Armed police have begun patrolling at Manchester s Christmas markets. To bolster security even further steel and concrete barriers have been placed around the popular stalls for the first time this year. As revealed in the M.E.N . undercover plain clothes officers carrying guns who will mingle with the crowds.
The heightened security comes after the Manchester Arena bomb and the fact that according to the Metropolitan Police the current threat level to the UK from international terrorism is severe. But Leaders in Manchester insist the city is open for business .
Concrete barriers have been placed around the popular stalls (Image: Manchester Evening News)
Superintendent Chris Hill from GMP said: People s natural response when they see extra security can sometimes be one of fear or concern, worrying that the extra measures mean that it s more dangerous.
“I want to assure people that we are strengthening protective security as an extra precaution to keep people as safe as possible, and it should make people feel more comfortable and reassured about attending events like the Christmas Markets . Our priority is the safety and security of all those attending or involved.
This has been a difficult year for the city and we must never forget the people who have been affected . However, we have already all come together and shown our strength and determination to carry on enjoying our day to day lives .
I want to encourage everyone to do the same . We are here and we re doing everything that we can to keep you safe.
Firearms officers will patrol the markets across the city centre (Image: Manchester Evening News)
The new barriers will be placed around Albert Square and firearms officers will patrol the markets there and at other sites across the city. GMP and Manchester City Council are also working together to install other protective security measures in key areas and have been working closely with the market managers and organisers.
Councillor Pat Karney from Manchester council said: Visitors to our markets will see the precautionary measures we are taking to make sure everyone who visits the city feels safe, and that they know we have done everyone we can to make their visit enjoyable.
We have worked closely with GMP to make sure the security in place is as robust as possible, and we look forward to welcoming the millions of visitors to our Christmas Markets over the next six weeks.
Hotel management were concerned in case other caravans were about to descend so stationed a security guard on the entrance.
Security was stepped up at Doubletree by Hilton, Chester, after a travellers’ caravan turned up in the hotel car park.
The hotel was open to guests and the public as usual with a wedding held on Saturday. There were rumours a legal order had been obtained directing the travellers to leave yesterday (Sunday) . The caravan has now gone.
General manager Edward Cross did not wish to comment but today confirmed it was business as usual .
Justin Bieber stayed at the Steppingstone residence in Hill Road North on Helsby Hill while his crew were based at the Doubletree by Hilton in Chester.
Speculation the heightened security was due to a famous guest is unsurprising because 12 months ago a film crew working for global superstar Justin Bieber4 stayed at the Doubletree sparking rumours the man himself was in residence during his three-date gig at Manchester Arena.
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