erosion of confidence in the mind of the hostile who need this predictable security arrangements so that they can plan for likely success. Where practical and reasonable build in unpredictability for example, timings and types of assets and search regimes deployed at your site.

For further information see: cpni.gov.uk/understanding-hostile-reconnaissance

Recruit staff to be vigilant for and immediately report suspicious activity

Use existing staff communications such as morning/shift briefings, intranet etc to inform as to what suspicious activity may look like, to trust their instincts and report immediately to the security control room/police. In these communications ensure they know how to report (e.g. phone number) convey how their reports will be taken seriously and investigated. Where possible showcase where previous staff reporting has led to outcomes, both where there have been benign and security outcomes; this helps promote confidence in reporting.

For further information see: cpni.gov.uk/employee-vigilance

Recruit your normal site users (public) to be vigilant for and immediately report suspicious activity

CPNI research consistently shows that public using sites are generally willing to be vigilant for and report suspicious or unusual activity. The issues are not being sure what to look for, how or who to report to and having confidence that their report will be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.

Use your existing external corporate communication channels to encourage vigilance and reporting by following CPNI’s simple guidance.

For further information see: cpni.gov.uk/resources/promoting-publicvigilance-and-reporting-sites


  • Ensure vehicle security barriers are operable and reinforce to staff your vehicle access control policy
  • Enhance your security presence where appropriate, consider staff patrolling in high visibility clothing
  • Ensure CCTV is working effectively and monitored
  • Review your access controls. Where appropriate close unnecessary entrances to prevent unauthorised access
  • Ensure infrastructure, such as signage, lighting, floor level signs, stairs etc. are clearly marked and labelled
  • Prepare floor plans
  • Establish if your control room is capable of being operationally effective against different attack types and can be secured and protected
  • Check critical systems and equipment such as PA systems
  • Ensure control rooms have alternative means of communication such as mobile phones with spare batteries, chargers etc
  • Consider the protection requirements for any queues of people created by additional search measures (CCTV, position of the queue etc.) Ensure security barriers are operable

If you are a member and would like to speak to one of our Operations Team, please email operations@cityco.com or call 0161 838 3250.