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Huge concrete barriers go up at British Christmas market to protect public from truck terror attack

Huge concrete barriers have been installed to protect visitors to one of the world’s biggest Christmas markets from a terror attack[1] . Birmingham Council[2] has again installed the ‘ring of steel’[3] bollards in the city centre in an effort to keep visitors safe at the annual Christmas market, returning to the city on November 16. Security measures were increased during the festive period to help prevent similar attacks to the one in Berlin last year.

On December 19, failed asylum seeker Anis Amri drove a truck into the Berlin market, killing 12 people dead and injuring some 56 more. Since the attack, the Local Government Association has given councils guidance about protecting areas considered a likely target for terrorists.

Birmingham Council installed the ‘ring of steel’ bollards throughout the city centre overnight

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The advice includes installing barriers that protect the public from driving heavy vehicles into crowds. A spokesperson for Birmingham Council said: “Barriers will be installed at key locations around the city centre following the usual annual preparation and planning processes in the lead up to market opening for business.

“Last year saw similar barriers introduced for the first time and West Midlands Police are keen to stress that this security is not based on any new or emerging intelligence. “The security threat level nationally remains unchanged at ‘severe’ meaning an attack is highly likely.” Bosses from the council confirmed that the barriers were installed overnight around Victoria Square and that more would go into place over the next week.

Security measures were increased during the festive period to help prevent attacks The Frankfurt German Christmas Market in Birmingham’s Victoria Square

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Police also confirmed security would be heightened with extra armed police and undercover officers at the fair, expected to attract millions of visitors before it closes on December 29.

This is the second time the council have installed the anti-terror barriers. The spokesman added: “Our officers are working alongside colleagues from West Midlands Police on this year’s annual Frankfurt Christmas Market. “We had barriers for the first time last year so this is not new and my message would be that there is no need for concern or alarm.

People should remain vigilant at all times when attending any major public event, but enjoy the market as for what it is – a celebration of Christmas in Birmingham.”

Birmingham is home to one of the world’s biggest Christmas markets

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Superintendent Andy Parsons, from Birmingham Central police station, added: Suspicious activity is anything that seems out of place, unusual or just doesn’t seem to fit in with day-to-day life – Let us decide if it is important. “We work tirelessly to counter terrorism. Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety and security of the people who live, work and visit the West Midlands area.

“Our policing tactics and security measures are being reviewed on a daily basis – we have a dedicated police response in place for the market and we, along with our partners, are working around the clock to keep Birmingham and our other cities as safe as can be.”

The large barriers were also installed last year

He continued: “It is a busy time of year for the city and we want to ensure a safe and enjoyable time for everyone who visits over the festive period.”

Similar barriers were put in place on three of London’s bridges in the aftermath of June’s terror attack at London Bridge and Borough Market, where a van also left the road and drove into pedestrians.


  1. ^ terror attack (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Birmingham Council (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ ‘ring of steel’ (www.mirror.co.uk)

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