Armed officers patrol streets of Northampton after terror threat is raised

Armed officers by the town's cenotaph this morning.
Armed officers by the town's cenotaph this morning.

Machine-gun carrying police officers have been deployed in Northampton today following Monday's terror attacks in Manchester.

Yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May upgraded the country's terror threat from 'severe' to 'critical', putting the country on standby for an 'imminent' terror attack.

People visiting Northampton town centre today will have already noticed the machine-gun carrying officers on patrol and a police presence at Northampton station.

Assistant Chief Constable James Andronov, said that at present there is no direct threat to Northamptonshire - but he added "this cannot be discounted'.

He said: "Our approach to policing in the wake of the ongoing threat will be to focus on patrolling crowded places, transport hubs and large events.

“You will see heightened levels of visible patrolling, in some cases using overtly armed police officers in the way we did across Northamptonshire in the run-up to Christmas. This is aimed at deterrence and increasing intelligence, reassurance and engagement with the communities we serve."

The Government has invoked the national Temperer operation, allowing for military personnel to be deployed alongside police officers across the UK.

Despite the increase in the threat level of further terrorist attacks in the UK, there are no immediate plans to deploy military personnel onto the streets of Northamptonshire.

“We will also be liaising with the managers of key venues and organisers of public events due to be held in the coming weeks, to ensure proportionate security arrangements are in place to protect the public," added assistant chief constable Andronov.

“We understand that people may be fearful of being targeted as they go about their lives, and I want to reassure you that we do support you, and do want to know about any incident of hate crime that takes place."

The assistant chief constable also said the force will be monitoring levels of hate crime in Northamptonshire in the coming days to see if there has been an increase in incidents.

He added: “If you have been attacked, threatened, bullied or suffered physical or verbal abuse because of who you are, please report it to us on 101 or via the online reporting site True Vision. You can also report incidents anonymously Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

At 11am today, Northampton dignitaries gathered at the Guildhall to observe the national minute's silence for the victims of the terror attack.