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Are we vigilant enough?

(22 Posts)
KatyK Thu 11-Aug-16 18:13:57

I have heard several security experts on TV lately telling us all to be 'extra vigilant' with the awful happenings in the world. At the weekend DH and I went for a pub lunch. There was an empty table next to us with a carrier bag underneath it. The carrier was bulging with something, although we couldn't see what. After about 10 minutes, no one came to sit at the table and DH and me were getting a bit jittery. We told a passing waitress who picked the bag up and was about to put it behind the bar when a man standing at the bar said 'oh that's mine. I was just having a chat'. Is it me or is this totally irresponsible? Someone I know was having a coffee in a large department store a while ago and there was an unattended rucksack which was there for a while with no one with it. She told the waiter who brought the manager. My friend said 'that could be a bomb' and the manager just giggled and said 'oo I hope not'. Are we being paranoid or should people take more care?

GandTea Thu 11-Aug-16 18:19:14

I would report any unattended package/bag, better safe than sorry.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 11-Aug-16 18:26:18

I think they should make leaving a bag unattended an offence, and slap a large fine on anyone doing it. Publicise it well.

Ana Thu 11-Aug-16 18:30:54

Reminds me of the 70s when paranoia was rife because of the IRA bombings.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 11-Aug-16 18:32:26

Is it paranoia? People died then, and are dying now.

Ana Thu 11-Aug-16 18:35:03

Yes, sorry, I didn't mean it was unnecessary, but you couldn't put down your shopping for a minute in Manchester (where I lived at the time) without some security person swooping...

Charleygirl Thu 11-Aug-16 18:36:37

The last thing a waitress should do is to lift the bag. Make a general announcement re who owns it and if nobody does, I would then ring the police. I was working in central London in the 70's when the IRA were out and about and I have never forgotten it. Better to be safe than sorry.

joannapiano Thu 11-Aug-16 18:37:26

My husband, when in the Met police, ordered a briefcase to be blown up when it was left outside a shop in central London.
It turned out to have been misplaced by a Norwegian business man.

GandTea Thu 11-Aug-16 18:38:15

So, if it was a bomb, how long should security staff ignore it until they deal with it ?

rosesarered Thu 11-Aug-16 18:38:36

Same in Oxford at the time, Debenhams was emptied of all customers while the bomb disposal team came round and did a controlled explosion ( it turned out to be a big bag of donuts.)

rosesarered Thu 11-Aug-16 18:39:27

I would always question a bag that was left on it's own ( and then get out of there fast!)

GandTea Thu 11-Aug-16 18:41:44

" big bag of donuts." that's not a nice thing to say about the bomb disposal squad. grin

KatyK Thu 11-Aug-16 18:42:07

Yes I agree Anna I was here in Birmingham at the time of the pub bombings. The Tavern In The Town was my sisters' favourite haunt. Fortunately they hadn't gone out that night. Bomb scares galore at work and in the shops after that. Also my family are Irish and we used to get some unkind comments. Obviously we don't want to be paranoid, I just wish people would think before they leave stuff around. It's irresponsible and I think people have a 'that sort of thing won't happen here' attitude. It only takes one bag to be ignored. I also think that anyone with a device wouldn't leave it in full view, but who knows?

KatyK Thu 11-Aug-16 18:43:47

And no, the waitress shouldn't have picked the bag up. It obviously didn't occur to her that it could be anything suspicious, just someone's shopping.

KatyK Thu 11-Aug-16 18:44:28

Sorry Ana not Anna

Elrel Thu 11-Aug-16 18:46:53

I was on a fairly empty Intercity train just after the London bombings and there was a case on a luggage rack above empty seats. Uncomfortable, I asked whose it was to no response. A woman moved to the next carriage and a little later so did I and small DGD.
When the train manager came to check tickets I told him about the apparently ownerless case. On his way back he stopped to tell me that no one had admitted to owning it until he said he'd be calling railway police to attend at the next station. A smirking man claimed it. After he'd been told the possible penalty for which he was already liable (and that the police could be called) the smirk disappeared. As he saw I was a bit shaken by the incident he kindly brought me a drink. DGD was scandalised that I was drinking alcohol on a train!!

obieone Thu 11-Aug-16 18:49:04

We should be more vigilant.

My daughter earlier this year, walked past an area, where only a couple of hours later something had to be blown up by the police. She had not noticed the package or whatever it was, and it was probably there when she had walked past. I scolded her to be more vigilant, especially as she works in places that are susceptible.

rosesarered Thu 11-Aug-16 18:49:12

The bomb disposal team were disappointed, I heard one say 'Oh crumbs!' Afterwards.grin

Newquay Thu 11-Aug-16 18:51:45

Sadly, with things as they are, I think we'd be mad to take risks and not check things out.
For evil to flourish it just takes a good man to do nothing.
I'd rather be thought a nuisance than allow some of these wicked acts to take place.

grannylyn65 Thu 11-Aug-16 18:53:39


Elrel Thu 11-Aug-16 19:53:50

If you ask 'Is that someone's bag?' I find most people understandably look blank then someone, usually irritably, comes and gets it. It can feel embarrassing but is worth doing I think.

Judthepud2 Thu 11-Aug-16 22:56:00

Unattended bags in Belfast in 1970s and 80s were routinely blown up no questions asked. Mainly because they usually were explosive devices. The centre of the city at that time was devastated by IRA bombs. Unless you lived there, you can't imagine how awful it was, although strangely it became normalised and we just got on with it. But we were extremely vigilant.

Now, though, don't you think that it is the terrorists themselves who are the threat? Suicide bombers are almost impossible to spot and the rogue attackers are emerging in the most unexpected places.