City chiefs turn blind eye to threat of terrorism

Chief executives in the City of London are failing to make sure workplaces are adequately protected from the threat of terrorism, according to the commissioner of the City of London Police.

Commissioner James Hart said only 50% of businesses had adequate emergency plans, despite warnings from the police that a terror attack in the financial district of London was “only a matter of time”.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Hart said chief executive officers owed it to their staff to ensure the survival of the business and to protect the workplace.

“But they nod wisely, say it’s terribly important and carry on with business as usual,” he said. “It’s actually terribly difficult to get CEOs and chief operating officers and managing partners to embrace this sort of thing.”

He said the police had a “good understanding” with security and reception staff as well as from middle management but there was a “gap at board level”.

CEOs and partners assume that someone in the management chain would be looking after the problem, he said.

Instead, he said that security issues – particularly those relating to staff – “should be something sitting fairly and squarely on the desk of CEOs and managing partners”.

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