Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Bill Skelly has spoken to reassure people in the county after the terrorist threat level was raised to ‘critical’ last night, meaning a further attack could be imminent following the Manchester Arena bombing on Monday.
Armed police have been deployed as a physical presence in major cities and heavily populated areas, including Skegness, although the Chief Constable said people wuold not be seeing the Army on the streets yet.
The Chief Constable said here in Lincolnshire, the ‘daily business’ does not change and they continue to police professionally and engagingly, having made some changes in response to the escalation in the threat level.
Mr Skelly explains: “People in Lincolnshire can expect to see more officers on the streets, more routine checks and patrols will be taking place and, quite simply, you can expect that those officers will be around for you to approach if you have any concerns or if you need any information. Some of those officers will be armed. If you’ve ever been to a big event in the county or anything large scale and pre-planned, then you’ll be used to seeing officers carrying firearms; this is a necessary response to the events of the last few days.
“At the moment you won’t see soldiers on our streets. Military capability is there if we need it and, if we do, will be in accordance with a well-considered plan.”
He said: “I understand people will be anxious and concerned and I want to reassure everyone that we are well prepared. There are a number of events planned across the county coming up which people might be worried about. We are working with organisers to ensure those events are as safe and secure as possible and we hope that you are still able to go and enjoy them.
“This is an exceptional and difficult time. The key things to take away are that we are constantly reviewing and assessing and that you should be alert, not alarmed. If something seems out of place to you, talk to us. We’d much rather hear about something that comes to nothing than receive information too late to act.”
He said: “Please take note of safety advice and, in the very rare event you are caught up in any kind of weapons attack, please remember to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind people that any type of hate crime will not be tolerated. Emotive incidents like these can sometimes cause discord within communities. Over the coming days and weeks we will be reaching out to make sure those existing bonds and relationships stay strong. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of hate crime please report it straight away on 101 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Mr Skelly concluded: “Terrorists seek to create fear and distrust. As the police, but more importantly as people, we will not let that happen. We stand with Manchester and we stand together as a country. A small amount of people carry out these heinous crimes and we will not let them win. Let us work closely together to unite against those who seek, through violence and extremism, to intimidate or cause fear.”
A webpage with advice for victims and those affected by the attack has gone live on gov.uk:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manchester-attack-may-2017-support-for-people-affected
The latest guidance on recognising the terrorist threat and remaining vigilant can be accessed via www.nactso.gov.uk
Police advise the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency the public should always call 999. For further information about reporting suspicious behaviour visit https://act.campaign.gov.uk/. If you get caught up in the rare event of a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice.