Westminster attack: Beds police step up patrols in town centres

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Bedfordshire Police are to step up patrols in town centres in the county in the wake of the Westminster attack.

Bedfordshire Police and the Eastern Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit (ECTIU) have issued statements in solidarity with those affected by the tragic incidents in Westminster .

Speaking yesterday Chief Constable Jon Boutcher of Bedfordshire Police, the region’s lead force for Counter Terrorism, said: “The thoughts of us all at Bedfordshire Police and across the east remain with those killed, injured and affected by yesterday’s atrocities in the heart of our capital.

“We are very lucky that in Bedfordshire we have close links to our communities and work hard with our partners in the region, as well as the public themselves, to tackle extremist views and prevent terrorist activity. That said, the barbaric events at Westminster – in which people were simply going about their daily business enjoying the capital, and one of our own immensely brave police colleagues lost their lives – is a stark reminder that the terrorist threat is real, and we must remain vigilant.

“In order to ease the understandable concern yesterday’s events will no doubt have had upon our communities, we have increased patrols across the county, particularly around our main town centres.

“We are also liaising with our community representatives in terms of monitoring tensions and paying particular attention to hate criminality, as well as reviewing our policing for crowded places and the night-time economy going forward. In times like this the communities of our wonderful county truly come together.

“On behalf of Bedfordshire Police I express our deepest sympathies to those involved in the Westminster attack, and our heartfelt gratitude to our emergency service colleagues who risked, and indeed gave, their lives for the protection of others.”

Detective Superintendent Glen Channer, head of the ECTIU, said: “Counter terrorism police and the security and intelligence services work tirelessly to help keep the public safe, yet events like yesterday demonstrate how the threat of terrorism is becoming more varied.

“We are proud of our links with our diverse communities who often act as our eyes and ears, and in the aftermath of the Westminster attack I would continue to urge people to report any suspicious activity to us either on 101 or the confidential line 0800 789321. In the event of an emergency, always dial 999.

“Across the eastern region we share our deepest sympathies with those affected and send a message to those who seek to act in hate: You will not defeat us.”