THE UK’s terror threat level was reduced from critical to severe over the weekend – meaning there is no longer deemed to be risk of an imminent terror strike, but the potential remains ‘highly likely’.
Policing across the West Midlands will continue to reflect the need for vigilance.
The public will see a gradual change in the way officers are deployed over the coming week, add police.
However, a range of patrol measures and other tactics, reflective of the Severe security state, will be employed to reassure and protect the public.
West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Gary Cann, said: “Over the last few days, almost 140 firearms officers from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary have supported our efforts to provide a high-profile armed presence at key locations. I am very grateful for their support to supplement a tremendous effort from West Midlands Police officers and staff who have worked long hours to keep the public of the West Midlands safe during this period of increased threat.
Last year, Chief Constable Dave Thompson vowed to bolster the force’s firearms reserves by training up more specialist armed officers.
The number of armed, front-line officers has since increased by a third − in fact there are now more armed police employed by West Midlands Police than at any time in the past.
ACC Cann stressed that, despite the lowering of the terror threat level, the risk remained severe and he urged people across the West Midlands to stay switched on.
He added: “People need to remain vigilant. If you see anything that causes concern or have suspicions about someone’s behaviour call the police or the Anti-Terror Hotline.
“Support and information from communities are a key part of our efforts to defeat terrorism…that’s why we must maintain the strong relationship between the public and police. We depend on information from the public, who can be our eyes and ears, to keep everyone safe.”
There are many ways you can report − through local police on 101 or in an emergency 999, via the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 and online you can click on the red button on the West Midlands Police website to report online terrorist and extremist material.