Why you will see more armed police at summer events in the city this year

  • Police initiative to increase security and reduce risk at big events
  • Similar initiative was used at the Christmas Markets
  • GMP Superintendent reassures civillians who may feel intimidated

GMP’s Specialist Operation Branch – the team responsible for armed policing in Greater Manchester – will be providing increased visibility of officers throughout patrols of high profile venues and events across Greater Manchester over the coming months.

The GMP have said this is not in response to any specific threat, but to help the public feel safe while at big events during the summer.

They say a similar approach to armed policing at last year’s Christmas Markets in Manchester City Centre received positive feedback from members of the public.

Armed police officer in Manchester
An armed police officer in Manchester

Superintendent Mark Dexter, of GMP’s Specialist Operations Branch, said: “As front line responders we understand that the public want to see more officers out and about in Greater Manchester, particularly when they are at large events such as concerts and football matches.

“We hope by increasing our armed officer visibility, it shows that we do listen to feedback and this move will make you feel safer and more relaxed while out enjoying yourselves.

“I know some people can find armed officers intimidating and might feel nervous about seeing them however we’d like to reassure people that they are there to help in any way they can just like unarmed officers you’d see on patrol.

“They are normal people just like you and me, with families and friends, and I am sure that they would appreciate hellos, smiles and friendly words whilst carrying out their duties.”

Manhester Day Parade
Manchester Day Parade is one of the larger summer events in the city. Photo credit: David Dixon on Geograph

There are a number of big events in Manchester this Spring and Summer, such as the Cricket World Cup, a potentially title-deciding Manchester derby, the Pride Parade, concerts at stadiums and large venues and the Caribbean Carnival, which during last year’s event a shooting took place.