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Counter Terrorism Policy/ Run, Hide, Tell/ The Sun

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‘Run. Hide. Tell.’ was developed for Counter Terrorism (CT) Policing by The Sun, whose newsrooms are close to London Bridge, the scene of a recent attack in which eight people were killed.  The media owner’s campaign features a number of celebrities with a tough reputation each showing their support.


The 45-second video starts off with Bear Grylls telling young audiences ‘I’ve climbed to the summit of Everest’ while James Haskell adds that he’s ‘tackled some big units and brought down the All Blacks’.


Jade Jones then adds that she’s ‘trained in Taekwondo for 16 years’ while Ant Middleton adds that he’s ‘been in the Paras, The Royal Marines and the Special Forces’. Next, Jamie Vardy states that he has ‘started from the bottom and fought my way to the top’.


When asked what they would do in the event of a terror attack all the celebrities featured say they would ‘Run. Hide. Tell.’ and seek a place of safety.


The campaign, which launched last week, is running digitally, in print and on social including on The Sun's Snapchat profile and via its network of influencers. The Sun has also created an emoji to encourage people to share the information across their own platforms.



According to Kate Bird, CT Policing chose The Sun for its ability to reach millions of 11-16 year olds across social, digital and print.


Given the rarity of terrorist incidents, some commentators have already called the campaign ‘alarming’ but campaigns focusing on public safety – from drink driving to those aimed at raising awareness of sexually transmitted diseases - are always tasked with that fine balance between passing on practical safety advice and spreading unnecessary panic.


For its part, CT Policing’s research shows that many young people wrongly believe that filming in the event of an attack is a good thing to provide evidence for police. While the spots do not directly refer to young people using their mobiles rather than finding a safe place, the campaign makes it clear that it is the latter that should be a priority.


In the unlikely event of a terrorist attack there is often blind panic, with people caught up in events uncertain of what they should do. If the one take out from this celebrity-backed campaign is for young people to prioritise their safety, then it will have succeeded.