We are now 'Muslim-proofing' Christmas markets in 2017: Armed guards, concrete barriers and metal detectors
We are now 'Muslim-proofing' Christmas markets in 2017: Armed guards, concrete barriers and metal detectors

 

  • Armed police, large concrete barriers and stop and search checks carried out at festive markets across UK
  • Heavy police presence at festive events in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Bath
  • Britain is on a severe terror alert in aftermath of attacks in Westminster, London Bridge and Manchester
  • Last year an ISIS fanatic murdered 12 when he plowed a lorry through Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz market

Britain’s Christmas markets will be surrounded by a ring of a steel with armed policemen and women on patrol and metal detectors at entrances as security is raised over new terror fears.

There will be concrete barriers, stop and search checks and officers on the ground at the popular festive events in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Bath in the run-up to Christmas.

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The precautions are being taken after the Local Government Association warned councils to be vigilant this year with the terror threat level to the UK currently at ‘severe’ – meaning an incident is ‘highly likely’.

Britain has suffered from the three horrific attacks this year with innocent people and children killed in London and Manchester.

Armed police walk among shoppers in Edinburgh Christmas market as Britain's terror alert remains at 'severe' going into the festive period
Armed police walk among shoppers in Edinburgh Christmas market as Britain’s terror alert remains at ‘severe’ going into the festive period

But while security is being ramped up in light of the atrocities in Westminster in March, the Manchester Arena in May and London Bridge in June, the authorities are also concerned about a potential copy-cat attack.

Last Year 12 were murdered when an ISIS fanatic plowed a lorry through Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz Christmas market.

EDINBURGH 

Visitors to the Scottish capital’s Christmas markets on George Street and East Princes Street this year can expect bag searches and security checks at entrances.

Police Scotland have also pledged to enforce additional security measures and armed officers will be on patrol at the festive events. 

A police spokeswoman said: ‘Our priority is the safety and security of all those attending or involved, and the public are encouraged to continue with their plans to attend or take part in events as normal.’

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‘The public may see additional protective security measures. There could also be increased security checks at some events and venues so we advise the public to arrive in plenty of time to allow for this.

Manchester’s Christmas market has also bolstered its security precautions, in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing, which killed 23 people at an Ariana Grande gig in May.

Visitors will be met with metal and concrete barriers at the Yuletide festival, with armed police patrols keeping a watchful eye over the crowds. 

Security gates are erected at the Christmas market in Manchester as the authorities increase security to keep visitors safe
Security gates are erected at the Christmas market in Manchester as the authorities increase security to keep visitors safe

Superintendent Chris Hill, of Greater Manchester Police, said: ‘I want to assure people that we are strengthening protective security as an extra precaution to keep people as safe as possible, and it should make people feel more comfortable and reassured about attending events like the Christmas Markets.

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‘This has been a difficult year for the city and we must never forget the people who have been affected.

Rucksacks and women's handbags are searched at the entrance of London's popular Winter Wonderland festive market
Rucksacks and women’s handbags are searched at the entrance of London’s popular Winter Wonderland festive market

‘However, we have already all come together and shown our strength and determination to carry on enjoying our day to day lives.

‘I want to encourage everyone to do the same. We are here and we’re doing everything that we can to keep you safe.’

 LONDON 

London has been hit twice in the past 12 months by terror attacks involving vehicles on Westminster Bridge and London Bridge.

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In response to those atrocities barriers separating traffic from pedestrians were erected on three of the capital’s bridges.

Similar measures are no in place at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland festival, one of London’s most popular Christmas attractions.

BIRMINGHAM

In Birmingham a protective wall of concrete blocks will protect shoppers from potential vehicle attacks, with metal barriers at entrances to the Christmas market, close to its popular Bullring shopping centre.

Police officers are carrying out ‘vehicle-based and foot-based stop checks’ at a number of locations throughout the city centre.

A metal gate is connected by a wall of concrete barriers outside Manchester's Christmas market as part of new strict security measures
A metal gate is connected by a wall of concrete barriers outside Manchester’s Christmas market as part of new strict security measures

Superintendent Andy Parsons, of West Midlands Police, said: ‘These checks are to offer reassurance to our communities and those who plan to attend our world famous Christmas market.

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‘There will be a mixture of armed, unarmed and plain clothes officers patrolling the city.

LEEDS

Extra protective measures have also been taken at Leeds’ Christkindelmarkt, one of the most popular German festive markets in the country.

The festival is held in Leeds’ Millenium Square and has more than 40 wooden chalet stalls, expected to bring swathes of crowds to the city centre.

Large planter pots have been lined up on the Yorkshire city’s pavements to stop vehicles mounting curbs, while metal bollards have been erected near the entrances to the market to protect shoppers.

Some areas, like Leeds, are also becoming sharia compliant.

BATH

Large concrete blocks have been installed in the historic city of Bath, to protect shoppers at the Christmas market from potential attacks. 

Guests flock into Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park under the watchful eye of security guards as safety precautions are beefed up around the popular Christmas festival 
Guests flock into Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park under the watchful eye of security guards as safety precautions are beefed up around the popular Christmas festival

Further barriers will also be installed by the authorities to make it safer for pedestrians and visitors to the city center. 

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Bath and North East Somerset Council boss Tim Warren told the Bath Chronicle: ‘These improvements are part of business as normal for the city.

A security gate, stopping vehicles from coming and going, is erected at Manchester's market, along with a concrete barrier
A security gate, stopping vehicles from coming and going, is erected at Manchester’s market, along with a concrete barrier

‘We are simply taking the prudent step of installing additional measures which are in common with those seen elsewhere in the country. There is currently no known threat to the city.’

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