Armed police stationed outside the Rad Cam

Thames Valley Police have told people to be “alert but not alarmed” after terrorist threat level raised to 'critical'

Armed policemen patrolling outside the Radcliffe Camera. Photo: Jack Hunter/Cherwell

Thames Valley Police have told the public to be “alert but not alarmed” as armed police officers have been stationed outside the University’s Bodleian Library and other key sites in Oxford.

Last night, the Prime Minister raised the national terrorist threat level to ‘critical’, meaning an attack could be highly likely.

Police have stressed that there is no intelligence to suggest a specific threat to Thames Valley, but said that overnight additional armed and unarmed officers have been stationed at “crowded places, including transport hubs and shopping centres”.

This included two armed officers with rifles patrolling outside the Old Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera, with other officers understood to be stationed outside the Ashmolean Museum.

It comes less than 48 hours after a suicide bomb attack at Manchester Arena on Monday which killed 22 people and injured 59 others.

“I would like to reassure you that the move to critical is something that we prepare for. We will continually review our deployments and take all possible steps to keep people safe within Oxfordshire,” Deputy Chief Constable John Campbell said.

He urged Oxford residents to remain calm: “At this time we need everyone to remain alert but not alarmed.

“We need your help to help us protect our communities and disrupt those who seek to harm us. I would urge you to contact the police straight away if you believe that someone is acting suspiciously.

“Our officers and staff will continue to provide a visible presence in our communities and we have the specialist resources in place to respond in an emergency.”