Australian PM unveils national strategy to protect crowded places from terrorism

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-20 14:13:30|Editor: Mengjie
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CANBERRA, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday released details of the nation's first "strategy for protecting crowded places", in the government's latest attempt to stay one step ahead of the ever-changing threat of global terrorism.

In a press release on Sunday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said after months of consultation with law enforcement officials, counter-terror officials and the private sector, the government has devised and released "Australia's Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism".

Created in response to the growing popularity of vehicle attacks such as those witnessed in Nice, London and most recently in Barcelona, Turnbull said the national strategy took into account "lessons learned" from previous attacks, and will give Australians extra peace of mind when they are in crowded places.

"Spending time together with family and friends in our sporting stadiums, at major events and around the civic spaces of our wonderful cities is a fundamental part of what makes Australia great," the Prime Minister said.

"Unfortunately we are not immune from the global conflicts in the Middle East and the instability around the world. My number one priority is to keep Australians safe.

"Australia's Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism has been developed in close partnership with the states and territories, local government, police and the private sector."

He said the guide was available for download online, and encouraged owners of businesses which operate in crowded areas to read and better understand the changing threat of terrorism.

"The strategy will assist owners and operators to increase the safety, protection and resilience of crowded places across Australia," Turnbull said on Sunday.

"This how to guide' will strengthen the existing cooperation between government and industry, providing clear guidance on where owners and operators can go for threat information and protective security guidance, and by providing an overview of effective protective security practices.

"It includes practical guidance on protective security, information to help owners and operators better understand terrorist weapons and tactics, including active armed offenders,' improvised explosive devices, chemical weapons, and hostile vehicles.

"It is vital that all those responsible for crowded places know where to go for information and advice on how to better protect their sites."

Turnbull added that while terrorism remained a constant threat in contemporary society, the best way to defeat terror was to not be frightened of it, urging Australians to continue to go about their daily business while remaining alert.

"We cannot be complacent about the threats we face but we will never let the terrorists undermine our way of life or compromise the freedoms we take for granted," Turnbull said.

"Our strategy will ensure Australians can continue to freely and safely go to the football, enjoy concerts and visit shopping centres."