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WILTSHIRE Police has urged people to remain “alert but not alarmed” after the attack on London Bridge and at nearby Borough Market in the capital on Saturday night.
The number of officers on duty across Wiltshire and Swindon has been increased, but the Force is stressing there is no known specific threat to the county or to the South West region at this time.
Assistant Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, who is in charge of operations at Wiltshire Police, said: “I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we were deeply saddened that the country is in the midst of another horrific incident.
“I fully understand people’s anxieties, but I hope the sight of extra police on our streets and at places where people gather will offer reassurance that we are here, first and foremost, to keep our public safe. I must stress that this is purely as a precaution and not due to any intelligence received.”
After carrying out a review of the policing resources available for the coming days, ACC Pritchard travelled to Swindon to meet people enjoying the second annual Polish Day event in Queen’s Park.
He said, “Communities defeat terrorism, which is why we must maintain the strong relationship between the public and the police. We depend on information from the public who can be our eyes and ears, in our efforts to keep us all safe.
“There was a great atmosphere at the Polish Day event and several people said how pleased they were to see police officers and PCSOs walking around the park.”
ACC Pritchard went on, “We advise the public to remain alert but not alarmed and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency the public should always call 999.
“In the rare event of becoming caught up in a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice.”
ACC Pritchard also made clear that the Force would not tolerate any hate crime in the aftermath of the London attack, “Acts of terrorism and hate crimes are committed by a small minority of people and are not representative of the public.
“This is a time for us all to work closely together and unite against those who seek, through violence and extremism, to intimidate or cause fear.
“We are aware that following incidents such as this, there can be an increase in hate crimes within communities. There can never be any excuse for hate crime in any shape or form and this criminality will not be tolerated.
“More than ever in these uncertain times we want those who are victims of hate crime to feel confident in the belief that we’ll take your reports seriously, protect you and make sure you get all the support you need.”
ACC Pritchard said that, “If you are a victim of hate crime or feel vulnerable, you should contact someone to report it. More people are reporting hate crime than ever before, but it is still significantly under-reported.”
Don’t suffer in silence; there are people who can help you. Call the police on 101, Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or via their website at www.crimestop pers-uk.org, or visit the True Vision website www. report-it.org.uk for information, advice and to report online. In an emergency, always dial 999.