An attack

The chances of becoming a victim of a terrorist attack or a situation involving extreme violence are slim. But it can still happen. That is why it is good to think now about what you can do if you experience an attack.

Perpetrators commit an attack alone or with a group. For example, because they have certain political or religious motives. But a perpetrator may also have psychological or social problems. 

An attack often has serious consequences: possible victims, symbolic impact, major material damage and emotional consequences. Thinking and talking beforehand about what you would do in the event of an attack can help you make a better decision if it actually happens. Your response in the event of an attack can be vital.

Do you know what to do in the event of an attack?

This animation shows what you should do in the event of an attack.

Do you know what to do in the event of an attack?

  • Leave
  • Hide
  • Call 112

Chances you will experience an attack are very small.

But if it does happen, it is important you know what to do.

Are you at the scene of the attack and can you flee?

Do so as quickly as possible.

Tell the people around you to leave, too.

If you can't flee, hide in a place with thick walls or lock yourself in.

Keep calm and put your phone on mute.

Call 112, if you can do so safely.

Provide information on the perpetrator and your location.

No matter how small the chance, know what to do.

If you want to know more, go to:

Think ahead

  • Be alert to suspicious situations. For example, an abandoned suitcase or someone with a conspicuous interest in security measures of a building or site, or an unfamiliar van that has been parked in your street for weeks.
  • Perpetrators often choose busy places to commit an attack. Therefore pay extra attention in situations where many people are together. For example, at a railway station, a festival, a concert or in a shopping centre.
  • If you are in a place where many people gather, check in advance how you can get away quickly or where the emergency exits are.
  • Check whether your mobile phone receives NL-Alerts.
  • If the situation is acute, call 112. No urgency, but suspicious? Call the police on 0900-8844.
  • You can also report anonymously via Meld Misdaad Anoniem (information in Dutch only) or via: 0800-7000.

During an attack

The chance that you will experience a terrorist attack or extreme violence is very small. What you should do depends on the situation. In general, the following advice applies:

  • If you are at the scene of the attack and you are able to flee, then do so as soon as possible. Tell this to people around you too.
  • If you can't get away, hide in a place with thick walls or lock yourself in. Stay calm and put your phone on silent so that the perpetrator cannot hear you.
  • Call 112 if it is safe to do so. Give information about the perpetrator and where you are. If you cannot speak (loudly), have the person on the phone give you instructions.

Get yourself to safety first; only then you can help other people. Help victims if they are injured, because even without a first aid certification and medical supplies, you can save lives. Try to move victims away from the scene of the attack if it is safe to move them. If emergency workers are present, always follow their instructions.

Government actions

The government makes every effort to recognise threats in time and to prevent an attack. For example, by identifying in time whether someone has extremist thoughts and is going to act accordingly. And by providing extra security for people and buildings at risk. If an attack does occur, the government is prepared to limit the consequences as much as possible. Twice a year, the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) publishes an up-to-date threat assessment, setting the current threat level.

The government coordinates the actions of all parties in the Netherlands that have a role in counterterrorism. These include organisations such as the security services, police, military police, but also financial organisations and healthcare institutions. The government also cooperates in international partnerships such as the European Union and the United Nations.