Armed police to patrol crowded places in Nottinghamshire over Christmas

Police
Police

Firearms officers have started patrolling busy and crowded places in Nottinghamshire.

The operation began at 7am yesterday, Thursday 22 December and will run until lunchtime on January 3, 2017.

The assessment of the threat from international terrorism has not changed and remains classified as “severe”, but there is no specific information or intelligence which suggests an attack in the United Kingdom is imminent, said Nottinghamshire Police.

The force said: "The incidents of terrorism / suspected terrorism in Berlin and Turkey in the last few days have served to remind everyone of the ongoing threat, and makes it proportionate and appropriate for the four forces to raise the profile of armed protection and prevention patrols over the holiday period."

Starting at 7am yesterday, all Authorised Firearms Officers covering Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire are now carrying out routine patrols in crowded places. They will clearly be carrying firearms but the policing style will be engaging and reassuring in order to keep the public alert but not alarmed.

The operation is being run by East Midlands Operational Support Service, which provides firearms, police dogs, roads policing, operational planning and other services on behalf of the four constituent forces.

Chief Supt Ian Howick, in Charge of EMOpSS, said: “Far from alarming the public, the purpose of this change in approach is to achieve precisely the opposite – to provide greater reassurance.

“There is no specific threat to the East Midlands, but recent events elsewhere in the world have led to a change in what the public in Britain expect and want from their local police.

“In common with all other policing areas, we have assessed our capability and security arrangements. The purpose of this change is to further minimise the risk to the public and staff in and around crowded / busy public places from a terrorist attack, to maximise the safety of tasked and untasked police officers, staff and partner agency staff in such vicinities, and to provide the public with a greater sense of reassurance by increasing our visible presence.”

A dozen people were killed and many others were injured after Anis Amri, 24, from Tunisia drove a lorry into a Berlin Christmas market on Monday. European police issued a continent wide warrant for his arrest on Wednesday.

People are asked to remain vigilant during the holiday period and to report anything they believe to be suspicious to Nottinghamshire Police, if necessary and in an emergency by calling 999.