Arrest over alleged plot ‘to kill police officer’

It was 'business as usual' for West Midlands Police yesterday. Picture: Getty

It was 'business as usual' for West Midlands Police yesterday. Picture: Getty

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West Midlands Police last night revealed that a 31-year-old man had been arrested in connection with alleged threats made to their officers and staff.

A force spokesperson said the man was arrested at a property in the West Midlands by officers from the Counter Terrorism Unit and was still being questioned last night.

The news came after they spent the day investigating a possible threat against serving West Midlands officers in what has been described as a “fast-moving and dynamic” inquiry.

Officers and staff with West Midlands Police were called in to special briefings by their bosses and security measures stepped up after the force received an anonymous tip-off.

Police would not confirm details, amid speculation that it involved a plot to kidnap and kill a serving officer.

The West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit was leading the investigation.

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Assistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said the force took any threat to its officers’ safety seriously but added that it is “business as usual”.

He said yesterday: “We take any information in relation to the security of our staff and the public very seriously.

“It’s really important to stress there is no information we’ve received that indicates any threat to the public, and this relates purely to officers and staff.

“We’ve taken appropriate measures to ensure our staff have the information they need to continue to provide the business they do, day in and day out. But in terms of specific information, that’s not something I’ll talk about in detail.”

The briefings advised officers not to come to work or go off shift in uniform, and also included a reminder about basic police station security measures.

Mr Forsyth said every officer on operational duty had been given “basic and fundamental security advice”, but it was “no different to any other day”.

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He would not be drawn on how the tip-off was made, or what it contained, saying only that the information was “relating to the safety of West Midlands Police officers and police staff”.

Mr Forsyth added: “All I would say is this is subject to a fast-moving and dynamic investigation by our counter-terrorism officers right now, so I won’t comment on the specifics. It’s business as usual.”

He moved to reassure the public, saying officers were out solving crimes despite the heightened level of security. “You can be reassured that they are out there – they are going about their normal daily business,” said Mr Forsyth.

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“They’re dealing with road traffic collisions, involved with safeguarding children and investigating serious crime, and that is happening now. It is no different to any other Tuesday and it was no different last night to any other Monday.”

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said his force had spoken with their colleagues in the West Midlands .

Sir Bernard said Scotland Yard was carrying out its own assessment of the information received, and it tried not to “overreact” in situations like this.

The national security level remains at “severe”, meaning a terrorist attack is highly likely.

The alert comes after five men were charged in October with plotting to kill police officers or soldiers on the streets of London.

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