Museums respond to terror threat

Simon Stephens and Rebecca Atkinson, 06.06.2017
Venues taking advice from the police and the counter terrorism agencies
Museums and galleries have been responding to the increased threat levels following the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.

Museums are taking advice from the police and the counter terrorism agencies so they can keep up-to-date with the latest information and follow any specific recommendations to ensure the safety of visitors, staff, collections and buildings.

This follows the most recent attack on 3 June when seven people were killed and at least 48 people were injured in London.

“We have a large, trained and fully-licenced security presence at our museums with appropriate security systems, CCTV surveillance and protocols in place to ensure we provide a consistently safe, secure and welcoming environment for visitors,” said a statement from the Science Museum Group, which has sites in London, Manchester Bradford and York.

“We work closely with the Metropolitan Police, Counter Terrorism and other associated police departments to ensure our approach is always informed by the most up-to-date information about security threats.”

“The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) remains alert but not alarmed,” said a statement from the NPG in London. “Following advice from the Metropolitan Police the gallery maintains high levels of security and vigilance.

“This is consistent with advice given to all museums, galleries and public organisations by the police, with whom the gallery constantly assesses risk to ensure the safety of its visitors, staff and collections at all times.”

The Museum of London said it is conducting randomised visitor and bag searches as standard while the British Museum is not allowing suitcases, cabin luggage and large bags into the museum.

David Fleming, the director of National Museums Liverpool, said: “We have implemented a range of measures to ensure the safety of our visitors, colleagues, collections and buildings.

“We continue to review our emergency planning in line with expert advice, and assess all matters of security and safety in response to changes in circumstances; briefing our staff regularly, and communicating to the public as necessary, in order that they can visit with reassurance that we are doing all we can to protect them.”

The National Football Museum in Manchester reopened on 31 May following the 22 May suicide bombing that killed 22 people. On Saturday 3 June, all donations to the museum went towards the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which is raising money to support those affected by the terrorist attack.