National Counter Terrorism Policing Lead, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley provides an update on the Manchester investigation and the threat level to the UK from international terrorism being moved from Critical to Severe. He said:
“The high pace and rapid progress of this investigation is continuing. There were three more arrests overnight and we now have 11 men in custody. There are now 17 searches either concluded or continuing at various addresses largely in the north west of the country and we are getting a greater understanding of the preparation of the bomb.
“There is still much more to do. There will be more arrests and there will be more searches but this greater clarity and this progress has led JTAC – the independent body that assess threat – to come to the judgement that an attack is no longer imminent. And you will have heard consequently the Prime Minister’s announcement that the threat level has moved down from Critical to Severe which of course means that an attack is highly likely.
“Members of the public this weekend will be wondering what that means in terms of the events they are going to on this sunny bank holiday weekend. For practical and precautionary reasons we made the decision that the resources we planned for this weekend’s events will continue. So the public will still see that high level of policing presence; some armed, some unarmed.
“Once we get past the weekend, we will be looking to step down the extra resources we have had in place over the last week. And the military support we have had in place over the past few days, under Operation Temperer we will start to phase out as well. There are detailed plans in place to ensure a smooth transition from Operation Temperer, and military personnel will remain at readiness to deploy in support of the police should future security situations require.”