UK Threat Level Moved to SEVERE

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, National Lead for Counter Terrorism Policing provided an update on the Manchester Investigation and the threat level to the UK from international terrorism being moved from Critical to Severe:

The high pace and rapid progress of this investigation is continuing. There were three more arrests overnight and we now have 11 men in custody. There are now 17 searches either concluded or continuing at various addresses largely in the north west of the country and we are getting a greater understanding of the preparation of the bomb.

There is still much more to do. There will be more arrests and there will be more searches but this greater clarity and this progress has led JTAC – the independent body that assess threat – to come to the judgement that an attack is no longer imminent. And you will have heard consequently the Prime Minister’s announcement that the threat level has moved down from Critical to Severe which of course means that an attack is highly likely.

Members of the public this weekend will be wondering what that means in terms of the events they are going to on this sunny bank holiday weekend. For practical and precautionary reasons we made the decision that the resources we planned for this weekend’s events will continue. So the public will still see that high level of policing presence; some armed, some unarmed.

Once we get past the weekend, we will be looking to step down the extra resources we have had in place over the last week. And the military support we have had in place over the past few days, under Operation Temperer we will start to phase out as well. There are detailed plans in place to ensure a smooth transition from Operation Temperer, and military personnel will remain at readiness to deploy in support of the police should future security situations require.

The last thing I would say to members of the public is that there is still a severe threat level. If you see something you are worried about or know somebody you are worried about don’t hesitate, just ACT. Please call us on the Anti-Terrorism Hotline 0800 789 321.


Statement from Prime Minister Theresa May

I have just chaired a meeting of COBRa, where I was updated by the police and security services on the investigation into Monday’s terrible Manchester attack.

A significant amount of police activity has taken place over the past 24-hours and there are now 11 suspects in custody.

In light of these developments, JTAC – the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre – has this morning taken the decision to reduce the threat level from critical to severe.

The public should be clear about what this means. A threat level of severe means that an attack is highly likely. The country should remain vigilant.

In recent days, the Armed Forces have been assisting the police in providing reassurance to the public, under Operation Temperer.

Today marks the beginning of a busy Bank Holiday weekend, which includes many sporting and other events, for which detailed security plans are already in place.

To provide maximum reassurance to the public, Operation Temperer will continue to operate until after the Bank Holiday concludes.

Then, from midnight on Monday onwards, there will begin a well-planned and gradual withdrawl of members of the Armed Forces, who will return to normal duties.

The police will make a statement shortly to provide further details of precisely how this process will take place.

Since the tragic events of Monday, our police, security services and the NHS have worked round the clock in hugely difficult and traumatic circumstances.

On behalf of the whole country, I wish to thank them for their tremendous service.

Call the confidential hotline on 0800 789 321
In an emergency, always dial 999