Armed police will continue to patrol busy North East locations, a senior officer has confirmed in the wake of the London terror attack last night.
A white van hit pedestrians on London Bridge at about 10pm, then three men got out and stabbed people in nearby Borough Market.
Seven people were killed and 48 were injured.
The incident follows the deaths of 22 people killed by suicide bomber Salman Abedi as they left an Ariana Grande show at the Manchester Arena on May 22.
Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best said today that while there was nothing to suggest ‘any specific threat’ to the region, armed police would maintain a visible presence at key locations.
He said: “Our thoughts are currently with the people affected by last night’s attack in London, particularly the families of the seven people killed during the incident.
“We understand that people here in Northumbria will be concerned about these most recent events. At present, there is no change to the national threat level, which remains at ‘severe’.
“We also want to stress that there is still nothing to suggest any specific threat to our communities here in Northumbria.
“We have significantly increased the number of armed officers we have available to us here in Northumbria and that has allowed us to create an extremely hostile environment to any would-be terrorists.
“Those visible armed patrols have been in place since last year and they will continue following this most recent incident in areas with high numbers of people, such as the city centres and our transport hubs.
“They are there to reassure any members of the public concerned about security in our force area.
There will be an increase in foot patrols by unarmed officers across the force to provide visible reassurance.
“Following the attacks in Westminster and Manchester, we urged local communities to come together and to support each other. We want to echo that message again today.
“I also want to pay tribute to the incredible response of the Met Police and the other emergency services in London last night.
“Our thoughts are with them at this time as they continue to investigate this atrocity.
“We would encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious or who has any concerns to report them immediately to police on 101, by calling the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321 or by visiting gov.uk/ACT”
Guidance around what to do if you are caught in a terror attack can be found at the Run, Hide, Tell website: www.npcc.police.uk/NPCCBusinessAreas/WeaponAttacksStaySafe.aspx