Security services in Britain issued warnings that Christmas events could be targeted by ISIS-inspired terrorists. Police forces across Britain have already stepped up security amid the dire warnings, which came before the terror attacks on a German Christmas market.
Christmas market shoppers have already commented on armed police patroling areas around the stalls, and large concrete or plastic barriers have been errected around some markets, presumably to prevent the devastation seen in Berlin. In Birmingham, concrete barriers were installed in the centre around the Christmas market, with officials saying they were there to prevent terrorists from using trucks to cause carnage in the same way they did in Nice, and now Berlin.
Meanwhile, armed officers from the Northumbria police force were seen in Newcastle city centre, armed with assault rifles. Last week, the photos attracted criticism, with people saying they did not want their children to see armed police on the streets. However, it may be that residents understand better now why the move has been made to arm officers to protect the public.
Security officers have warned that Britain is at risk of ISIS and al-Qaeda attacks specifically targeting large crowds of civilians during the Christmas period. Meanwhile, the US is warning its residents to be vigilant when travelling to Europe over the holiday season, particularly if they plan on attending Christmas events.
At least 11 police forces in Britain say specialist anti-terrorism patrols will be carried out in shopping centres, transport hubs and tourist attractions, such as Christmas markets. Greater Manchester Police say they have a stronger presence at 10 markets across the city.
The terror attack in Berlin and stepped up security in Britain follows the news last week that 200 undercover SAS solders will be deployed in the UK to help police in the event of an incident.