Armed officers to patrol Derbyshire over Christmas and New Year

You may see armed officers in your area over the festive season. Picture: Derbyshire Constabulary.
You may see armed officers in your area over the festive season. Picture: Derbyshire Constabulary.

Armed officers will conduct foot patrols in several parts of Derbyshire over Christmas and New Year.

Derbyshire Constabulary said the move is in response to strong public support for the proposal and is designed to make everyone feel safer during the festive period.

It is the first time the force has chosen to put armed officers on overt patrol during Christmas and New Year, bringing it in line with other forces in the East Midlands.

The patrols will start tomorrow.

Derbyshire Constabulary's Armed Response Unit conducted a poll on its Twitter account in September, with 2,280 followers responding.

Ninety per cent said they would be happy to see armed police patrolling busy areas such as shopping centres and markets, while six per cent said they wouldn't be happy.

You may see armed officers in your area over the festive season. Picture: Derbyshire Constabulary.

You may see armed officers in your area over the festive season. Picture: Derbyshire Constabulary.

Four per cent of respondents were unsure.

Chris Haward, Derbyshire's assistant chief constable, said: "Consultation with our communities has suggested widespread support for overt armed foot patrols at this busy time of year.

"Over the past 12 to 18 months, events across the UK and Europe have understandably raised fear and we hope the patrols will make people feel safe and show them that we are prepared."

Mr Haward said the officers will be on patrol but will remain near to their vehicles, should they be needed to attend an incident.

He added: "People should not be alarmed by the officers, who will be happy to talk to you if they're not dealing with an incident.

"Please feel free to approach them and speak to them about their role."