Greater visible presence of officers on the streets to reassure the public.
Patrols around the region have been stepped up as part of West Midlands Police’s plans to keep people safe in the wake of the latest London terror attack.
The force implemented its well-rehearsed plans just minutes after the Prime Minister announced that the national security state would be raised to critical.
The PM made the announcement at around 8.30pm on Friday (15th September). This means that a further attack by terrorists may be imminent. At the same time, senior officers in the force ordered extra patrols by beat bobbies and firearms teams. While their focus will be high-profile locations such as transport hubs and other crowded places, patrols designed to reassure communities in other places are also underway.
Despite the Prime Minister authorising support from the military alongside the police, there are no plans at this time to deploy soldiers in the West Midlands. The use of military assets frees up armed police officers from certain guarding duties across the UK who are then able to support the wider national security response.
Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Cann is leading WMP’s response to the attacks and increased security state. He said: “You would expect us to do everything possible to prevent further attacks and keep you safe. As soon as the prime minister made her announcement, we implemented our locally tailored and well-rehearsed plans.
“We are flexing our resources and increasing our presence at key sites, such as transport hubs and other crowded places. We continue to review key events taking place across the West Midlands and entertainment venues. People will notice an increase in the number of armed and unarmed officers at these and other locations. While this is a precautionary measure, these highly visible patrols will continue for as long as is needed.
“We are in close contact with the Metropolitan Police and security services, and we standby ready to provide any support from our specialist teams should they require it. The thoughts of all of us at West Midlands Police are with those affected by the latest cold blooded act including those first responders who displayed great courage and professionalism in the wake of the attack.”
Twenty-four hours after the Parsons Green tube attack, Kent Police arrested an 18-year-old man in the port area of Dover in connection with the blast.
The actions of officers working on the security operation is already drawing praise from the public. In an email to West Midlands Police received at lunchtime on Saturday, a woman known only as Jodie contacted the force to say: “We have just left Coventry train station, where you have two armed officers placed.
“I would like to bring to your attention how pleasant they were to my young daughter who has a great interest in the police, whilst still remaining professional and vigilant. It’s always nice to have officers within our force who are open to engage with the public, especially our younger generations to show a positive relationship between the police and public.
“They have made my daughter’s day and also showed great representation of the police in what could be potentially very frightening times. Please pass the praise onto these officers as they deserve to be recognised for their exceptional work.”
People can leave feedback for members of Team WMP via: www.rateyourlocalpolice.co.uk
If you see anything that causes you concern contact the confidential Anti-Terrorism Hotline on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, you must dial 999. Look out for anything that seems out of place, unusual or doesn’t seem to fit in with day-to-day life.
Hate crimes rise following a terror attack. You should report incidents via: www.report-it.org.uk