A martial arts instructor from North Wales was among hundreds of passengers forced to leave Manchester Airport when a suspicious package sparked a security alert. Chris Pritchard, from Caernarfon, arrived at Terminal 3 at 9:30am today to check in for his flight to Heathrow, but a routine hold baggage screening then identified a bag which appeared to contain a suspicious item. Passengers were then asked to wait outside as a precaution , but weren t given any more information about what was happening, said Mr Pritchard.
They just kept moving us further and further away from the airport, he said.
Manchester Airport was evacuated after a suspicious package was spotted (Photo: Chris Pritchard)
First we were moved outside, then across the road, then we were asked to wait in the car park.
We weren t given any information .
We were just told they were evacuating us as a precaution.
It wasn t until the police, fire service, amulance, bomb squad and armed police arrived that I realised it was serious.
I asked a member of staff and he just said the situation was a lot worse than they first thought, but he couldn t tell me anything more than that.
The 37-year-old, who runs Pritchard s Martial Arts Academy in Caernarfon, was due to catch a connecting flight from Heathrow at 4:40pm to Las Vegas, where he s due to attend the
Martial Arts Supershow. After realising that the disruption could mean missing his flight to the US, Mr Pritchard decided to drive himself to Heathrow. This isn t the first time Mr Pritchard has encountered difficulty while travelling between the UK and USA: in January last year, he was caught up in the third worst snowstorm in New York s history while attending a Professional Martial Arts College function in New Jersey.
I travel to the USA maybe five or six times a year and, when something like this happens, I m just glad to be safe, he said.
But some people were actually getting really annoyed at the situation.
A Manchester Airport spokesman said: All passengers were safely evacuated from the terminal while further investigations took place.
Officers determined the bag posed no threat.
We apologise to all passengers affected by this incident.
The safety and security of our customers and employees will always be our number one priority.
Security is being increased at concerts in Wales following the terror attacks in Manchester and London. Take That play to a sell-out crowd at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium tonight, with Robbie Williams, Justin Bieber and Coldplay taking to the stage in Cardiff over the next couple of months. Counter terrorism officers have been working with organisers at major venues across the country to ensure safety and security at upcoming events.
Police have also issued advice for concert goers . They say to arrive early to allow time for extra security checks, to be patient with searches, and to help the staff help you – they are there to make sure people are safe. They add it’s important that unnecessary items aren’t taken to the event . A number of things are banned from tonight’s Take That concert, like bottles, including perfume, large bags and umbrellas. There’s also a reminder for everyone to remain vigilant .
Event attendees are being encouraged to report people acting suspiciously and suspect items. There are a number of key music and sporting events in South Wales in the coming weeks which will attract large crowds . We will continue to work with the organisers and review our response to these events depending on the intelligence and information which we receive.
Our priority is to maintain a visible and reassuring presence in our communities and we will continue to provide the response the public would expect in order to keep them safe. People going to these events will see both unarmed and overtly armed officers on patrol and we will also be using tactics which are not obvious to the public but are designed to keep them safe.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis, South Wales Police
Though the chance of being caught in a terrorism incident is small, the police say, if something does happen, it’s vital to listen to staff and any announcements . Organisers will have emergency plans in place to keep everyone safe.
- ITV Report
- 6 June 2017 at 1:12pm
Police near the scene of the Lonodn Bridge terror attack . Credit: PA
Questions over Britain’s security have come to the forefront of the election after the UK suffered its third terror attack within months. Here is what the three main parties are pledging if they take power on June 8.
The Conservatives have said they will invest in the military and target extremism . Credit: PA
The Conservatives have pledged to create a new Commission for Countering Extremism that will have a remit to clamp down on “unacceptable cultural norms” such as female genital mutilation. They have also said they will invest 178 billion in new military equipment over the next decade and maintain the Trident nuclear defence to “to provide the ultimate guarantee of our security”.
Work will continue on a 1.9 billion investment in cyber security against online attacks, the party said. And by leaving the EU, Britain will be able to take control of immigration policy “for the first time in decades”, it said.
Labour have pledged to boost national security with more police . Credit: PA
Labour have pledged a slew of funding for police and security agencies.
They would hire 10,000 more police officers to work in communities, plus 3,000 more firefighters and 3,000 more prison officers. The party has promised to bring in 1,000 more staff at security and intelligence agencies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to step up efforts to prevent terrorism. It will also recruit an additional 500 border guards.
Labour supports the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent, though Jeremy Corbyn said he would never want the UK to launch the first nuclear attack in a conflict.
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to boost funding to local police forces . Credit: PA
The Liberal Democrats would give an extra 300 million a year to police forces and would also place a strong focus on cross-border intelligence with international partners. They would allow intercepts where justified and permit surveillance of those suspected of serious crime and terrorism, but would roll back state surveillance powers and state-sponsored efforts to break online encryption. A Lib Dem government would scrap the “flawed” Prevent anti-extremism scheme and replace it with a new scheme that engages communities.
The party is committed to remaining in Europe, meaning the UK would remain open to EU citizens, but says they would control borders with stringent entry and exit checks. It supports maintaining Trident but has pledged to reduce the level of Britain’s nuclear fleet.
The SNP have said they want better protection for Scotland . Credit: PA
The SNP have said that police numbers are up in Scotland – in contrast to England – while crime is at a 42-year low. Their manifesto pledges focus more on defence.
The party has said it would scrap Trident, and spend the billions in savings on public services. However they would instead press for investment in conventional defence, including at HMNB Faslane as a conventional military base. SNP MPs would support a Strategic Defence and Security Review to assess if ocean-going patrol vessels should be permanently based in Scotland.
They might also lobby for more aircraft to protect the country’s skies.
The Greens would focus on targeting rape, domestic violence and FGM . Credit: PA
The Green Party has made few pledges on the issue of security. It would create a UK-wide strategy to tackle gender based violence, including domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse, FGM and trafficking.
It has pledged to cancel the planned Trident replacement, which it says would save at least 110 billion over the next 30 years.
Ukip have pledged to be tough on crime with 20,000 more police officers . Credit: PA
The party has pledged to be tough on crime, with a promise to hire an additional 20,000 more police and employ 7,000 more prison officers. Ukip has also vowed to reinstate stop and search and crack down and would ban the burka or other face covering in public.
It would create an over-arching role of Director of National Intelligence, who will be lead a new, single, unified intelligence service. The party has also pledged tougher action on so-called honour crimes, grooming, and forced marriage. Ukip has said that it would retain the Trident nuclear deterrent.
Last updated Tue 6 Jun 2017