Scotland Yard advises children to Run, Hide and Tell

Police have warned children caught up in a terror attack to flee the scene rather than taking images on their mobile phones.

A senior Scotland Yard officer expressed ‘concern’ that people used their smartphones to take photos and record films rather than escaping the danger.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi spoke out while launching the first ever campaign to tell children and teenagers how to keep safe in terror incident.

The Metropolitan Police has launched new advise to children following a string of high profile terrorist attacks such as the bombing at Parson’s Green and on the Manchester Arena in May

Youngsters have been advised to Run, Hide and Tell instead of filming the incident 

Youngsters have been advised to Run, Hide and Tell instead of filming the incident 

She said youngsters should learn the advice to ‘run, hide and tell’ in a London Bridge-style van-and-knife massacre or a bomb attack such as at the one which killed 22 fans at a pop concert at Manchester Arena in May.

Police are aware that any rampage on a packed building such as a shopping centre or public space is likely to affect a large number of young people.

In the first initiative of its kind, the counter-terror chiefs are calling for the message to be routinely taught in schools as part of the national curriculum.

Britain is facing an unprecedented terror threat after a wave of atrocities in 2017.

But officers highlighted the recent blast on a Tube train at Parsons Green, west London, where images of a partially-exploded bomb were posted online within minutes.

Ms D’Orsi said: ‘We appreciate that talking to young people about terrorism can be scary, for parents and children alike.

‘But the atrocities in London and Manchester have sadly resulted in some of the youngest victims of terror this country has ever seen, and if we are able to teach children to act in a way which could potentially save their lives then it is our responsibility to do so.

‘We are particularly concerned when we see people – young and old – using their mobiles to film scenes when they should be moving away from the danger. The recent incident in Parsons Green is a good example of this.

‘Our research showed that many young people think filming would be a good thing to provide evidence for police. We must get them to understand that the priority must be their safety.’

Police have run a number of public information campaigns highlighting the main advice to follow if an attack happens.

It states that people should run if they can, or if not hide, and then alert authorities of the danger only when it is safe to do so.

Now security experts have drawn up a version for children and teenagers – including the instruction not to stop and use their phones until they are safely away from danger.

As part of the drive police want to see the message taught in schools and colleges to 11 to 16-year-olds as part of the curriculum.

A ‘run, hide, tell’ emoji has been created for the campaign, which is being supported by celebrities including TV star Bear Grylls and England footballer Jamie Vardy.

Mr Grylls said: ‘I’ve tackled some of the most dangerous environments on earth, but in the event of a terrorist attack there is only one thing I would advise: run, hide, tell.’

The NSPCC said it has received 300 contacts from young people anxious about terrorism since April.

John Cameron, head of helplines at the charity, said: ‘Adults can help a child by listening to their worries, reassuring them these events are rare, and teaching them to run, hide, and tell.

‘Although these conversations might be difficult, the spate of devastating events means that they cannot be brushed under the carpet and we all have a duty to help every child stay safe.’