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Reminder: More armed police patrolling our region

06 Dec 2016 14:31 PM

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Northumbria Police want to remind the public that they may see more armed officers on patrol in the region following the National Armed Uplift Programme.

Last month the force revealed the number of authorised firearms officers (AFOs) they had would increase by more than 50 per cent.

This came as part of a Home Office programme to increase the number of armed officers across the UK to provide reassurance through high visibility patrols.

A highly visible armed presence was welcomed by the public at events including the Sunderland Air Show, Tall Ships and Great North Run.

They have also been visible at transport hubs including Newcastle International Airport, Newcastle Central Station and the Port of Tyne.

Now Northumbria Police has confirmed armed patrols will also be visible in high footfall areas in the region including busy high streets and, in the near future, some of our region’s shopping centres.

Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best said: "We recently announced plans to increase the number of firearms officers we have here in Northumbria after receiving Home Office funding as part of a national programme.

“It is important to stress that this is not as a result of any specific intelligence that this region is going to be targeted for any kind of attack.

“Our armed officers are there to reassure members of the public that we are in a position to respond to any incident that does occur.

“They are regular police officers and them being on patrol will also deter other criminals including shoplifters and pick-pockets.

“Being an AFO requires a huge amount of training and we are very proud of the officers who have taken up this role in Northumbria.

“Their presence at events across the summer was very well received. Our AFOs’ are very happy to stop and speak to members of the public to explain what they are doing and listen to any concerns’

“Our priority will always be to keep those people living and working in the North East feel safe."

To find out more about the National Armed Uplift Programme (NAUP) visit the National Police Chiefs Council website by following the link: http://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/extra-armed-police-to-deal-with-terrorist-threat