All on duty police officers in the West Midlands Police force were ordered back to base last night after the force received anonymous information regarding a threat to kidnap and kill an officer.
The force released a statement saying that officers and staff were given an “additional safety reminder” when they attended urgent briefings. Staff were warned not to wear uniforms during journeys to and from work, and security was increased at police stations.
West Midlands Police issued a statement saying: “Officers were held on duty while they were given the security reminder or as they started their shifts.”
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth confirmed that the measure was prompted by “information relating to the safety of West Midlands Police officers and police staff”, adding that there was “nothing at this time to suggest there is an increased risk to members of the public.”
“We have taken the opportunity to remind all employees of the need to be vigilant,” he added. “Our priority remains serving our communities and protecting them from harm. Officers remain on patrol and our staff continue to respond to calls for service as usual.”
The force covers the large urban conurbation centred on the city of Birmingham, which was recently at the centre of the ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal in which radical Muslim parents were accused of trying to take over secular state schools and force them to adopt strict Islamic practices.
The terror threat level for police officers was increased in October from moderate to substantial, meaning there is a “strong possibility” of an attack against an officer. The general threat level for the UK was increased to “severe” in the summer, indicating that the government believes a terror attack to be highly likely.
The plot to kidnap and kill an officer has echoes of the murder of Lee Rigby, a soldier who was mown down and hacked to death by two Muslim converts on the streets of London last year. Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo will likely spend the rest of their lives in prison for the attack.