Brits want more armed police at Christmas markets

Over a third of the British public want to see more armed police at Christmas markets to make them feel safer following recent terror attacks, new research shows.

36 per cent of Brits are calling for more armed officers to patrol public events, such as Christmas markets, and 57 per cent would like to see more security guards on duty around market locations.

The survey of 1,000 people, conducted by ATG Access, found that though almost half of the public won’t let recent terror attacks stop them from enjoying organised festive events, 39 per cent would feel more at ease if emergency services, like paramedics, were on site and easily visible.

The research also shows that 44 per cent of people would like to see visible security measures, such as bollards and barriers, put in place to prevent possible vehicle attacks.

48 per cent of the public welcome bag searches and 33 per cent think metal detectors should be used at event entrances to spot suspicious behaviour. And 41 per cent would like to see more CCTV and flood-lighting to monitor festive events and public areas.

The study was conducted as part of ATG Access’ Protecting the future of multifunctional cities report, which looks at how cities in Britain are being transformed into multifunctional spaces and the obstacles that are preventing public spaces from taking place.

Gavin Hepburn, director, ATG Access, said: “With the increasing number of terror attacks that have taken place across Europe, tensions have understandably been heightened – particularly as Christmas markets were targeted in Berlin last year. The general consensus amongst the public seems to be that they’re not going to let the threat of terror ruin their festive spirit, there are still some concerns around security and safety at Christmas events.

“Brits are now calling on authorities to implement more visible security measures, such as more armed police on our streets and physical solutions like bollards and barriers, to protect festive events. But, the most important thing to bear in mind is that these measures must not create a ‘fortress mentality’. While the public may feel safer knowing that security is being improved, solutions shouldn’t incite more fear and should enable people to enjoy the festivities. There are robust physical solutions now available that can blend in with their surroundings so that they’re almost invisible.”

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