- Armed police, large concrete barriers and stop and search checks carried out at festive markets across UK
- Heavy police presence at festive events in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Bath
- Britain is on a severe terror alert in aftermath of attacks in Westminster, London Bridge and Manchester
- Last year an ISIS fanatic murdered 12 when he ploughed a lorry through Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz market
There will be concrete barriers, stop and search checks and officers on the ground at the popular festive events in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Bath in the run up to Christmas.
The precautions are being taken after the Local Government Association warned councils to be vigilant this year with the terror threat level to the UK currently at ‘severe’ – meaning an incident is ‘highly likely’.
Britain has suffered from the three horrific attacks this year with innocent people and children killed in London and Manchester.
But while security is being ramped up in light of the atrocities in Westminster in March, the Manchester Arena in May and London Bridge in June, the authorities are also concerned about a potential copy-cat attack.
Last Year 12 were murdered when an ISIS fanatic ploughed a lorry through Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz Christmas market.
Manchester’s Christmas market has also bolstered its security precautions, in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing, which killed 23 people at an Ariana Grande gig in May.
Visitors will be met with metal and concrete barriers at the Yuletide festival, with armed police patrols keeping a watchful eye over the crowds.
Superintendent Chris Hill, of Greater Manchester Police, said: ‘I want to assure people that we are strengthening protective security as an extra precaution to keep people as safe as possible, and it should make people feel more comfortable and reassured about attending events like the Christmas Markets.
‘This has been a difficult year for the city and we must never forget the people who have been affected.
‘However, we have already all come together and shown our strength and determination to carry on enjoying our day to day lives.
‘I want to encourage everyone to do the same. We are here and we’re doing everything that we can to keep you safe.’
London has been hit twice in the past 12 months by terror attacks involving vehicles on Westminster Bridge and London Bridge.
In response to those atrocities barriers separating traffic from pedestrians were erected on three of the capital’s bridges.
Similar measures are no in place at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland festival, one of London’s most popular Christmas attractions.
A Met Police spokesman said: ‘The public may see additional protective security measures and barriers at events this year, in response to a number of vehicle-based terrorist attacks we have sadly seen both here in the UK and abroad.
‘There could also be increased security checks at some events and venues so we advise the public to arrive in plenty of time to allow for this.’
In Birmingham a protective wall of concrete blocks will protect shoppers from potential vehicle attacks, with metal barriers at entrances to the Christmas market, close to its popular Bullring shopping centre.
Police officers are carrying out ‘vehicle-based and foot-based stop checks’ at a number of locations throughout the city centre.
Superintendent Andy Parsons, of West Midlands Police, said: ‘These checks are to offer reassurance to our communities and those who plan to attend our world famous Christmas market.
‘There will be a mixture of armed, unarmed and plain clothes officers patrolling the city.
‘It is really important that we tackle all crime together so if you see something or hear anything suspicious, we need to know so we can try to do something about it.’
Originally published in the Daily Mail