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Heightened security and armed police at intu Chapelfield and Castle Mall in Norwich as terror threat is raised to critical after bombing at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

PUBLISHED: 16:39 24 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:13 25 May 2017

Armed police were seen in the Castle Mall shopping centre in Norwich. Picture submitted.

Armed police were seen in the Castle Mall shopping centre in Norwich. Picture submitted.

Archant

Shoppers in Norwich will see heightened security in the city as armed police are deployed across Norfolk as part of a county-wide operation to reassure the public following the Manchester terror attack.

An armed police patrol near the big wheel at Great Yarmouth's Pleasure Beach amusement park. Photo: George RyanAn armed police patrol near the big wheel at Great Yarmouth's Pleasure Beach amusement park. Photo: George Ryan

Norfolk police have told people they will be seeing an increased police presence, including armed units, at key locations in the county but reassured the public that there was no specific threat to Norfolk.

Armed officers have already been seen at Castle Mall in Norwich and intu Chapelfield said there could be armed police at the centre.

It comes after Theresa May raised the threat level to critical, its highest level, indicating that a further attack was imminent after 22 people were killed in a terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Two armed officers were seen patrolling Castle Mall today and Robert Bradley, centre manager, confirmed its own high threat security measures were in place.

Armed police on patrol in King's lynn, as the terror threat was increased to critical. Picture: Chris BishopArmed police on patrol in King's lynn, as the terror threat was increased to critical. Picture: Chris Bishop

“In response to the heightened security level in the UK, police have stepped up presence in all public places such as shopping centres and city centre retail areas.

“We have also put in place our​ own​ high threat security procedures ​to​ ensure our shoppers’ continued safety.”

At intu Chapelfield more staff will be visible to shoppers and security measures have been enhanced. Paul McCarthy, general manager, confirmed there would be an increased police presence with armed police in some of the intu shopping centres across the country.

“We have enhanced our security procedures and from this morning there will be more staff on the malls to provide a highly visible and reassuring presence for our customers. There’s naturally an increased police presence in our centres as well, including armed police officers in some locations, and we expect that to continue over the coming days.

Armed police on patrol in King's lynn, as the terror threat was increased to critical. Picture: Chris BishopArmed police on patrol in King's lynn, as the terror threat was increased to critical. Picture: Chris Bishop

“Our retail and security staff are highly trained in surveillance techniques and we regularly rehearse and test our response procedures to serious incidents.”

Away from Norwich there have been increased patrols in Great Yarmouth and in a rare move a police unit will be station at Yarmouth racecourse for today’s races.

Roger Wiltshire, chief supt and head of Great Yarmouth Borough Police, said: “There is no intelligence to say there is a threat to this area.

“But we will be carrying out patrols for reassurance.”

Norfolk police have asked members of the public to “remain calm but alert” and to call the police immediately if they spot anything suspicious.

“There is no specific intelligence relating to Norfolk however the public would expect us to respond accordingly to this raised threat level,” said Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary Simon Bailey. “As a result members of the public will see an increased policing presence at key locations – primarily those with high-footfall and we are reviewing key events over the coming weeks.

“Military personnel are not currently being deployed – but the threat assessment is continuously under review.”

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