COUNTY NEWS: Armed officers on Sussex streets following Parsons Green terror attack

Armed police.. Picture by Eddie Mitchell
Armed police.. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

Armed police officers have been deployed on the streets following the rush hour bomb attack in London yesterday (Friday, September 15).

Police with guns were seen in Brighton city centre today (Saturday, September 16) as the threat of terror attacks in the UK was raised to ‘critical’.

An armed officer in Churchill Square, Brighton. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

An armed officer in Churchill Square, Brighton. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

More than 20 people were injured by an improvised explosive device which detonated on a tube train in Parsons Green yesterday morning.

Meanwhile this morning an 18-year-old man was arrested by Kent Police in the port area of Dover under section 41 of the Terrorism Act.

Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s west London attack.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced last night that the UK’s terror threat would be raised from ‘severe’ to ‘critical’ amid fears the bombing could inspire copycat attacks.

Following yesterday’s terror attack at Parsons Green tube station, both Surrey and Sussex Police have bolstered their armed policing capability by extending their armed officers’ shifts and have enhanced high visibility policing across the two force areas to provide reassurance for communities.

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.”

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