London, June 22 (ANI): To deal with a Mumbai-style terrorist attack, British Police and hotel staff are being trained to ward off danger in the crucial first 30 minutes, amid growing concern that extremists may target venues in London and other western cities.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command have visited India to learn lessons from the attacks, which killed 173 people and wounded 308 over the course of three days in November last year.
Police firearms units, already trained to shoot to kill if necessary, are being taught to head off the danger of a siege in the crucial first 30 minutes, The Telegraph reports.
Hotel staff are being trained to spot terrorists on reconnaissance missions as well as how to evacuate guests - or whether to advise them to lock themselves in, and floor plans of major hotels are being gathered.
A senior government official said that counter-terrorism officials have had a "lot of detailed briefings" which concentrate on training police armed tactical response units to "act quickly for public protection."
"This has been an eye-opener and we are refreshing our plans," the official added.
Should a hostage situation develop, the SAS would be put on standby and attempts would be made to try to limit the information that terrorists could receive from live television by keeping cameras away from the scene.
Officers have made a series of presentations within the Metropolitan Police and Government warning that a Mumbai-style attack is a real possibility.
They believe that terrorist groups with links to the criminal underworld might be trying to buy arms because they are easier to obtain than explosives, the paper reports. (ANI)