Bedfordshire Police is stepping up security measures following last night’s terror attack in Manchester Arena.
In Bedfordshire and the eastern region, policing operations for crowded places are being reviewed and additional reassurance patrols will be carried out in town centre locations in light of the attack.
Officers from Greater Manchester Police worked tirelessly throughout the night to help protect those affected by the incident and begin a full-scale investigation.
The number killed in the attack currently stands at 22 with more than 50 others injured.
Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “It was with incredible sadness that I watched the events of last night unfold in Manchester. I have personally experienced such incidents at close quarters and my heart sinks whenever I hear those first reports of an explosion having occurred.
“I know I speak for everyone in the force when I send my condolences to all of the victims and convey that our thoughts are with all of those affected by this evil act.
“I know how remarkable the emergency services response will have been and I have sent the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police a message of support this morning. This type of atrocity is sadly a reflection of the threats that we all face, reminding us as investigators and responders to be vigilant, and at our most professional and curious to anything that arouses our suspicion from a national security context.
“The force leads on Counter Terrorism in the region and will be co-ordinating the response to last night’s events as regards to any uplift and review of crowded places that will be required. Further messages will follow with regards to any changes to our operational stance.
“I will never tire of reminding everyone, including our partners and our communities that if they see something that concerns them regarding a potential terrorism threat that they should say something.
“This weekend is the Luton Carnival and I ask that all of those involved in policing this wonderful family and community event are extra vigilant as all of our colleagues will be whilst policing similar events across the country this weekend.”
Detective Superintendent Glen Channer, head of the ECTIU, said: “We have close policing partnerships across the UK and we will all be working together to respond in the aftermath of such a shocking and senseless attack.
“The security and intelligence services are dedicated to keeping people safe and communities can be confident that, together with our partners, eastern forces are continually working hard to safeguard the public.
“As always we rely on the support and co-operation of our public in the fight against terrorism and at this difficult time would remind people that they can report concerns or any suspicious activity they may witness to the confidential police hotline on 0800 789 321.
“We pay our deepest respects to those who have lost loved ones and everyone who was affected by last night’s attack.”
A helpline has been set up by Greater Manchester Police for those concerned about loved ones who you may have in the area - please call the dedicated emergency number 0161 856 9400.
You can follow the latest news and updates from Manchester via @GMPolice on Twitter and Greater Manchester Police on Facebook.
For more information about reporting suspicious activity and remaining alert to the terror threat, visit https://act.campaign.gov.uk/.