22 May 2018 marked one year since a bomb shook Manchester and the world, killing 22 people and injuring many more.
A minute’s silence was observed at the Great Manchester Run on Sunday 20 May 2018, after which participants and spectators sang along to the Oasis classic, ‘Don’t look back in anger’. The BBC reported that some survivors of the attack also took part in the race.
A commemoration service and concert took place on 22 May as a show of solidarity and support for victims of terrorism and their families.
Show of Strength
Terrorism aims to create terror and chaos, but so many Brits have stepped up and refused to live in fear. Last year’s Great Manchester Run took place just days after the attack on the Arena, and strong participation showed solidarity with victims, as well as a refusal to give in to terrorism.
We have seen similar shows of strength following attacks in London and around the world, however many tourist attractions have reported decreased numbers since these attacks.
We have also seen increased strength in the security provided at attractions and events, and as we go about our daily lives.
- Security checks are a lot more thorough at most attractions
- Bag searches take place at the entrance to theatres and galleries, as well as events and arenas
- Airport security is stepped up even higher over busy holiday periods
- More uniformed and plain-clothes personnel patrol during festivals and busier times
- Local and international initiatives are underway to improve security and information sharing
- Police interception/prevention of planned attacks is being reported more frequently
Terrorism: The Reality
Although central bases for Islamic State (IS) / Isis / ISIL are said to have been removed in places like Syria, “lone wolf” and “affiliated” attacks are still possible. Some commentary even suggests that individuals are now more determined to carry out attacks to create the illusion that these groups still have power.
Over the past few months, terrorist plots have been foiled in the UK, France, and even as far afield as Cambodia, so it’s clear that authorities are on high alert. We’re still inclined to be careful though, as 100% prevention hasn’t been achieved yet – for example, IS took responsibility for attacks in Indonesia last week, and a potential attacker was arrested in Marseilles.
Being careful doesn’t mean staying home or living in fear though. As we’ve maintained since Safe Journey was launched almost two years ago, we don’t believe the risk of terrorism is high enough to change our way of life.
We know that statistically, we’re a lot more likely to be affected indirectly (by delays, lost possessions, etc.) than directly by an act of terrorism, and we believe in being prepared – with information and appropriate financial protection – just in case.
Be Prepared, Not Scared
Being alert, wherever you go, is still one of the most important things you can do – look out for suspicious packages or activities, and report those immediately.
Read up on the latest security information, such as the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ campaign, and make sure your friends and family are familiar with it too.
Planning ahead shouldn’t be a burden – if you book in advance and purchase the appropriate travel insurance at the same time, you’ll be protected financially too. For example, Safe Journey gives you the option to cancel if there’s an act of terrorism anywhere within 40 miles of your destination, up to 6 weeks prior to your departure* – in addition to cover for emergency medical care, loss of personal possessions, withdrawal of services, death and disablement, and emergency temporary accommodation if you’re staying within 1 mile of an attack when it happens – if you’re travelling within the UK or internationally.
Information is another essential element of being prepared. Read up on safety, health, entry requirements, and other important details before you book, and before you depart – remember, things can change in an instant. It’s also important to check these details for your travel route, not just your destination.
We put together a weekly Travel Alert highlighting safety risks and important information for popular destinations. We also summarise advice and updates that have been issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) at the start of each week.
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*That’s cancellation cover in a nutshell – for full details of Safe Journey and all exclusions, Ts&Cs, please read our Policy Wording.