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Terrorists Targeted in Museums

September 25, 2018 12:53 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

Reposted from the Express UK

Terrorists and criminals are being hunted at museums using FBI-style “behavioural observation” techniques. The attractions are now seen as key targets for terrorists, with one 18-year-old female plotter being found guilty earlier this year of planning a grenade attack at the British Museum.

Guards at the Victoria and Albert Museum are among those trained to identify suspects using criteria such as facial expression, movement and voice. 

The method is a form of criminal profiling used by agencies such as the FBI and has also helped reduce minor crime such as pickpocketing and theft from backpacks. 

A source said: “The system uses key criteria to identify persons of interest. Staff are trained to seek out anyone suspicious, approach and confront them. 

“Potential criminals have certainly been identified and there has been a significant fall in petty crime since the system was brought in.” 

A V&A spokesman confirmed that it has developed techniques aimed at keeping the public safe.

He said: “The V&A takes security very seriously. We have developed a range of tactical options that we use to protect our visitors, staff, collections and buildings. 

“We do not discuss our security assessment or tactical options openly but work closely with the police and other partners to ensure we provide an appropriate response to any perceived risk.”

Behavioural observation uses scientifically researched primary indicators to identify potential trouble makers. 

These include what a person is looking at, their clothes, how they walk and how they act in a certain location. 

The methods are usually applied in security hotspots such as airports, ports and at celebrity events and this is the first time they have been used in museums. 

The training began last year and security staff have been told it is part of a wider approach to countering the threat of terrorism. 

The system is also believed to be used in other London attractions, including the Natural History Museum. 

A spokesman said they prefer not to comment on security but he added: “We continually review our security measures based on advice given by the Metropolitan Police. We have enhanced security procedures to protect our visitors, staff and the collection.” 

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