Counter-terror cops use shock tactics in latest 'Run, Hide, Tell' campaign

A hard-hitting film portraying a terror attack on British tourists has been repurposed for mobile devices, with shorter clips, in a campaign by counter-terror police this summer.

A still from the 'Stay safe abroad' film being promoted this summer
A still from the 'Stay safe abroad' film being promoted this summer

The new version of the 'Stay safe abroad' film, first released in 2017, was launched last Friday, to coincide with schools starting their summer holiday break.

The latest part of the ‘Run, hide, tell’ campaign, the film will be promoted by police comms teams across the country over the coming weeks.

The full version of the film, at four minutes and 23 seconds long, depicts a gun attack on tourists. It was developed by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office in association with the Foreign Office.

The content was prompted by the killing of 30 Britons in a terrorist attack on a resort in Tunisia in 2015.

Shorter versions of the film have been created for use on social media, with a 21-second clip for use on Twitter and a 32-second clip for Facebook and Instagram.

For the first time, Britain’s counter-terrorism campaign is using Facebook Canvas and Instagram Stories to reach target audiences such as parents of schoolchildren as well as young people.

Britons planning to go on holiday abroad are being urged by senior police officers to watch the film, which reinforces the key messages of "run, hide and tell" in the event of an attack.

Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth, national co-ordinator for protect and prepare, said: "We want people to think of this in the same way they do the safety film airlines show before take-off. They don’t expect anything bad to happen but it is a sensible safety precaution to show people what to do."

The shorter versions of the film "are going to have a higher impact" according to Alex Fedorcio, head of digital for counter-terror policing.

He said: "This year we’ve used Facebook Canvas and Instagram Stories to reach new audiences and share this important advice, and we’re asking people to do three things before they travel: check the latest FCO Foreign Travel Advice, sort out adequate travel insurance, and watch our holiday safety film."

In addition to the promotion of the film through police forces and other public sector bodies, about £10,000 has been spent on a paid-for campaign via Facebook and Instagram, which has already reached more than a million people.

Fedorcio commented: "Using Canvas and Instagram Stories is a first for a UK counter-terrorism campaign, and we’re already seeing some strong results."

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