UK counter-terrorism cops are going on permanent standby amid fears of a Europe-style assault on targets across Britain.
Specialist armed police units will provide 24 hour coverage ready to respond to attacks like those in Nice in July if there is an attempt to replicate them on British streets.
London Police Chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe wrote in the Mail newspaper that his force was “training hundreds of extra officers so they are ready to supplement our numbers during an attack similar to that seen in Paris. This increases armed officers by 600 to 2,800.”
He said the increase would improve “our firearms capacity significantly at a time of crisis” allowing the police to “confront the most terrible of threats.”
“For the first time, our team of Counter Terrorism Specialist Firearms Officers, who train for the very worst attacks, are ready 24 hours a day. They have the advanced skills needed to tackle the toughest of challenges.”
His comments come as senior Scotland Yard cop, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, advised the public to run away from terrorist attacks should they get caught up in one.
“It may seem blindingly obvious, but some people don’t run, they will duck down where they are, do all sorts of different things in the panic,” Rowley told the Evening Standard on Monday.
“So let’s be really clear – run as far away as possible and when you can’t run any further, hide, and then tell – call the police because we’ve got the people, the resources, the firearms to deal with it. It’s very straightforward.”
The UK will also be taking up a major role protecting the EU from terrorism after it was announced that a UK ‘securocrat’ has been appointed as Commissioner for the Security Union.
Sir Julian King’s appointment to the high-profile Brussels role by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker may come as a surprise in the wake of the Brexit vote.
A Downing Street spokesman told the Daily Mail on Tuesday that the move was welcomed.
“The UK will continue to fulfil our rights and obligations as a member state until we leave the EU and the prime minister has been clear that we will be an active player so it is right that we should continue to have a commissioner role,” the spokesman said.