The PSNI have deployed Tactical Support Group Officers to Derry in the wake of the Manchester bombing and terror threat being raised to “critical”.
Armed TSG officers have been concentrating resources around Derry’s bus and train stations this week as the Chief Constable George Hamilton confirmed that the increase in the threat level applies to Northern Ireland as well as Britain.
At least 22 people were killed in the suicide bomb attack at Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert there on Monday night. Several Derry people were attending the concert at the time, while local students working at the Arena have also given harrowing eye-witness accounts from the scene.
According to the PSNI, TSG Specialist Counter Terrorist patrols “are intelligence led and provide hi-visibility security in areas of specific threat”, and are deployed to support local police.
Commenting this week on the local Policing response to the increased international terrorist threat, PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton said: “Prime Minister Theresa May reported that the threat level across the UK has increased from severe to critical level.
“This critical threat level (when an attack is expected imminently) also applies to Northern Ireland.
“In response to this increased threat I have reviewed our operational profile. The public will see an increased police presence at iconic sites, our transport networks and where large numbers of people congregate.
“In addition, it has been well documented that the current threat level from violent dissident republicans across Northern Ireland is ‘severe’. This remains the case.
“Events in Manchester are at the forefronts of all our minds. We send our thoughts and our sympathy to those who have lost loved ones and to the injured. We also send our support to the people of Manchester and to the police officers and staff at Greater Manchester Police.
“The PSNI will continue to do all we can operationally to keep people safe , however, I would ask the public, as always, to remain vigilant and alert to any suspicious activity and report anything untoward to police.”