Police in Yorkshire ramp up patrols after Westminster outrage

PIC: James Hardisty
PIC: James Hardisty
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Firearms officers were stationed in the centre of Leeds this morning as part of an increased police presence across the region following the terror attacks in Westminster.

Four armed West Yorkshire Police officers were seen around City Square, near the railway station, as the county’s force urged residents to be “alert but not alarmed”.

Police say firearms officers will be in visible positions across Yorkshire today, with more armed response vehicles than normal on duty.

In response, a Twitter user in Leeds wrote this morning: “Armed police in Leeds today. So grateful to them for putting their lives on the line to protect our country despite the criticisms they face.”

West Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster urged the county’s residents to be “alert but not alarmed” as the force works to protect their safety and security.

ACC Foster said: “The public’s safety remains our top priority and I want to reassure the people of West Yorkshire that we will be reviewing all security in light of [yesterday’s] incident.

Andy McDyer, Assistant Chief Constable at Humberside Police, also promised an “enhanced policing presence” across East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, with uniformed officers more visible.

He said: “Our deepest sympathies go out to all those affected by the tragic events in Westminster, to the family of Pc Keith Palmer and those who lost their lives.

“The safety of the public remains our top priority and I want to reassure the people of Hull, East Riding and Northern Lincolnshire that we are reviewing all security in light of yesterday’s incident.

“There is no specific information suggesting an imminent threat to our area at this time and there has been no change to the current threat level for international terrorism in the UK which remains at Severe meaning ‘an attack is highly likely’.

“We are reviewing the deployment of our officers and taking all possible steps to keep people safe and to minimise the risk of a terrorist attack occurring.

“The public will see an enhanced policing presence across Humberside as the UK police together with security and intelligence services are working around the clock to help keep communities safe. This will include increased visibility of uniformed officers.”

Reaction to yesterday’s events in London also came from North Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable Dave Jones.

He said: “I would like to reassure the public that there is no intelligence to suggest that there has been any change in the level of risk here in North Yorkshire.

“Nevertheless, in line with other police forces, we will continue to keep our contingency planning under close review, and make careful assessments of the security around any special events.

“On behalf of North Yorkshire Police I would like express my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones, or who have suffered as a result of this attack.

“Our thoughts are with those people, and with our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police and other emergency services at this difficult time.”

Flags were flying at half mast last night at Leeds Town Hall and Leeds Civic Hall.

Other civic buildings in the city are following suit today while the same mark of respect is being paid by Sheffield City Council, Rotherham Council and Doncaster Council.