It has been almost two weeks since 130 people were killed in an ISIS attack in Paris, with subsequent threats against Belgium, France and America since.
And while the subject of terrorism can be frightening Tower Hamlets counter terrorism focus sergeant Thomas Castle and estate security manager Nick Bennett are keen to assure people there is no need to panic.
The pair spoke ahead of a women’s safety event at the East Wintergarden on Wednesday, November 25.
The UK's current terror threat is at severe and has been since August 2014. It last reached critical in 2006 due to the transatlantic aircraft plot (why we now have to put all our toiletries in a plastic bag at the airport).
Even though we learnt that the terrorism threat is the highest it has been for 30 years, the talk was a good way to inform and educate people.
Here is what we took away from it:
1. Canary Wharf is the second most desirable terror target in the UK (behind Westminster), with train stations and retail spaces the most likely places that would be targeted.
2. The estate is incredibly safe. From detailed evacuation plans to vehicle blockades that can be up in under one second, there is everything possible that is needed to keep us safe.
Nowhere else in the UK is “able to lock down so quickly”.
3. Canary Wharf Group carried out 150 tests on their security personal last year, ranging from an actor made up to look like a builder acting in a suspicious way to driving made-up bombs in trucks towards the barriers.
Emergency services and security forces were also tested in July at the former Wood Wharf site, through Operation Strong Tower .
4 . Within the last 12 months there have been 7 terror attempts against the UK thwarted by police.
5. Small details can make a huge difference. In the Mumbai attacks an American man was out of sight of the attackers, but when his phone went off they heard it, came back, and shot him.
6. The key things to remember are to run, hide, tell, which was shown in a Stay Safe: Terrorist Firearms and Weapons Attacks video that the counter terrorism unit is keen to publish, but some people fear it will aid terrorists.
The details are here .
7 . Mr Bennett said if you have to run from an attack in Canary Wharf banks are bad places to go as they have vaults out the back that you can’t get through.
Shops and cafes are the best bet as they will have a number of exits.
8 . More than 3,000 suspected extremists are being monitored in the UK. Listening in is more difficult now though as people have found ways to prevent their electronics being tapped.
9. Sergeant Castle said: “We have 600 active investigations (in the UK) and make an arrest every day”.
10 . There has been a 45% increase in investigations of terrorist activity since the emergence of ISIS.
The shortest time they have found between someone beginning to be radicalised to carrying out or attempting to carry out an attack is just 19 weeks (less than five months).
11. Using bag searches as a safety measure have not proved popular in the past, with Canary Wharf Group preferring other methods to combat any threat.