Emergency Grab Bags Installed in York City Centre


Daisy Couture (she/her) reports on the new grab bags in York City Centre

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Image by Luke Porter

By Daisy Couture

On 11 July, the City of York Council announced the implementation of emergency grab bags in York city centre.

Available via assigned staff at designated locations, the bags will provide support in the event of a terrorist attack or major incident. They are part of the Regional Protect and Prepare Group’s attempt to improve security measures in the city, and have been funded by the Safer York Partnership. Each bag includes both information and equipment designed to assist in the early stages of an incident, prior to emergency services arriving on the scene.

Superintendent Fran Noughton from North Yorkshire Police commented: “The public should be reassured and not alarmed by the initiative.”

Noughton also affirmed that, despite confidence that “there is no specific threat to York and North Yorkshire”, the bags will act as “precautionary measures”, should such an incident arise.

Available via assigned staff, bags can be accessed at a number of places in York. These include McDonald’s on Blake Street, Marks and Spencer, Yates pub, Popworld nightclub, and York Stadium Leisure Complex.

The bags were delivered to the above locations by Counter Terrorism Security Advisors from Counter Terrorism Policing North East.

The organisation keeps up regular correspondence with local businesses and partners across York. Instructions on how to store and use the bags correctly have been delivered to management and staff.

The new scheme is just one of a number of counter-terrorist initiatives aimed at protecting those in and around York.

The council has mentioned plans to install Hostile Vehicle Mitigation measures, provide first aid trauma kits, and deliver protective security advice and training in Counter Terrorism awareness for local businesses.

Detective Superintendent Dan Patrick of Protect and Prepare at Counter Terrorism Policing North said: “We are committed to working with our partners in York to make our public spaces safer and more secure.”

“[...] The measures help to make the city more resilient in the event of a spontaneous attack, and in doing so, a less attractive target for terrorists.”

Michael Pavlovic, Executive Member for Housing, Planning and Safer Communities at the City of York Council, further commented, “We hope these grab bags will never be needed but, if they are, we’re ready to make an immediate response and I’m proud that the council is supporting this.”