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Extra 600 'visible' armed police to patrol London in wake of terrorist threat

PUBLISHED: 09:07 03 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:21 03 August 2016

Armed police seen in Shoreditch High Street

Armed police seen in Shoreditch High Street

Archant

Armed police in visible roles are to patrol the streets of London and could include popular tourist attractions such as Tower Bridge and around the Tower of London.

Tower Bridge... tourist hotspotTower Bridge... tourist hotspot

An additional 600 firearms officers are being put on the streets in the wake of recent terrorist atrocities on the Continent, the Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe announced yesterday.

“Anyone following events in Europe over the past few weeks will understand why we want to show our determination to protect the public,” the Commissioner said. “We are deadly serious about the protecting the people of London and will never be complacent.

“We have substantial resources and a range of tactics that we can call on to protect them. The reality of dealing with deadly attackers is that you need firearms officers who will run towards the danger and use force to stop them.”

Armed police in London... Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and London's Mayor Sadiq KhanArmed police in London... Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and London's Mayor Sadiq Khan

The Mayor of London has welcomed the Police Commissioner’s move for more officers on protection duty to reassure the public.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “It’s important that we are prepared, should the unthinkable happen.”

The threat level in London has not changed, but remains at “severe” after recent attacks in Europe.

Defensive moat around the Tower of London... once hit by an IRA terrorist bomb in the 1970sDefensive moat around the Tower of London... once hit by an IRA terrorist bomb in the 1970s

The move comes with a return to unarmed “real neighbourhood policing” announced by the Mayor last week with a second dedicated Pc in every local council ward by the end of next year to “build trust in communities”. This includes an extra 20 officers for the East End’s Tower Hamlets police division alone.

The armed police operation is not based on any specific intelligence, the Met says, but a long-term response to make London as “hostile an environment as possible” for any would-be terrorist attacker.

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