Published Friday, 8th November 2019
City of York Council is working with North Yorkshire Police, Make It York and partners across York to make the city centre over the festive season the safest it’s ever been.
Work is beginning to install extra security measures to protect all who enjoy the centre of York. This nationally-approved infrastructure includes traffic-slowing measures as used in Edinburgh and more locally, in Harrogate, and adds to and further strengthens existing measures to protect our city centre.
Last year, York’s footstreets trialled a first phase of measures. Now, with these additional temporary safety features in place, everyone is encouraged to carry on and enjoy their plans to attend or take part in events as normal. With increased security checks at some events and venues, please arrive in good time to allow for this.
Traffic to the city centre is already limited at busy times, and with chicanes and the additional measures, pedestrians will be kept even safer. Meanwhile delivery vehicles will have controlled entry at the usual permitted times.
In the rare event of getting caught up in a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice:
- to a place of safety, rather than to surrender or negotiate.
- If there’s nowhere to run to, hide and don’t confront.
- Only when it is safe to do so, tell the police by calling 999.
Tom Brittain, assistant director of housing and community safety at City of York Council, said: “While very rare, terror attacks in the UK can create a lot of concern. With our partners in the police, we are making the city centre more secure than it has ever been, and want to reassure everyone who uses it that we are prepared, alert and ready to help protect them.
“It’s essential that we all maintain a high level of vigilance and continue to invest in strong protective security measures such as those we’ve installed to deter future attacks.”
Detective Superintendent Matthew Davison from Counter Terrorism Policing North East is the Regional Coordinator for Protect and Prepare. He said: “York, like many cities across the UK, is taking appropriate and precautionary steps to protect public events over the Christmas and New Year period.
“Counter Terrorism Policing works continually alongside local police, partners and commercial organisations to consistently review and assesses security measures in line with the existing threat.
“The 'Substantial' threat level still means an attack is likely and we can’t afford to be complacent. Increased physical measures serve to protect the public from terrorism by boosting the security of key sites. Alongside other activities, we hope they’ll offer reassurance to local businesses, workers and visitors so they can go freely about their lives and enjoy York throughout the festive season."
Superintendent Lindsey Butterfield, Neighbourhood Policing Commander for York and Selby, added: “Although the terrorist threat level has now been lowered to substantial, we still need to remain vigilant and do everything possible to keep people safe.
“These latest measures are a welcome addition to our existing security plans designed to help keep York safe and secure during the festive season and the weeks leading up to it.
“Our Project Servator teams will also be out and about and could appear anywhere, anytime, so if you see them, please stop for a chat and find out how your support can help prevent crime and terrorism.”
As ever we urge everyone to remain vigilant and alert but not alarmed. Please report anything suspicious to the police. You can pass information in confidence via the Action Counters Terrorism website at gov.uk/ACT where you can find out what to look out for. You can also report information on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, always call 999.