Terror fears have led to a security barrier to be installed outside one of the north s most recognisable landmarks.
A protective barrier made up of 12 security blocks will be put up in front of York Minster this week on advice of the Counter Terrorism1 Unit. Popular with Teessiders, especially for shopping trips and pub crawls in the run up to Christmas, York is one of the most popular tourism hotspots in the north. But in light of the horrific attacks on Manchester and London, the cathedral s governing body the Chapter of York has taken the decision to up security.
The Dean of York, the Very Reverend Dr Vivienne Faull said: The national terror threat level has been at severe for many months and is likely to remain so for some time to come.
Some experts within the UK s security community believe that we are facing a generational problem which may last for 20 or 30 years.
The appalling attacks in Manchester and London earlier this year have required all those responsible for the security of nationally important buildings, monuments and public spaces to reassess, review and constantly refine their arrangements for keeping people safe.
Chapter has been concerned about the potential vulnerability of the area around the Minster s West End for some time.
The clear recommendation from the Counter Terrorism Unit required urgent and decisive action and will form a visible deterrent at the front of the Minster .
We have a clear duty of care to everyone who visits York Minster and we will do everything we can to ensure that our worshippers and visitors feel safe and secure when they are here, Rev d Dr Faull continued.
Approved by the Home Office and tested by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), the 12 blocks will form a substantial barrier . New flag stones will be cut and set around the edges of each block . No archaeology will be disturbed by the installation.
The blocks are already in use at a number of high profile locations around the country including the Tower of London.
The security barrier is a temporary measure: the blocks can and will be removed if the security situation improves in the future.
A shoplifter who chased after a supermarket security guard with a knife when he was caught stealing booze has been locked-up. John Spedding was spotted pocketing a bottle of sambuca from Asda, in Hebburn1, and was followed out of the store by the guard. But when he was confronted outside and asked for the alcohol back, the 22-year-old pulled out a Stanley knife and chased the security guard down nearby Aln Street.
The terrified worker told police his life flashed before his eyes as he feared he would be stabbed if he was caught.
Newcastle Crown Court2 heard Spedding came to within a metre of the guard before stopping his pursuit after he was distracted by someone he knew. The police were called and Spedding was aggressive and violent with officers before biting one of them on the leg, prosecutors said. Now, the thief, of Bishop Crescent, Jarrow, has been jailed for 18 months after he admitted threatening a person with a bladed article, theft and assaulting a police officer.
Paul Rowland, prosecuting, said Spedding was spotted picking-up the sambuca and leaving the Asda store on the afternoon of September 5 this year. The guard followed him outside and asked for the alcohol back when he discovered him hiding behind a vehicle in the car park. Mr Rowland said: At that point, the defendant placed the bottle on the ground and removed a craft or Stanley knife from his left pocket and the blade was showing and he said f****** come one then .
The security guard was terrified . He simply said to the defendant Keep it, keep it , referring to the alcohol . But, the defendant began to advance towards him .
At that point, the security guard began to run away.
He ran along Aln street to try and get away from the defendant . He did turn around at one point and saw the defendant still chasing him with the knife in his hand about 1m from him.
The court was told Spedding was then distracted by someone he knew and stopped the chase, allowing the security guard to run back to the store and alert the police. But, officers were already on their way to the scene after being called by a concerned member of public and Spedding was arrested in a nearby park, where he d tried to dump the knife and booze.
Mr Rowland said Spedding then lashed out while being restrained and bit a police officer s leg when he was taken to a cell at the police station. Locking him up, Judge Amanda Rippon said: You were drunk at the time you committed this offence and you not only produced a knife but you chased your victim, who was doing no more than his duty as a security guard, down a public street, in full view of members of the public.
In a victim statement he said this left him shaken up, his life flashed before his eyes and he genuinely believed, not surprisingly, if you caught him, and you got within a meter of him, that you would have stabbed him. Vic Laffey, mitigating, said Spedding was drunk at the time and was now remorseful.
He added; He does not recall an awful lot about the incident because of the alcohol situation .
He has expressed a desire to apologise to those he has caused distress to as a result of the incident.
Kromek s next generation standalone radiation detector, D3S-ID, was deployed by the European Commission s Counter Terrorism Unit of Directorate General for Home Affairs in Brussels.
The D3S-ID was part of security operations deployed during the NATO Security Summit and the US President, Donald Trump’s visit to Brussels last month, Kromek revealed.
Kromek was informed that the deployment was successful and its radiation detection systems performed well and met the desired high standards for accuracy and efficiency.
“We were pleased that the deployment was successful and that our detectors achieved the necessary high standards .
We look forward to continuing our work with the European Commission, DARPA and other national law enforcement agencies to deploy our best-of-breed radiation detectors to protect people and property,” said Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive officer of Kromek.