Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
May 25, 2022

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Counter terror

Leicester nightclub security operatives undergo counter terror training exercises as part of operation SENTRY

As part of a UK-wide initiative led by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), security operatives for a Leicester nightclub have undergone simulated emergency exercises to ensure preparedness in the event of a mass casualty scenario.

The UK-wide operation SENTRY is a scenario-based exercise programme developed by the SIA in line with local police forces, NaCTSO, police and local authority licencing teams, and private security industry companies to develop and deliver live role play exercises with counter-terrorism content. The programme was highlighted in the SIA’s interim update to the Manchester Arena Inquiry in September 2021, and has been introduced to “provide an environment in which the private security industry can demonstrate the level of training and preparedness possessed by private security operatives when faced with terrorist or mass casualty incidents”.

The exercise saw Leicester’s Mosh Nightclub security operatives challenged by four realistic scenarios under the guidance of Leicestershire Police, Leicester Fire and Rescue Service, and National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO).

The training has been designed to put into practice the ACT awareness e-learning modules operatives are able to take – a free course designed by counter-terrorism experts. The e-learning features specific drills that were showcased yesterday, including:

  • A mass stabbing
  • A marauding terrorist attack taking place outside the club
  • An acid attack
  • A suspect package

The event aimed to strengthen the resilience of Mosh Nightclub staff and enable them to test their emergency plan.

Ronnie Megaughin, Head of Compliance and Inspections, said: “Putting Mosh Nightclub’s security operatives into realistic terror scenarios is one of the best ways to prepare them in the event of a real-life incident. Security operatives may be the first people on the scene in an incident. Yesterday’s staged terror incidents enabled security operatives to take part and deal with the scenario, and then receive an instant debrief from counter-terror experts.

“We know from experience that operatives, and their managers, really appreciate what they learn from these events and find them worth their while. Any of these security staff could find themselves as the first responder at a serious incident, and this exercise could literally be the difference between life and death.”

The emergency planning exercise at Mosh Nightclub continues a programme of similar exercises and follows on from events in Chesterfield and London in autumn 2021 and Glasgow in April this year. A pilot event took place at Buxton in Derbyshire in October 2019.


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