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Friday, December 30, 2016
Record number of police to patrol Britain's streets on New Year's Eve amid fears of terror attack
A record number of police will patrol Britain’s streets to protect the public throughout tomorrow’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Thousands more officers have been drafted in across the country - including armed officers - following the terror attacks across Europe in the past year.
It is part of a huge security clampdown as MI5’s terror warning alert remains at “severe”- meaning a terror attack is “highly likely.”
In London extra armed police will travel on tubes throughout the capital and many more than the 2,000 firearms officers on duty for the celebrations last year will be guarding our streets
Police presence is being stepped up in major cities
A record number of concrete bollards will also be placed around central London and in other cities to protect crowds from any attempt at a Berlin or Nice-style copycat lorry attack.
In Greater Manchester police have stepped up their presence in the centre of Manchester where the climax to the celebrations will be a fireworks display in Albert Square.
The force said they want “to ensure that people feel safe to go about their daily lives.”
GMP assistant chief constable Debbie Ford said: “I would like to stress at this point that there is absolutely no information or intelligence suggesting any attack is imminent in Greater Manchester.”
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: “I can assure you that there is a big armed operation over London.
“There are more armed police this year than there have been ever before.
“There are far more bollards that have been put in place than ever before.”
In total, 3,800 police officers will be on duty in central London, with thousands more in the rest of the capital, he said.
British Transport Police also announced that armed officers will patrol Tube trains during the festivities and will begin routinely patrolling the Underground network for the first time in 2017.
3,800 officers will be on duty in central London
Armed transport police have guarded Tube stations for some time, but will now begin travelling by train as well, a spokeswoman said.
Throughout Britain local police forces have been put on alert to respond to any terror attack and regional MI5 offices are on alert for any signs of an imminent attack.
Even though the warning is that an attack is “highly likely” sources have told the Mirror there is no evidence of an active and imminent attack plot underway.
The biggest fear for counter terror police and MI5 officers is that a plot could remain undetected- if a quietly radicalised lone wolf attacker suddenly decides to launch an attack.
A security source said: “Lone wolves tend not to give out communications traffic that can be picked up and that would incriminate them and tip-off the authorities.
“And there could be any number of them out there who can plug themselves in to the jihad franchise and call themselves and representative of Islamic State or some other group.”
Throughout Britain there are feared to be around 100 radicalised would-be attackers, many of whom may have seen action in Syria or Iraq and are under scrutiny to varying degrees by spooks.
December 30, 2016
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