Security at Christmas Markets
Organisers and Police are working together to ensure the safety of visitors to the UK’s Christmas markets. Attacks across Europe in recent years have led to an increase in security in cities across the UK, with concrete and metal barriers preventing vehicles from accessing the pedestrian areas in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.
The 2016 attack in Germany saw a lorry being used to plough into visitors at Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz Christmas market, killing 12 and injuring over 50 others.
And last year France experienced a lone terrorist armed with a knife and gun killing 5 people at a Christmas market in Strasbourg. Locals and visitors are determined not to let this terrible act prevent them enjoying the market, a 450 year old tradition, this Christmas.
The current terrorist threat level in the UK is SUBSTANTIAL, meaning that an attack is likely.
However, it isn’t just the risk of terrorism that visitors should be aware of. Police in Birmingham have warned about the risk of pickpockets; the crowds expected at Christmas markets provide an ideal environment for thieves.
West Midlands Police Superintendent, Jack Hadley warned visitors “With such a vast amount of people visiting the market, we would encourage people to remain alert and to tuck away personal belongings. Mobile phones, wallets and purses are all potential targets for pickpockets so please pay particular attention to the safety of such items.”
Don’t let this put you off visiting your local Christmas market though, everyone involved is working hard to keep the events safe and spread Christmas spirit. A heavy police presence is in operation and they are working closely with stallholders and security teams to keep the public safe while they enjoy the market experience.
If you do see anything suspicious or that doesn’t seem right don’t hesitate to call police or report it online at act.campaign.gov.uk.