Heavy gun-wielding police presence at Birmingham Pride this weekend
There is a heavy gun-wielding police force out on the streets of Birmingham Pride this weekend.
In unusual scenes for the UK, armed police are patrolling Pride areas to ensure the safety of the public after the attack in Manchester this week.
West Midlands Firearms Operations tweeted: ‘We’re on patrol doing our best to keep you safe.’
In a statement, West Midlands police said: ‘Throughout Saturday and Sunday, you will see an increase in police officers and staff around the city to keep the public safe.’
We’re on patrol doing our best to keep you safe. Feel free to talk to us & say hello #StaySafe #FOU pic.twitter.com/oC7uNBjco6
— Firearms Operations (@firearmsWMP) 25 May 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Tuesday (23 May) an increase in the terror threat level to critical. This means an increased gun-carrying police presence on British streets.
May said: ‘The threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical.
‘This means that armed police officers responsible for duties such as guarding key sites will be replaced by members of the armed forces.
‘I do not want the public to feel unduly alarmed,’ she said.
Superintendent Phil Dolby said: ‘I appreciate that people planning to attend may feel a sense of nervousness following events earlier this week in Manchester but I would like to offer some reassurance that a full policing operation is in place and is subject to on-going reviews.
‘We will have a large number of police officers, specials and police staff on hand to keep the public safe.
‘I would ask people to be our eyes and ears – if you see something suspicious tell a police officer or member of security staff,’ he said.
Remember, In the rare event of a firearms or weapons attack, it is vital that you know what to do. #RunHideTell #FOU pic.twitter.com/TOQflkRYbg
— Firearms Operations (@firearmsWMP) 8 May 2017
Eyewitness accounts also told Gay Star News bag checks are strict and regulated.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, national lead for counter terrorism policing said in a statement: ‘Extra firearms officers have been out on streets because we have backfilled some static guarding posts at key places with military personnel.
‘Their presence at these sites will continue throughout the weekend,’ he also said.