Armed Soldiers Are On British Streets Following Manchester Attack
Soldiers have joined armed police on Britain's streets as the government has heightened security following the horrific terrorist attack in Manchester this week.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has told Sky News that 984 soldiers will be on duty by the end of today. A total of 3,800 members of the military, including those who are already on duty, are available, should police need assistance.
The heightened security response comes after the UK's terror level was raised from 'severe' to 'critical' - meaning an attack is 'expected imminently'.
The troops, who are armed, will predominately patrol the London area, with soldiers being spotted walking through St Stephen's Entrance in Westminster. They have also taken over the manning of the sentry boxes at Parliament.
Prime Minister Theresa May said last night: "The change in the threat level means that there will be additional resources and support made available to the police as they work to keep us all safe.
"As a result of [the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre's] decision, the police have asked for authorisation from the Secretary of State for Defence to deploy a number of armed military personnel in support of their armed officers.
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"This request is part of a well-established plan known as Operation Temperer in which both the armed forces and the police officers involved are well trained and well prepared to work in this kind of environment.
"The Secretary of State for Defence has approved this request and Operation Temperer is now in force."
Armed police on the streets of Manchester. Credit: PA
Special Forces have also been deployed to Manchester following the attack, which resulted in the deaths of 22 people after an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.
Speaking after the Manchester-born suicide bomber Salman Abedi was named, Amber Rudd said: "He was known up to a point to the intelligence services. I'm sure we will get more information about him over the next few days and over the next few weeks.
"What I can point out is that our intelligence services do a remarkably good job. They have foiled 13 plots since 2013 and we need to give them the space they need to continue their investigation."
Rudd added the nature of the attack means Abedi may have had help. PM May mirrored this and has said: "It is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack."
This is the first time soldiers have been deployed on British streets since 2003.
Featured Image Credit: PA