Manchester’s Arndale Centre has been evacuated, with people seen running away screaming and witnesses saying a man was arrested by armed police.
“Security guards and police who were armed shouted at people to get away,” said Sky’s Mike McCarthy, at the scene. “At least 100 people came round the corner – many of them screaming and trying to get away.” Some people fell over in the rush to get away and police with sniffer dogs went inside the shopping centre, said McCarthy. Police said they do not think it was related to the incident at Manchester Arena and the centre has now reopened.
Image: Some people were in tears as the shopping centre was evacuated
The evacuation happened around 12 hours after a bomb attack killed 22 people at a concert at the arena.1 :: Live updates – Manchester attack2 Extra armed police are on UK streets after the attack, with a high state of alert seeing a suspicious item blown up in Manchester in the early hours.
Image: People leave the Arndale Centre after it was evacuated
A controlled explosion took place just after 1.30am in Cathedral Gardens, near the site of the attack, but it later turned out to be a pile of abandoned clothing.
:: Security services think they know who bomber is3 Another suspicious item sparked an evacuation of London’s Victoria coach station around 6.40am. Passengers were moved to the end of the street as the area was cordoned off and buses diverted . However, the alert was called off shortly after 8am.
Image: Cars arriving at Manchester United’s training ground were also searched
Manchester United players arriving at the team’s Carrington training ground have also had their cars searched. Security staff used mirrors to check underneath vehicles and opened up the boots. The team are getting set for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm.
A “mix of armed and unarmed officers” were called up for the rush hour in London, with Met Police chief Cressida Dick saying they would “continue for as long as is needed”. Police Scotland said more armed officers would be at “transport hubs and crowded places”. Policing in crowded places is also being reviewed in the West Midlands, Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. Extra armed officers were called up in London and other cities after the Westminster attack in March and the Berlin attack in December. The threat from international terrorism in the UK remains “severe” – as it has been since August 2014 – meaning an attack is highly likely.
- ^ bomb attack killed 22 people at a concert at the arena. (news.sky.com)
- ^ Live updates – Manchester attack (news.sky.com)
- ^ Security services think they know who bomber is (news.sky.com)
- ^ Manchester Arena witness: ‘It was absolute carnage’ (news.sky.com)
Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the events in Manchester and our deepest condolences are with the families and friends of those who tragically lost their lives.
Dorset Police stand with Greater Manchester Police and other forces across the country . Public safety is our priority and we have a variety of established operational tactics that are regularly used to ensure that our local communities and businesses are both well prepared and protected.
Our aim is to reduce the risk to the public and maximise public awareness . As is normal practice, we are in touch with national anti-terrorism coordinators.
this time there has been no change to the threat level in the UK but this is reviewed on a national basis and Dorset Police will, if necessary, respond accordingly . We regularly review intelligence and information and would like to reassure the public that at this time there is no specific threat to Dorset . The public should be alert but not alarmed.
The advice remains the same members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline 0800 789 321.
In response to the recent events in Manchester, we want to reinforce and emphasise the importance of vigilance and of reporting any concerns to the anti-terrorist hotline. The current UK threat level for international terrorism is: SEVERE.This means that a terrorist attack is highly likely.
If you see or hear anything that could be terrorist-related trust your instincts and call the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.
All SIA approved qualifications include counter-terrorism awareness, including looking out for hostile reconnaissance. Please refresh the knowledge of staff that have received Project Griffin training and deploy staff who have received training in behavioural detection (where you have them). The following guidance is taken from National Counter Terrorism Office (NaCTSO) recently launched publication the National Stakeholder Menu of Tactical Options .
Be proactive in challenging visitors, vehicles and anything out of place and consider the following options particularly around crowded places, night time economy and iconic sites:
- Review patrol strategy (be unpredictable). Adopt high visibility clothing
- Brigade resources with neighbouring contracts/buildings
- Report any suspicious activity in a timely manner. Early reporting of suspected hostile reconnaissance is vital in combating terrorism
- Implement communication links with surrounding premises to pass on information about suspicious activity/behaviour
- Consider closing non-essential access and exit points
- Focus CCTV on all communal areas and vulnerable points
- Ensure CCTV is fit for purpose
We recommend that security operatives refresh themselves with how to be vigilant by watching the video Personnel security – Eyes Wide Open by the Centre for the Protection for National Infrastructure (CPNI). The following resources are available:
- The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the United Kingdom, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The SIA’s main duties are: the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities; and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.
- For further information about the Security Industry Authority or to sign up for email updates visit www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk.