Increased threat level saw specially trained firearms officers patrol on board trains nationwide for the first time in effort to reassure the public

 

Manchester Victoria station has now reopened

 

The UK’s passenger transport sector is on a heightened state of alert following last month’s terror attack in Manchester.

The bomb that detonated in the foyer area of the Manchester Arena on May 22 killed at least 22 people. It was the deadliest terror attack in the UK since the July 7 bombings in London in 2005, which targeted public transport.

In the aftermath of the attack the government raised the threat level from severe to critical – meaning that another attack was considered ‘imminent’ – although it was later returned to severe. In response to the increased threat level, specially trained firearms officers patrolled on board trains nationwide. Armed officers have been regularly patrolling on the London Underground since December, but this was the first time they have patrolled on board trains elsewhere in the country.

Our patrols will be highly visible and passengers should feel comforted by their presence

British Transport Police chief constable Paul Crowther said last week: “By having firearms officers on board trains we’re ensuring that trains remain as safe as possible for passengers. Our patrols will be highly visible and passengers should feel comforted by their presence.”

He added: “It is important to note that we do not have any specific intelligence in relation to train services but are taking this action to ensure we can protect and reassure the public.”

The investigations which followed the attack on the Manchester Arena resulted in the closure of the adjacent Manchester Victoria station, which hosts Northern, TransPennine Express and Metrolink services, but it reopened a week later on May 30.

 

This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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