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Brown reveals tighter security measures for theatres

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Special advice is to be sent out by the government to theatres across the country in a bid to help them combat the threat of terrorist attacks.

The move was announced by prime minister Gordon Brown as part of a raft of measures aimed at increasing security within the UK. Speaking to the House of Commons ahead of the publication of a national strategy, which is expected to be released over the next few weeks, he explained that more details would soon be sent to thousands of venues across the country.

He added: “It will include advice on training staff to be more vigilant. Up to 160 counter-terrorism advisers will train civilian staff to identify suspect activity and to ensure premises have security emergency exits, that CCTV footage is used to best effect, and that there are regular searches and evacuation drills.”

Meanwhile, architects creating new public buildings which might be at risk, will be encouraged to “design in protective security measures” and use blast-resistant materials.

The news follows the announcement in September by Ambassador Theatre Group that it had launched a co-ordinated strategy across its portfolio of London theatres to help protect them from terrorism. London Emergency Action Response is the first action plan of its kind and was put into development by ATG following the July 2005 terrorist attacks in London and launched soon after the foiled car bomb incidents in Haymarket in June, which saw the group’s Comedy Theatre temporarily closed.

Brown also announced that Arts Council England would be working with a series of partners to help promote greater understanding of Islamic and Muslim heritage throughout England, as part of his plans to combat the security threat.

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