The National Retail Association has announced that retailers in 200 shopping centres across the country have now been engaged on responding to emerging threats such as terrorism or armed attack following the completion of the Safe Retail Precincts initiative.

The program aimed to engage and inform retailers about how to prepare for serious events that threaten the safety of staff, customers and the community.

The Association’s Director Policy David Stout said that initiatives such as this were vital to equip the 1.3 million retail staff nationwide and the millions of Australians who regularly visit shopping centres.

“The National Retail Association has successfully engaged 200 shopping centres via the Safe Retail Precincts initiative on how to respond to threats such as terrorism or armed attack,” Mr Stout said.

“The aim is to improve the safety and reputation of retail precincts and we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback to date.

“Retail precincts are environments in which large crowds gather and we have a responsibility to be aware, prepared and vigilant to ensure our retail precincts remain safe, vibrant spaces.”

“Retail precincts are attractive, lively environments in which people gather in mass numbers and we all have a role to play in helping to ensure the safety of our team, our customers and our precincts are maintained as safe vibrant spaces.

“The safety of the 1.3 million staff that retail employs across Australia is paramount to us, as is the wellbeing of everyday shoppers who should not experience threats of any nature to their safety.

The messaging incorporated in the program is consistent with the Australian National Security guidelines of Escape, Hide and Tell. This approach acknowledges that all situations are different and that quick decisions may need to be made during an event.

The Safe Retail Precincts initiative, a partnership with the Australian Government, seeks to bring together retailers, shopping centres, law enforcement, emergency services and government to create safer, more vibrant retail precincts through the Safe Retail Precincts. It operates through shared intelligence, collaboration and vigilance and further information can be found at http://www.saferetail.com.au