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“Speak to them and support them” - Norfolk police chief urges public to approach armed officers

PUBLISHED: 15:59 24 May 2017 | UPDATED: 23:28 24 May 2017

Armed police close to the Manchester Arena, the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people. Picture Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Armed police close to the Manchester Arena, the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people. Picture Danny Lawson/PA Wire

As armed officers are deployed across the county in response to the increased threat level, the message from Norfolk’s chief is: “Talk to us”.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey at Norfolk Constabulary Headquarters, Wymondham. Photo : Steve Adams Chief Constable Simon Bailey at Norfolk Constabulary Headquarters, Wymondham. Photo : Steve Adams

It comes as police respond to the national terror threat level being raised to critical.

Armed officers have been deployed to key locations in both counties, in particular crowded areas with high footfall such as the city centre, to provide visible reassurance.

It comes after the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre raised the threat level last night – meaning an attack not only remains highly likely but a further attack may be imminent.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said: “I would encourage anyone who sees those officers carrying out patrols to approach them, speak to them and support them because when incidents happen like those witnessed in Manchester and in Westminster, it’s those officers who rush to the scene to help, at a time when everyone else is trying to get away. I know they would appreciate the support.”

Military personnel are not currently being deployed in joint patrols with police officers in crowded places – but the threat assessment is continuously under review.

Officers are also reviewing security plans for a number of events in the coming weeks.

Mr Bailey added: “I would urge people to go about their daily business as usual, but be extra vigilant and report anything you think looks out of place.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk Lorne Green echoed Mr Bailey’s comments.

“These officers are not there to intimidate people,” he said. “Members of the public should not be concerned - those who should be concerned are those who have some malign intent.
“We have a courteous and sensitive police force. I know of no threat to Norfolk in particular so what we are seeing is the constabulary taking responsibility in giving that assurance to the community at large.”

Members of the public are asked to remain calm but alert – if you see anything which causes you concern, then call the police immediately. Look out for anything that seems out of place.

Latest guidance on recognising the terrorist threat and remaining vigilant can be accessed via www.nactso.gov.uk

To report any suspicious activity or behaviour call 0800 789 321 or in an emergency dial 999.

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