It has been a challenging week and we are still in the middle of a live investigation. Eight people are in custody aged between 18 and 38. There are still 12 locations that are being searched and activity will continue throughout the weekend. The cordon remains around Manchester Arena.
We have hundreds of officers that are working on this investigation from across the national counter terrorism policing network and we have seized thousands of exhibits that are now being assessed.
Through such a difficult time, we have seen the best from the people of Manchester, who have come together to support each other since the horrific events on Monday night. I have been inspired by their determination, compassion and solidarity that characterises this diverse city.
Manchester is a busy place and this weekend we have the Manchester Games, the Great Manchester Run, the Courteeners concert and the start of Ramadan. All these events will be taking place and additional officers, including a significant number of armed officers, will continue to be on patrol.
There will be additional security checks at some locations and we would ask people to be patient and work with us to ensure everyone can enjoy these events safely.
Manchester has come together this week and it is important we continue to stand together, particularly in relation to hate filled views that have no place in Greater Manchester.
Sadly, we have seen an increase in reports of hate incidents from 28 on Monday, which is what we receive on an average day, to 56 on Wednesday this week. We can’t directly link these to the events of Monday night and are continuing to monitor the situation.
I have sent a personal message out to all the faith leaders and places of worship today and have thanked them for the support they have shown and stressed that hate crime will not be tolerated.
It is important that people report any incidents so that they can be investigated and we can support victims and their families. They can do this by calling police or using the True Vision online reporting form (www.report-it.org.uk)
Today I have spent time speaking to police officers and staff who were both first on the scene on Monday night and were working at the family reception centre. Along with colleagues from British Transport Police who were among the first on the scene, they acted with remarkable bravery in the face of the atrocity that confronted them. They have all shown great courage and compassion. Some of them are feeling the effects of the actions they had to take and we are providing them with support as they attempt to come to terms with what they saw.
Finally, it is important to remember that the threat level is still at critical and we do need everyone to remain vigilant in the coming days. I want to thank everyone for their support and patience during the past four days.