Out­let among sites to get rou­tine armed pa­trols

Po­lice tell peo­ple not to panic as they in­tro­duce firearms

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Facing The Bulldozer -

Armed po­lice are set to rou­tinely pa­trol the Ash­ford De­signer Out­let and other key lo­ca­tions around the county in the wake of the West­min­ster ter­ror at­tack a fort­night ago.

The shop­ping cen­tre has now been in­cluded in the list of sites reg­u­larly guarded by armed of­fi­cers from Kent Po­lice.

The move was an­nounced just over a week af­ter Khalid Ma­sood, who was born in Dart­ford and lived in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions across Kent, car­ried out the ter­ror­ist at­tack on the Houses of Par­lia­ment and West­min­ster that left four peo­ple dead in­clud­ing PC Keith Palmer, who Ma­sood stabbed to death at the en­trance to Par­lia­ment.

Work is con­tin­u­ing to in­crease the num­ber of armed of­fi­cers in Kent, in line with the Home Of­fice’s na­tional re­quest to all forces last year.

While there is no spe­cific in­for­ma­tion to sug­gest a di­rect threat to Kent, pa­trols by armed units and of­fi­cers with tasers will con­tinue.

Key lo­ca­tions in­clude Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral, the Port of Dover and Blue­wa­ter as well as the Ash­ford De­signer Out­let. Armed of­fi­cers were seen at the out­let on Tues­day morn­ing

As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Tony Blaker said: “It has been just over six months since we in­tro­duced overt firearms pa­trols to our ex­ist­ing pa­trol strat­egy and we have re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back from the peo­ple and busi­nesses of Kent.

“We reg­u­larly re­view the threat lev­els in the county in con­sul­ta­tion with the Home Of­fice to en­sure we pro­vide the most ap­pro­pri­ate pro­tec­tion to the peo­ple of Kent.

“There is noth­ing to sug­gest a di­rect threat to our county, but we have a duty to pro­tect the com­mu­ni­ties in it and that is why we feel it is im­por­tant to con­tinue these pa­trols in key lo­ca­tions.

“We want the pub­lic to know what we’re do­ing to pro­tect them and not to panic if they see of­fi­cers with firearms or tasers on pa­trol.”

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

Armed po­lice pa­trols are com­ing to Ash­ford De­signer Out­let

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