Armed officers will be deployed to ‘busy and crowded places’ in Lincolnshire this morning to raise the profile of terror prevention over the Christmas period.
The operation began at 7am this morning and will run until lunchtime on January 3, 2017 across Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and in Lincolnshire.
Lincolnshire Police have said the assessment of the threat from international terrorism has not changed and remains classified as “severe”, and that there is no specific information or intelligence which suggests an attack in the UK is imminent.
The operation follows incidents of terrorism in Berlin and in Turkey in the last few days, which have served as a reminder of the ongoing threat.
The operation is being run by EMOpSS, the East Midlands Operational Support Service, which provides firearms, police dog, roads policing, operational planning and other services on behalf of the four constituent forces.
The four will raise the profile of armed protective and preventative patrols over the holiday period.
Starting at 7am on Thursday, December 22, all authorised firearms officers covering Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire will, when not directly deployed to specific incidents, carry out routine patrols in crowded places.
They will clearly be carrying firearms but will be ‘engaging and reassuring’ in order to keep the public alert but not alarmed.
Chief Superintendent 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 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.”
People have been asked to remain vigilant during the holiday period and to report anything they believe to be suspicious to Lincolnshire Police, if necessary and in an emergency by calling 999.