May 27, 2017
Statement following lowering of UK terror threat level
The threat level of international terrorism in the UK has been lowered from critical to severe.
Nationally, this means the likelihood of a terror attack is no longer expected imminently but that it is still highly likely.
We constantly review our security measures and activities to reflect where the threats exist and there is still no specific threat to the south west.
However, as a precautionary measure and as plans are already in place, members of the public will continue to see the high level of policing, including armed officers, on our communities’ streets throughout the Bank Holiday weekend.
From Tuesday military personal are no longer being called upon to assist police forces in protecting key locations.
In Avon and Somerset armed officers will still be available to respond to an incident at any given moment but after the Bank Holiday weekend will no longer be seen out and about as they have been in recent days.
Our priority is to protect the public and provide them with as much reassurance as they need.
We felt the decision to deploy firearms officers on our streets was proportionate in the circumstances and was what people would expect.
The public can still expect to see our neighbourhood officers patrolling the streets and as always, we encourage people to approach them and ask them any questions they might have.
Officers from event planning teams continue to work with event organisers to ensure venues have appropriate security measures in place and anyone planning an event, or who would like to speak about one already planned, can contact us on the non-emergency number 101.
May 25, 2017
PCC and Mayor on community reassurance walkabout
Statement on armed officers on patrol
In response to the recent change in the threat level to critical, armed officers from Avon and Somerset will be seen out and about in our communities, primarily in Bath and Bristol.
This is not based on any change in intelligence or threat for the south west, but the decision has been taken instead to make firearms officers more deployable and visible to our communities. We think this is what the public would expect.
Our priority is to provide as much reassurance to communities as possible but we do recognise that some may feel anxious. The firearms officers will be engaging and communicating with people and we would actively encourage them to approach the officers and ask any questions they may have.
May 24, 2017
Statement following rise in UK terror threat level
Our thoughts remain with the loved ones of those who were killed and injured in the heinous attack on Monday.
Last night (23/5) the threat level of international terrorism in the UK was raised to ‘critical’ – meaning another attack may be imminent.
This is a national threat level and is based on intelligence that is considered credible and specific.
As a result, military personnel will be deployed alongside police at a number of locations across the country. This is to free up armed officers from certain duties and to enable them to support the wider UK policing response to the tragic events in Manchester.
There is currently no known threat to the South West and it is unlikely members of the public will see military on the streets of Avon and Somerset although the situation is being kept under constant review.
As a precautionary measure we have increased the number of officers on duty to provide a highly visible, reassurance presence - both armed and unarmed - across the force area and we will do this for as long as is needed.
We have long and well-established plans in place to deal with attacks of this nature and we rehearse them regularly with partners to ensure we are as ready as we possibly can be. We’re doing everything possible to keep people safe.