In June 2017, we made improvements to the ground floor of the Council House; making better use of the space, as well as making upgrades to security in the building.

One of the security updates we made was the removal of the post box from the Council House reception, meaning that all post must go through our mail room to be checked.

Though this may seem extreme, the unfortunate truth is that the threat from international and Northern Ireland-related terrorism hasn’t dropped below ‘Severe’ since August 2014, and so we must look at how to minimise the threat locally.

Of course organisations like the Home Office and MI5 work to protect the public from these threats, but it is important that we look at the little things that we can all do to reduce the risks further.

Protecting our citizens and employees is a key priority for the Council and we take all threats made against the organisation extremely seriously. Following the post box removal, we put in place a number of alternative options for visitors.

  1. The Reception team will offer to ring the team and ask if a colleague can come down to collect the item from the customer in person.
  2. If no one from the service is available we will provide the visitor with a pre-paid 2nd class envelope so that they can post the documents to us at no charge.
  3. There is also the Document Scanning Booth for all Benefits and Housing Options customers who need to provide evidence for their application – this is open Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 3.00pm. Scanned documents are sent directly to the service so there is no delay in their application.

For further information about the steps you can take to counter terrorism in the United Kingdom, visit the Action Counters Terrorism website.