Following the terror attack in Manchester on Monday (22 May), Surrey and Sussex Police are continuing to review all of our policing plans on a daily basis.
In light of the increased threat level announced by the Home Secretary overnight, we have bolstered our armed policing capability by increasing our armed officers shifts to 12 hours and have enhanced high visibility policing across the two force areas to provide reassurance for local communities.
As part of an existing national plan called Operation Temperer, military personnel can be deployed under police command to backfill certain firearms roles to free up police resources. Currently they have been deployed to provide static armed guard at key locations across the country including high profile sites in London and major transport hubs. At this stage there are no requirements to deploy armed troops across Surrey or Sussex however this remains an option for us if needed and will continue to be reviewed.
Head of Operations Command Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said, “The independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre raised the national threat level to ‘critical’ which means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack may be imminent.
“This threat level applies to the whole of the UK and not any specific area. Our top priority for Surrey and Sussex is to ensure the safety of the public and in response to the increased national threat level we have increased our armed policing capabilities across both counties and continue to carry out high visibility patrols.
“You will see more armed police officers, working alongside regular patrol teams, around the two counties at key sites and in public areas over the coming days as we continue to operate in a state of heightened alert. At present, we have not requested any military resources however this remains an option if required.
“We continue to review security plans for upcoming public events and are working with event organisers to ensure there are appropriate measures in place to keep the public safe.
“Against this backdrop, you will see us continue to provide our day-to-day policing across the two counties.
“Terrorists want to create discord, distrust and to create fear and we are determined to stand with our communities and work together to ensure we do everything possible to prevent them from achieving this. As such, we reiterate the national advice that the whole UK public should remain alert and vigilant and report anything suspicious, however trivial it may seem, by calling the Anti-Terrorist Hotline 0800 789 321.”
For those holding local events we would draw your attention to the advice and updates on the NaCTSO website. www.nactso.gov.uk
For further information about reporting suspicious behaviour click here.