Partners working together on city's Christmas safety
Birmingham City Council is working in partnership with West Midlands Police and traders from the Frankfurt Christmas Market to install security measures ahead of this year’s festivities.
Barriers will be installed at key locations around the city centre following the usual annual preparation and planning processes in the lead up to market opening for business (which gets underway this year on November 16).
Last year saw similar barriers introduced for the first time and West Midlands Police are keen to stress that this security is not based on any new or emerging intelligence. The security threat level nationally remains unchanged at Severe meaning an attack is highly likely.
Cllr Brigid Jones, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Our top priority when we stage the market is to ensure the millions of visitors we host every year can have an enjoyable and safe stay in the city.
“Every detail behind the planning of the market is reviewed with our partners annually to ensure we achieve this aim.
“We had barriers for the first time last year so this is not new and my message would be that there is no need for concern or alarm. People should remain vigilant at all times when attending any major public event, but enjoy the market as for what it is – a celebration of Christmas in Birmingham.”
Superintendent Andy Parsons, from Birmingham Central police station, added: Suspicious activity is anything that seems out of place, unusual or just doesn’t seem to fit in with day-to-day life - Let us decide if it is important.
“We work tirelessly to counter terrorism. Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety and security of the people who live, work and visit the West Midlands area.
“Our policing tactics and security measures are being reviewed on a daily basis - we have a dedicated police response in place for the market and we, along with our partners, are working around the clock to keep Birmingham and our other cities as safe as can be.”
He continued: “It is a busy time of year for the city and we want to ensure a safe and enjoyable time for everyone who visits over the festive period.”
As ever the public are urged to remain alert and not alarmed. Everyone is advised to be vigilant and to report any concerns to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, always dial 999.