Armed police patrol Doncaster Town Centre

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Armed police have been spotted patrolling around Doncaster Town Centre as part of a police operation to provide visible reassurance to the public.

Christmas shoppers posted pictures on social media of the armed police officers in locations including Doncaster’s Frenchgate Centre.

The threat level across the UK remains at ‘severe’, and has been at this level since August last year, but South Yorkshire Police’s firearms command lead, Chief Supt David Hartley explains why the change:

“The country remains on ‘severe’ threat level and there’s no intelligence to suggest a change to this is on the horizon however we recognise that the public would like reassurance as they enjoy the festive period. We are planning to increase the visibility of both local officers and armed officers onto the streets and into crowded places to provide visible reassurance and work as a deterrent.

“Putting these officers out onto the streets now should encourage people to go about their business as usual, supported by their local Police, both armed and unarmed. I think it’s a good opportunity for people to get to know more about our firearms officers.

“Whilst their weapons may seem intimidating the officers are friendly and approachable so if you do see them around please say hello and they’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.”