Following on from the tragic incident in Manchester in which many people sadly lost their lives, last night, I wanted to express my sincerest condolences and offer our communities reassurance.
We are all utterly appalled by the actions of this individual, and as a community we are shocked by the horrific events that played out last night.
The police and security services know the name of the man at the centre of the explosions, but now we need to know whether he was acting alone or as part of a wider group. It will take some time to establish these facts, and the investigation will continue.
In the meantime I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the residents and communities of Staffordshire, that there is no intelligence or a direct threat to our county at this time. However, as ever the threat level remains severe. This means an attack is highly likely.
Tragic events like last night’s explosion at the arena in Manchester, remind us that attacks can occur at any time or place, without warning. As a result we would urge everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us, as a matter of urgency. You may question if you should contact us but if something doesn’t feel right call 0800 789 321, or in an emergency always call 999. We act on all information you provide us with.
Across Staffordshire we have many uniformed police officers and PCSO’s on duty. They are here to protect you and keep you safe every day of the year, but at times when we are all feeling vulnerable this more important than ever. We hope you find this presence reassuring.
Locally the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit continues to work with national security services to keep our region safe.
The response by our colleagues at Greater Manchester Police, along with other emergency services has been exemplary. They continue to do everything possible to support those involved. As a nearby force, we have of course provide a small amount of mutual aid, and we are on standby to provide any further support needed.
For those directly affected by the incident, there is a dedicated emergency number for those concerned about loved one or anyone who may have been injured at the Manchester Arena. You can call 0161 856 9400.
In the next days, weeks and months we will support our colleagues and communities to keep you safe. Once again I cannot stress enough if you see anything suspicious report it.