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Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 14:06 GMT
Security stepped up at airport
Armed police officer at Manchester Airport
Vehicles going to the airport will be stopped at random
Security has been stepped up at Manchester Airport following new concerns over terrorist attacks in the UK.

Armed police officers were carrying out spot checks around the terminals on Wednesday to reassure travellers.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) was prompted to increase patrols following the drafting in of troops at Heathrow Airport.

GMP stressed military personnel are not being deployed at the airport or across the region and there is no specific intelligence of any terrorist threat.

We are responding to concerns raised with us by the public

Chief Inspector Martin Gaffney
The force made its decision during one of its regular reviews of security arrangements at the three terminals, and the measures were brought into force on Tuesday night.

Aviation expert Chris Yates said he had never seen armed patrols on the airport approach road before.

He told BBC GMR: "Police have cordoned off one lane with police vehicles and armed officers are randomly stopping vehicles coming into the airport buildings."

Chief Inspector Martin Gaffney, of GMP, said the operation is designed to reassure the public and ensure they are safe when they travel.

He said: We are responding to concerns raised with us by the public about the potential for problems given the current international and national situation."

Weapons seized

Mr Gaffney said his team had liaised with management at the airport for some time before introducing the new measures, which include:

  • Increased patrols inside and outside the three airport terminals
  • Extra checks across the whole of the airport and in the surrounding areas
  • Random stop checks of cars in the area of the airport by armed officers
  • High visibility policing, including extra officers.

    Elsewhere in the region Blackpool Airport said since the start of 2003 security alerts had been caused by hundreds of passengers carrying scissors, guns and knives.

  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    Chief Inspector Martin Gaffney
    "It's a mix and match of unarmed and armed officers"

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    12 Feb 03 | UK
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