Victoria Media – Further Edition

Sheffield arrests over ‘alleged UK Christmas terror plot’

The cordoned off area in Chesterfield, which we put in place following the arrest of a terrorism suspect this morning, has now been significantly reduced.

Superintendent Michelle Shooter said: “I would like to thank the people of the town for their patience and understanding during the unavoidable disruption.

“We are continuing to support officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North East as the investigation continues, but are now in a position to scale-back the isolated area.

“Our officers will continue to patrol the area to offer reassurance to the public.”

Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North East arrested a man from Derbyshire and three from South Yorkshire on suspicion of terrorism offences on the morning of Tuesday, December 19.

A 31-year-old man was arrested from his home address in Chesterfield on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Three other men, aged 22, 36 and 41, were arrested at addresses in Sheffield on suspicion of the same offence.

The men have been taken to a police station in West Yorkshire for questioning.

The arrests were intelligence led and pre planned as part of an ongoing investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East.

An additional address is now being searched in Stocksbridge, Sheffield, in connection with these arrests. This takes the total number of properties to five; four in Sheffield and one in Chesterfield.

The Army’s Bomb Disposal Unit is currently attending the address in Chesterfield. As a precautionary measure and in the interest of public safety, the immediate area has been cordoned off and local residents evacuated while a thorough search is carried out.

We recognise that local people may have concerns as a result of this activity.  We would ask people to remain alert but not alarmed and we are grateful for the assistance and understanding of people locally.

The public may have heard loud bangs at the time police entered the properties. We would like to reassurance them that this was part of the method of entry to gain access.

Residents will be kept as informed as possible and we are grateful for their understanding, patience and support while these enquiries continue.

Derbyshire Constabulary Assistant Chief Constable Bill McWilliam said: “We of course understand that police activity of this nature can be unsettling. However, please be reassured; the arrest we wanted to make has been made. Our advice remains to be vigilant, which is not different to our day-to-day advice in the current climate, but continue to go about your business as usual.

“We will be working closely with colleagues at the North East Counter Terrorism Unit as this investigation progresses.”