Essex Police Patrols Stepped Up

The number of police officers on the streets of Essex is being increased to help counter the terror threat against Britain.

Residents in Essex have been advised they are likely to see a more visible police presence around the county.

But the force has stressed there was no specific intelligence or information to suggest a direct threat in the area

In Essex armed officers are to be deployed at sites including Lakeside shopping centre and London Southend Airport.

Countries including the US, France and Germany have been hit by attacks in recent months.

In the UK, the official threat level for international terrorism currently stands at severe - meaning an attack is seen as highly likely. The assessment has remained at severe - the second highest out of five categories - for more than two years.

Assistant Chief Constable Carl O'Malley, of Essex Police, said officers are "working around the clock across the county to protect people from harm", adding: "That work includes countering the threat posed by terrorism.''

He said there is no "specific intelligence about a direct threat in Essex and no cause for alarm", with the patrols aiming to reassure people as well as disrupt or detect crime.

Mr O'Malley said: "There is no cause for anyone to change their plans or how they go about their lawful business and if you see the patrols it does not mean there is a cause to worry or panic."

Patrols are also being increased in Kent.