Terror attack may mean ‘new normality’ in the UK, chief constable warns
PUBLISHED: 10:53 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 June 2017
People in the UK are potentially having to come to terms with a “new normality” following the weekend’s London terror attacks, Norfolk Police’s chief constable Simon Bailey has warned.
Describing the incident which left seven dead and 48 injured as barbaric, Mr Bailey said it was important the country did not allow the recent attacks to impact on the way of life in communities.
“We’ve experienced another appalling attack, the third in a matter of 10 weeks,” he said.
“Once again we’re coming to work on a Monday morning having to come to terms with the atrocity of an attack on people who were just having an enjoyable evening out in the capital city.
“Unfortunately, we are now having to come to terms with the fact that, this would appear to be potentially a new normality and it’s an awful thought.”
He said there would be a greater visibility of officers in Norwich, particularly around crowded places, and urged everyone to remain vigilant.
“We are already starting to see an increase in the number of reports of suspicious bags left lying around,” he said. “Please don’t take chances. The threat level is currently at severe, it’s been reduced from critical. But we need to remain really vigilant and do our best to make sure that Norfolk and Norwich are a hostile environment for any would-be terrorist to come and operate.”
With Thursday’s general election and a Take That concert at Carrow Road next week, he assured the public that police would be stationed at polling stations and counting centres. He said security arrangements for the concert were being looked at.
“We’ll be working very closely with the promoters and with the football club to make sure those tens of thousands of people can come and enjoy a great night,” he said. “I think again it’s just important that people feel confident and there is no doubt that seeing a police officer makes people feel safe.”
However, he cautioned that it was difficult to prevent the types of attacks taking place.
“It is almost impossible to rule out somebody jumping into a vehicle and driving it into people.
“And how do you ever stop somebody from coming into possession of a knife? I think we have to get the balance right here and lets not lose sight of the fact that the security services have been incredibly successful in preventing so many plots.”
Norfolk police officers lend a hand in Manchester
Eight Norfolk police officers who worked in Manchester at the weekend said they were amazed by the support and feedback they recieved in the city from members of the public.
PC Steve Potter, one of the officers involved, said they had left on Thursday and worked in Manchester conducting patrols on Friday and Saturday from 5am to 8pm.
Mr Potter and his colleague PC Gary May met and posed for a photograph with 10-year-old Jaden Farrell-Mann, who was among the injured in the arena attack.
“We were outside the Manchester children’s hopsital and she saw us and wanted to say hello,” he said.
“She gave me stick for the team I support (Newscastle United). But she’s a really brave girl.”
He said the memorial at St Ann’s Square had been touching.
“I haven’t seen that many flowers before,” he added. “A lot of people were crying while reading the tributes, even some of the police officers.”