Message from Chief Constable after incident in Berlin
20 Dec 2016 14:00 PM[View Full Size]
Chief Constable Steve Ashman has today said the thoughts of everyone at Northumbria Police are with the people of Berlin following the tragedy at a Christmas market in the City last night.
He said: "This is a tragic day for all those who have been affected by the incidents in Berlin and our thoughts remain with them at what is an extremely difficult time.
"We have recently had our own large Christmas market in Newcastle and it was, in many ways, a centrepiece of the City as people prepared for Christmas.
"The incident in Berlin will no doubt cause concern for many people but we want to reassure those living and working in our region that there is nothing to suggest there is any specific threat to the North East.
"We pride ourselves on the fact that this is one of the safest places in the country and we want the public to feel safe and reassured that we are here to protect them.
"Earlier this year we said we would be increasing armed patrols and we have done so in high footfall areas including our shopping centres, high streets and major transport hubs.
"People should feel as comfortable speaking to our armed officers as they are speaking to our regular, unarmed patrols.
Will you be stepping up patrols at your Christmas markets and at other busy areas / festive events as a result of this incident?
We have introduced armed patrols at high footfall areas across the force including, for example, at the Newcastle Christmas market (which finished on Sunday, December 18). These patrols will continue into the future. The level of patrols is constantly reviewed and takes into consideration the national threat assessment which has been at its second highest level for some time.
Did you introduce armed patrols because of any specific threat to Christmas markets?
There is no specific threat to Christmas markets in the Northumbria Police area. The armed patrols were introduced to provide reassurance to our communities and have been well received by the public. The level of patrols is constantly reviewed and takes into consideration the national threat assessment which has been at its second highest level for some time.