Geography ‘is town’s best terror defence’
Scottish Showmen’s Guild chairman downplays Lammas Market fears
St Andrews’ geography is one of the best defences against any terror threat to the Lammas Market, it has been claimed.
Billy Hammond, chairman of the Scottish Showmen’s Guild, has said the prospect of a Nice-style terror attack is minimal ahead of the return of the St Andrews fair next month.
It comes just months after a huge security operation was initiated for the Links Market following fears that a lorry could be used to plough through revellers enjoying the Kirkcaldy fair.
There, lorries were used to blockade either end of the event, while a highly visible police and private security presence was located both inside and at the perimeter of the site.
However, confident that such measures were not required at St Andrews, Mr Hammond said: “The layout of the town is a bit different.
“The issue with the Links Market was because of the promenade where vehicles could pick up speed.
“The Lammas Market is a bit closer to junction and tight bends so it’s a bit different.”
The changing nature of terror attacks has seen significant reviews of how heavily crowded public places are kept secure.
With vehicles having become a weapon of choice in attacks in Nice, Stockholm, Berlin and London in recent months, authorities have started to adopt measures to protect members of the public.
While lorries were used as a makeshift barrier at the Links Market, last week it was confirmed anti-terrorism barriers are to be installed in parts of Edinburgh to protect festival-goers there.
While unable to reveal specific security arrangements, Inspector John Docherty of St Andrews Police Station said: “The Lammas Market is enjoyed by thousands of people every year and those attending can be assured that an appropriate policing plan is in place.”
While there is not believed to be any specific threat against the event, local councillor Jane Ann Liston also called on thrill-seekers to remain vigilant throughout the festivities.
She said: “Let’s keep a sense of proportion and a proper balance between vigilance and enjoying the market.”
The issue with the Links Market was because of the promenade where vehicles could pick up speed. BILLY HAMMOND
The Lammas Market is one of the most popular events in St Andrews’ calendar.