Leaders in Manchester are declaring the city “open for business” as additional safety measures are put in place to protect people at this year’s Manchester Christmas Markets.
Large steel and concrete barriers have been placed around the Christmas Markets for the first time this year and armed officers will patrol the area, measures which seek to make people feel as safe as possible while enjoying everything the city has to offer over the festive period.
Superintendent Chris Hill from GMP said: “People’s natural response when they see extra security can sometimes be one of fear or concern, worrying that the extra measures mean that it’s more dangerous. I want to assure people that we are strengthening protective security as an extra precaution to keep people as safe as possible, and it should make people feel more comfortable and reassured about attending events like the Christmas Markets. Our priority is the safety and security of all those attending or involved.
“This has been a difficult year for the city and we must never forget the people who have been affected. However, we have already all come together and shown our strength and determination to carry on enjoying our day to day lives. I want to encourage everyone to do the same. We are here and we’re doing everything that we can to keep you safe.”
The new barriers will be placed around Albert Square and firearms officers will patrol the markets there and at other sites across the city. GMP and Manchester City Council are also working together to install other protective security measures in key areas and have been working closely with the market managers and organisers.
Cllr Pat Karney from Manchester City Council said: “Visitors to our markets will see the precautionary measures we are taking to make sure everyone who visits the city feels safe, and that they know we have done everyone we can to make their visit enjoyable.
“We have worked closely with the GMP to make sure the security in place is as robust as possible, and we look forward to welcoming the millions of visitors to our Christmas Markets over the next six weeks.”
Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council are expecting millions of visitors to the world famous markets this year.
As with any busy area, police are encouraging everyone to remain vigilant while out and about, and to report anything suspicious immediately to security or police officers at the markets. In an emergency always call 999. GMP is also encouraging everyone to follow national ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) guidance. More information on what to look out for and how to contact police can be found at www.gov.uk/ACT.