Armed police have been stationed in Brighton and Hove today – but as yet, no armed forces are being deployed in the country.
Commuters and shoppers have been both alarmed and reassured to see policemen carrying guns at Brighton Station and Churchill Square today, as the UK security threat level is raised to critical in the wake of the Manchester attack.
Sussex Police say they are likely to be in place for the next few days at least, as it continues to review its policing on a daily basis.
Head of Operations Command Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said: “The independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre raised the national threat level to ‘critical’ which means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack may be imminent.
“This threat level applies to the whole of the UK and not any specific area. Our top priority for Surrey and Sussex is to ensure the safety of the public and in response to the increased national threat level we have increased our armed policing capabilities across both counties and continue to carry out high visibility patrols.
“You will see more armed police officers, working alongside regular patrol teams, around the two counties at key sites and in public areas over the coming days as we continue to operate in a state of heightened alert. At present we have not requested any military resources however this remains an option if required.
“We continue to review security plans for upcoming public events and are working with event organisers to ensure there are appropriate measures in place to keep the public safe.
“Against this backdrop you will see us continue to provide our day-to-day policing across the two counties.
“Terrorists want to create discord, distrust and to create fear and we are determined to stand with our communities and work together to ensure we do everything possible to prevent them from achieving this.
“As such, we reiterate the national advice that the whole UK public should remain alert and vigilant and report anything suspicious, however trivial it may seem, by calling the Anti-Terrorist Hotline 0800 789 321.”
For those holding local events we would draw your attention to the advice and updates on the NaCTSO website.
For further information about reporting suspicious behaviour visit here.