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Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
13th January 2021 Issue no. 540

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British Transport Police deny armed security reports

British Transport Police are denying reports that it has beefed up security presence at subway stations and airports after new information emerged about the possibility of an attack being planned in or near London.

"We don't have armed officers in our stations," an unnamed source at the agency said last week.

"We have been briefed about how to respond to a Mumbai-style gun over the last few months. We don't comment on deployment of officers but I can tell you that we haven't cancelled any leave."

Several media outlets in England, citing anonymous security officials, had reported a stepped-up police presence in response to the potential threat.

And a British security source told CNN that increased security precautions have gone into effect at train and subway stations and Heathrow Airport, though an attack is not considered imminent.

Neither the Home Office nor the transportation department would comment about security measures.

The action is not connected to terrorism arrests last month in Stoke, Cardiff and London, another source said.

One of the sources said a decision was made Wednesday night to raise the terrorism threat level from "substantial" to "severe" for the civil aviation industry and London transport.

"The threat level to the UK is at severe, which means that an attack is highly likely, and has been since January 2010," said the Metropolitan Police in a statement. "We will police accordingly and use a range of covert and overt tactics which remain under constant review. As Assistant Commissioner of Special Operations John Yates said recently, recent events at East Midlands Airport and continued speculation about 'Mumbai-style' attacks serve as a stark reminder of the real and enduring threat we continue to face from terrorist groups."

"Security at our airports remains at a high level, and we remain vigilant at all times," said a spokesman for the British Aviation Authority, which is responsible for Heathrow.

Counterterrorism officials in Europe and the United States have previously said that al Qaeda was planning coordinated, Mumbai-style attacks in Europe, with the United States also possibly being targeted.

That discovery led the United States to issue an unprecedented travel advisory in October for citizens traveling in Europe.

12th January 2011

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