Well what else would the UK police tell the public to do in the face of an armed terrorist attack, other than run, hide and call 999 (the UK equivalent of 911)? I’m thinking, fight! To be fair, the policeman in the pre-film interview does mention fighting back and say “we would never criticize you for that” – as if criticism is the worst thing a Brit could face. Which it might be. Not to mention that Brits are known to prosecute subjects who use violence on aggressors. Anyway, the main problem in the main film is that . . .

“hide” is synonymous with “cower.” As we’ve discussed before, it’s best to think of “hiding” as a precursor to planning an attack or ambush. Anything less is simply waited to be killed. Or rescued. A sucker’s bet IMHO. Remember: you can fight a terrorist with whatever comes to hand if needs be. Meanwhile, this video is more evidence that The Land of Hope and Glory is more hope than glory these days. [h/t NJ]

Recommended For You

65 Responses to UK Police Advice to Subjects on Firearms Attack: Run, Hide and Call 999

    • “The police may not be able to distinguish you from the attacker. They may treat you firmly. Do everything they tell you to do.”

  1. It is a sheer scandal that the state think this is the best. To be fair it is much the same everywhere except in the USA. The politicians and their families protected by armed body guards have forgotten about us….

    • Oh, its the same here in USA, the State just has not empowered its self/disarmed the citizens to the point where they can tromp in and declare martial law and deal with us undesirables.

  2. And with the limited armed response squads you could be hiding a long time. The local response would likely not come or turn up call for armed response and leave again

  3. Sounds about right, for a country from a continent whose collective national security policy is “Run, Hide and call USA.”

    • Hi Jonathan,

      When you lump the UK in with the rest of Europe you’re ignoring some pretty significant national differences, and to suggest that the continent’s policy is to “run, hide, and call USA” ignores the fact that in the last two (only two) wars that the US has supported any European power that help came late in the day…

      That’s not to disrespect the several hundred thousand Americans who died fighting on behalf of the Allied powers. Very much the opposite – they are the honoured dead to us as much as to you, and indeed we have even more of a direct reason to be grateful for their sacrifice.

      But since the Second World War most of the western bloc European powers have given pretty consistent support to the US, militarily and politically, on the global stage. Could you guys have done it without anyone else? Probably, yeah. But it would have been harder and cost you more in blood and treasure and international goodwill…

      To underline that point – after 9/11 the European countries that tooled up and got into the fight with you guys in Afghanistan, rather than running and hiding, include:
      • Albania
      • Belgium
      • Bulgaria
      • Croatia
      • Czech Republic
      • Denmark
      • Estonia
      • France
      • Germany
      • Greece
      • Hungary
      • Iceland
      • Italy
      • Latvia
      • Lithuania
      • Netherlands
      • Norway
      • Poland
      • Portugal
      • Romania
      • Slovakia
      • Slovenia
      • Spain
      • Sweden
      • UK
      • Several others with small / short term deployments

      Most if not all of these countries have lost men or women fighting alongside the USA.

      I’m not saying that the US ran, hid and called Europe… I’m just pointing out that the continent you basically labelled as a bunch of pussies has committed a fair amount of blood and treasure, over the years, to supporting our natural ally, the USA.

      Hell, the French played a pretty decisive role in helping you guys win the War of Independence…!

        • Because their incompetent and callous generals sent millions of their best, brightest and bravest sons “over the top” into the teeth of German Maxims. It may take many more generations before that toll is corrected, assuming their growing Muslim population does not destroy them first.

      • Gabriel, your absolutely right lad.
        In my home town of Newport RI
        The french sent nearly six thousand troops to join Washingtons forces later in NY.
        Hats off to the french ! With much respect for all.my countrymen need to revisit the history books,imho

      • “in the last two (only two) wars that the US has supported any European power that help came late in the day…”

        No duh. That’s what saving your rear ends means: coming in after you’ve screwed it up beyond all recognition and rescuing you. When else would you prefer the rescue to take place? Before the emergency? We’re good, we’re damn good, but even we haven’t mastered time travel.

        As for Europe’s involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, it was minimal, with the exception of the UK. Most of what those countries sent was token support personnel and not fighting troops. (Canada provided solid units, but hardly decisive and nothing in quantities that could stand up to China, if required.) Hell, a few of those countries sent little more than a casserole, and they’re still griping about getting their Tupperware returned.

        Focusing on the UK’s involvement, even that’s only something because the reference group is so pitiful. Face it: the UK was stretched thin in the Falklands, Desert Storm, and Afghanistan & Iraqi Freedom. I don’t challenge the bravery or lethality of the forces they have (immense respect for young Prince Harry, by the way); but overall, the UK cannot seriously defend itself against in Europe and cannot project decisive power beyond it.

        You refer to the World Wars, but ignore the wars that never happened, because of the U.S. The only thing that has kept/restored the peace in Europe is NATO, which is a acronym that might as well be spelled U-S-A.

        • Hi Jonathan,

          I’m not ignoring anything – least of all the wars that never happened because the US played a pivotal role in preventing them. I feel immense gratitude for what the US has done and continues to do for the world; often at a terrible cost to itself.

          All I’m saying is that on the whole the default European approach to international relations is not to “run, hide, call USA”.

          In the First World War (1914-18) the US joined only in 1917, after it emerged that Germany was seeking to ally itself with Mexico and ultimately regain from the US the land lost in the Mexican-American war. Germany was also employing unrestricted submarine warfare against US shipping. Both of these presented a casus belli and Woodrow Wilson took the country to war.

          First World War
          • British losses: 930,785
          • French losses: 1,150,000
          • US losses: 53,402

          In the Second World War (1939-45) the US remained neutral until the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, despite repeated appeals for support from the British, who by that point were the only un-conquered Allied country still operating at anything like full combat effectiveness. Based on the treaty alliance system, when the US declared war on Japan it also entered a state of war with Nazi Germany.

          Second World War
          • British losses: 383,700
          • French losses: 210,000
          • US losses: 407,300 *

          * of the US casualties, 112,795 (eg. more than 25%) were Pacific Theatre losses, so arguably of less relevance to any suggestion that it was Europe “calling the USA” that lead to these deaths.

          Again – to be clear:

          I am not suggesting that the US contribution was a small one. I’m not disputing that you “saved our asses”. Every life lost is gratefully remembered here, and the fact that the US saved our asses in the Second World War (at least) is also not something I’d dispute.

          I’m just pointing out that:

          1) You guys had sensible, compelling reasons to go to war apart from Europe “calling USA”;

          2) Had the US not gone to war when it did, it almost certainly would have had to do so later when it would have been faced with a much more serious existential threat, and would have had to fight alone if the European Allied powers had all been wiped out by the Third Reich; and

          3) A whole lot of Europeans fought and died to protect themselves and their countries before the US joined the fray… so it’s not exactly accurate to say that Europeans “run, hide, call USA” whenever trouble rears its ugly head.

        • GC. The US did not automatically enter a state of war with Germany when we declared war on Japan.

          Germany declared war on the US first, a couple of days after 7 Dec. In spite of the fact that the axis treaty only required Hitler to come to Japans aid if the US attacked first. Hitler had a treaty out for not going to war against us.

          How much longer would it have taken for the US to declare against Germany?

        • Jwm – sorry, poor phrasing on my part (“based on the treaty alliance system…state of war with Nazi Germany”).

          I did not mean, or mean to imply, that a declaration of war by the US against Germany was only a result of Germany’s treaty obligations to Japan (if that’s how you read me?).

          I recognise absolutely that there was an of active choice; I just mean that the writing was pretty much on the wall – the US was not going to be able to stay out of the European war, one way or another. Pearl Harbour might have precipitated its entry, but war was coming.

          That kind of supports my point though: the US was going to have to go to war at some point, not just because Europe asked it to but because the US’ own strategic interests necessitated it.

    • if the UK ever needs to be bailed out again, I am against it. Let it be conquered and regress to the dark ages, as a testament to progressive socialism.

      • Hi Sagebrushracer,

        Many of my compatriots (I’m a Brit) would say they’re in favour of leaving the US to it next time they set off on a doomed neo-imperialist war to feed the bloated military-industrial complex.

        Personally I disagree with them, and view the US as our natural and repeatedly proven ally: a relationship that goes both ways.

        For the sake of both our countries, I hope that people of this way of thinking continue to outnumber those who would abandon their brothers in an hour of need.

      • When the Muslims start enforcing sharia law in the UK with AK-47s, tell the subjects of the Crown to not bother calling us to help.

        • Hi Don,

          The thing is, I think it’s unlikely the “subjects of the crown” would be asking for America’s help. We have Islamist terrorist threats here just like you do in the States, and on the whole both our countries are well equipped to deal with them.

          That being said, on those occasions that either of our countries need support, I’m confident that our long history of mutual support and the brotherhood of arms will ensure that help is offered when and where needed…

  4. Cowering didn’t work very well on 7/7. In all likelihood, Brits will be able to test the “run, cower, beg for help” hypothesis many times throughout the next few years.

    • To be fair, cowering will only get you so far against a suicide bomber…

      And yes I’m sure we will sustain more attacks in the future – as will the USA in all likelihood.

      But for a population that is almost completely unarmed in normal day-to-day life, can you suggest a better plan (in terms of your own personal survivability) than run / hide / call for help…?

      I note RF’s thoughts on hiding, and personally agree. But I think it also has to be recognised that not everyone has the mentality required to mount an effective fight back.

        • Not sure I agree, Ralph. Given the training and attitude, you’ll almost always discover that your opponents have the means, you simply need to wrest the means from them and you’re off to the races. Getting that training, in the UK, is probably going to be as difficult as finding the attitude. Maybe ex-military.

      • The situation on the ground being what it is, wishful thinking aside, it would seem prudent to allow for easy access to points of egress, very secure points for hiding (safe rooms), and access to wireless communication from those rooms. This would be my response were I forced/required to live under those imposed conditions.

        Run is good, so long as you are not running INTO more guns. Hide is good so long as the people with the guns cannot dig you out or shoot through the barriers. Call 999 is good so long as you have some hope of surviving until the responders get to you and you have continuous communication so they know where you are and what your situation is.

        No plan is fool proof and no fool is plan proof.

      • Any one remember the 3 Americans on the train in France a few months back? They were unarmed. They knew running away and hiding was the equivalent of laying on the ground and bleeding out. They ran to the fight, they fought back with bare hands, they said F this in no uncertain terms, they prevailed. And they didn’t worry about being “criticized” by the police.

        • Hi Baldwin,

          Nobody is forgetting those guys.

          But from the point of view of the UK Police, who have issued this advice to the general public:

          1) The advice has to work for everyone, young/old, male/female, able/disabled, etc.

          2) The advice has to be based on the fact that most people will have very limited (if any) exposure to firearms, and hence minimal knowledge of them

          Therefore the actions of some off-duty US Military personnel cannot easily be compared to the likely actions of some civilians who have never even seen a firearm up-close, let alone handled one.

          Sure, it’s entirely possible that a couple of Brits, or Frenchies, or Germans, or whoever might be able to overwhelm a gunman and might decide that is their best (or only!) course of action.

          But the Police can’t realistically issue advice that says, “in the event of active shooter, try to tackle the guy and then butt-stroke him unconscious with his own rifle”, because (1) it’s ludicrous and would of course depend on the situation whether that might be feasible, and (2) because can you imagine the lawsuit if someone tried to follow that advice and got iced??

          Massive kudos to the US guys on the train, but I don’t think that can sensibly be used as a general purpose ‘template’ response to active shooter scenario.

  5. If The Brits were so smart, we’d all be worshiping the queen! Tyranny and the strongest military in the 1700’s fell to the citizen soldiers of the colonies. And that kiddies is why we have a “gun culture” and The Bill of Rights to protect it. God Bless America.

    • Hi Paul,

      You guys did also have a bit of outside help from the coalition: France, Spain and the Netherlands (the only powers to rival Britain in terms of military force projection capability)…

      I mean, certainly your citizen soldiers did a great deal. But the French gave the US about $13 billion (in today’s terms) of aid, committed a combat army on US soil to fight in support of Washigton, and threw their entire naval might at blockading the Brits… So it wasn’t justthe grass-roots patriots going it alone.

    • There were a lot of factors that led to a U.S. victory. A few were already mentioned by Gabriel Carter. The other was that the Brits were fairly engaged in a world war. They didn’t have the resources to continue to mess with the colonies. That combined with the help of the French, it was a losing battle.

      • Gimme a brake guys! I’m a nurse, not a history major. I know my hometown is named after a French General D’Anvers, but guess all else you mentioned was taught on one of my frequent trips to the principals office. But I can claim to be the only one here who was threatened with post graduate detention in high school.

  6. Keep calm and carry on, UK.

    Well, as long as carrying on isn’t carrying a gun… Or knife… Any weapon really.

    You know, it really should be keep calm and do as you are told, cause, you know, serfs.

    • Again with the “serfs” thing…! This is one of my pet hates on TTAG.

      We (I’m a Brit) happen to live in a country which does not have a constitutionally protected RKBA. We are however a constitutional monarchy.

      If the “serf” tag comes from the view that we are subservient to the Queen then it’s simply wrong: we are governed in her name, and may be formally described as her subjects… but her impact on daily life is nil, or as close as dammit.

      If the “serf” tag comes from the view that we are somehow lesser humans because we are not individually armed, then I guess I can’t argue with that… except to suggest that your self-esteem must plummet every time you jump in the shower??

      If you reckon we’re “serfs” because we let our government dictate laws that dramatically restrict access to guns – then I’d contest you are every bit as much a “serf” as me (a legal owner of pretty much every type of firearm legitimately available here), unless you have a secret stash of illegal machineguns, unregistered SBRs and silencers, etc.

      In short – I just don’t get that insult.

      • Well, it was in jest. Being more of the way your gov’t looks at the citizens, than the way in which I, personally, view the UK.

        Though, if it stings a bit, maybe it is more accurate than you would care to admit.

        • It’s not that it stings; it’s that it irritates me when it’s thrown out as a lazy and broadly inaccurate comment on Brits in general.

          In your case I’ll agree the humor justifies the usage, though I stand by my main point which is that I wish TTAGers had something slightly more accurate (or even just creative) to say about us! 🙂

        • OK, Gabriel. How’s this. You guys are tea drinkers. Something ain’t right with a nation that has tea as the national beverage. 🙂

          And you’re right about allies, old and new. 40+ years ago if you’d have told me I was going to have a vietnamese barber now I would have laughed in your face.

          Funny how time changes things. 🙂

        • ROHC. Did your grandparents lose a loved one in that war? Did your grandfather fight in that war?

          My family had 3 in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th. They survived the attack and the rest of the war but they were incredibly hate filled towards the japanese. Part of it was rascism. One of them left the navy after 15 years in war and peace because he refused to bunk with blacks when the service was intergrated. None of them spoke ill of the germans.

          Me, I try not to hold grudges. Takes too much energy and I’m kinda lazy.

        • Not sure to the first question, yes to the second. I guess people from yester years just held grudges longer.

          I joined up and served shortly after 9/11, but I have two Muslim friends, one from Afghanistan. I don’t begrudge them, both are stand up folks.

      • Jwm – ok, tea drinking I’ll give you! 🙂 I personally can’t function without several pints of the stuff… so can’t argue with that charge.

        ROHC – 9/11 was the most memorable and formative incident in my professional life, and I’m still working out in Afghanistan. It’s why (if you skin back up the thread) I get a little bit cranky when some of your fellow countrymen seem to hold the view that we in Europe are all a bunch of liberal pacifist bed-wetters, wringing our hands and waiting for the US to save us. Some of us do still recognise the US as our best and closest ally, and do stand shoulder to shoulder with you guys.

        Now I’m off to have a nice cup of tea…! 😉

        • You just reminded me of a fun story.

          I spent a short time touring Europe before heading to the Middle East. And we were able go about the towns and see the sites while we were in various countries throughout Europe.

          Anyways, so I decide to venture to a bar to watch a “football match”, what we call soccer, just say I did. Ireland was playing and the pub was wall to wall drunken Irishman.

          I had a thing for Strongbow back then and found that it was a fairly common beer throughout the world. So, I was sitting a table drinking my Strongbow while a young Irish girl, probably no more than 16 or 17, was slamming down a pint of, what looked to be, Guinness, across from me.

          She gave me this “what the f*ck kind of beer is that…” look and all be but called me b*tch with her eyes.

          Moral of the story, I’m not tougher than a teenage girl from Ireland.

  7. This reminds me of an old Jay Leno “Headlines” skit, when the one headline was in reference to some government agency’s advice for what to do if a flood occurs. The flood strategy was: “Get out of the way!”

  8. Yep have fun with universal Sharia and the Muslim hoards coming soon to the Land O’ Hope and Glory. My brother lived outside of London(Kingston Upon Thames) for years-he thought England was special. And he and his wife moved back to America just so he could vote for Barack H. Obama…let’s not loan any guns to the Brits WHEN they get in another jam. It sucks to be a subject…

  9. The British mentality of an active shooter response is more inline with the American liberal mentality. ,they are like minded people who take the same victim approach towards danger… the, I’m Helpless without super heros sporting tacti-cool apparel with those super scary black guns with magical powers to save you, , sort of thinking… where as the American Conservative is generally unimpressed with the first responder all kitted up for duty… If and when an active shooter scenario ever presents it’s self to a conservative part of the Country, It’s my prediction that the first respondesr entering the building and charged with protecting you from the bad guy, Will certainly have armed company within the group of ” Victims” for back up.

  10. The Brits and other European need to build underground militias and go out at night and deal with the muslims since the government won’t do it and won’t allow the people to do it.They could call their militia the Brit Blux Blan.

  11. I think I’ll just carry chalk when I go to Europe. I can just chalk outline myself and lie down. I wouldnt want to be a bother to the over worked bobbies.

  12. Personal protection weapons might stop a notional terrorist attack although they had a pretty poor success rate in northern ireland when issued. But would certainly increase the number of deaths from guns from low two figures to 3 or possibly 4 figures.
    Because easy access to weapons means people who really shouldnt be trusted with firearms can get hold of them.

    • Freedom can be messy. And it’s just stone stupid to believe that a good guy with a gun can make things worse when a couple of jihadis with ak’s are methodically murdering everyone in sight.

      I’d go so far as to say a person with that belief is just stuck on stupid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *