While school and university attacks in the US have often involved firearms, this has rarely been the case in the UK, according to Anthony Glees, a professor of politics and director of the University of Buckingham’s Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies.
“The UK is fairly good at keeping guns well-controlled,” he says. “Over 400,000 firearms licences have been issued in the UK. I can’t think of a single case of a gun on a [college] campus.”
He adds that vehicle attacks would also be hard to carry out on most campuses because of barriers: “I’d say the three biggest [safety] risks [on college campuses] are drugs, sexual violence and terrorism.
“As far as terrorism is concerned, I’d say the biggest risk is from the radicalisation of students, either by their being exposed to extremist Islamist or neo-Nazi speakers/recruiters, or being able, as a group of students, to travel to places, or spaces, where radicalisation can take place.”