Londoners urged to be vigilant in crowded spaces
The Metropolitan Police has urged Londoners to be vigilant in crowded spaces as festive season begins, with police patrols increased across the capital.
Following the recent increase in the UK’s terrorism threat level, additional patrols are being carried out by officers from the Met, City of London Police and British Transport Police, which include both unarmed and armed police patrols focused on busy and crowded locations across London.
The patrols are set to continue over the coming weeks, with many taking place in or around Christmas events, busy shopping areas and transport hubs. As part of this, Londoners can also expect to see ‘Project Servator’ deployments across the Capital – these happen throughout the year, but are being stepped up in the run up to and over the Christmas and New Year period.
These dedicated counter terrorism patrols involve specially trained officers who are able to spot tell-tale signs of people who may be involved in criminality, and also detect and disrupt those who might be planning or preparing an act of terrorism.
Specialist counter terrorism security advisors have also been working closely with event organisers and venue owners, advising them on what security measures they can put in place to keep their visitors and customers safe this festive season.
Matt Twist, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Specialist Operations, said: “It has been two years since we’ve been able to get together and enjoy London in all its festive glory with some degree of ‘normality’.
“But, tragically, we’ve seen two terrorist attacks in Essex and Merseyside over the past few weeks, and as a result, the terrorism threat level has been raised from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’. Therefore it is important people stay vigilant, and report anything that might look out of place or suspicious.
“I want to stress that the increased threat level is not specific to the Capital, so people should still go out and enjoy everything London has to offer at this time of year. But I would ask that you stay alert, and help us to keep you safe by being our extra eyes and ears. If you see or hear something that doesn’t seem right, then trust your instincts and report it.”