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Protecting our crowded places: a national strategy

The New Zealand Government and New Zealand Police has developed a national strategy called Protecting Our Crowded Places from Attack (Crowded Places).

It has been developed over several years to help preserve the enjoyment of these places while empowering owners and operators to be more resilient and ready to protect the public and themselves in the event of an attack. Many places can be defined as crowded, including public spaces, accommodation, tourist attractions hospitality businesses and retail spaces.

For owners and operators of crowded places:

The Crowded Places strategy gives owners and operators of crowded places the tools to help reduce the risk of an attack. Information on how to prepare your crowded place is available on the New Zealand Police website and includes a useful self-assessment tool. It is recommended that owners/operators of a crowded place complete this self-assessment.

Owners and operators are also given clear and proportional methods to help protect the lives of those within their space if there is ever an attack. This content is regularly reviewed and the most up to date information can be found on the New Zealand Police Crowded Places website.

Escape, Hide, Tell – what you can do in the event of an attack

Everyone has a role to play in keeping crowded places safe.  As part of the Crowded Places strategy, the New Zealand Police have developed Escape, Hide Tell. These three words help highlight what individuals should do in the unlikely event of getting caught up in an attack.


  • If you see a safe way out leave the area immediately.  Move quickly and quietly away from danger if it is safe to do so. Take your mobile phone with you if you can, but do not go back to get it if it puts you in danger.
  • Leave other belongings behind.
  • Encourage others to go with you, but don’t let their hesitation slow you down. 

If you can’t escape completely or safely:


  • Stay out of sight and silence your mobile phone.
  • Secure your environment by locking doors and windows and barricading entries where possible. 
  • Stay away from doors and be as quiet and still as possible so you do not give away your hiding place.
  • Note any potential exit points.

As soon as it is safe to do so:


  • Contact the New Zealand Police on 111.  The more information you can give about your location, surroundings, the attackers and the events that have occurred, the better. You may be asked to stay on the line and provide further information that the operator requests or if the situation changes.

If it is safe to do so, try to obtain the following information:

  • The exact location of the incident.
  • A description of the offender/s and whether they are moving in any particular direction.
  • The details of any weapons being used.
  • The number of people in the area and any that have been injured.
  • The intent of the offender/s (if known or apparent).

More information about keeping safe during an attack is available on the New Zealand Police website.

If the information is not time-critical, people can report suspicious or unusual behaviour to their local Police by:

To report information regarding concerns of national security, call the NZSIS on 0800 747 224  or use their Public Contribution Form.