The violence at last week’s protest against increases in student fees seemed to catch everyone, including the Police, by surprise. Whilst the violence was targeted against Conservative Party Headquarters, clearly any other organisation based at 30 Millbank or adjacent premises will have been impacted by it. How well prepared is your organisation to deal with this sort of disruption?
When we ask organisations who their neighbours are, and what potential threats these might pose, they are often bemused by the question. In many cases they are not even entirely sure who their neighbours are and what they do. Famously, after the Buncefield fire in 2005, a number of firms on the nearby industrial estate stated that they didn’t even know the oil storage depot was there.
Beyond the obvious threats (like a large oil storage depot, chemical plant or airport) it is useful to consider neighbours that, like the Conservative Party, may attract protest activity – peaceful or otherwise. These could include:
- Foreign embassies
- UK Government Departments
- Iconic American brands
- Oil and Gas companies
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Defence contractors
If you have any neighbours such as these, consider what sort of protest activity they may attract; how you would obtain advance warning that such activity might take place; how it might affect your operations and how you can mitigate these impacts.