Birmingham & Black Country

Arrest over threats to kill West Midlands police officer

West Midlands Police officers attend a terror training drill Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption The force had issued an alert to officers and staff after receiving an "anonymous but credible" tip-off

A 31-year-old man has been arrested in connection with threats to kidnap and kill a serving police officer.

West Midlands Police said officers from its counter-terrorism unit arrested the man on Tuesday afternoon.

The arrest was made at property in the West Midlands, the force said.

The force had issued an alert to officers and staff after receiving an "anonymous but credible" tip-off and said it was taking the threat "extremely seriously".

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Media captionAssistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth earlier said the force was taking the threat "extremely seriously"

Officers have been urged to take extra precautions, including not wearing uniform during journeys to and from work.

Staff were first told on Monday night after the force received the call.

Analysis by Peter Wilson, BBC Midlands Today special correspondent

Senior officers clearly chose to make this threat public - perhaps to get the message out there to anybody planning such a plot that the police knew what was going on.

The officers I have spoken to have said it is business as usual.

If the force is being called out to, say, a burglary, senior officers are having to say to themselves, "Is this a burglary or is it an attempt to ambush our officers?"

Officers were held on duty to be given the security reminder while others were told as they started their shifts.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said the information received related "to the safety of West Midlands Police officers and police staff".

"We have taken the opportunity to remind all employees of the need to be vigilant. Our priority remains serving our communities and protecting them from harm," he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The force says there is no increased threat to the public

"Officers remain on patrol and our staff continue to respond to calls for service as usual."

The force remains on a "severe" level of terror alert.

"The status hasn't changed," a representative said.

In October, the threat level to police officers across Britain was raised to substantial.

The national security level remains at severe, signifying a terrorist attack is highly likely.

UK's terrorism threat levels explained

Threat levels indicate the likelihood of a terrorist attack in the UK and are split into five categories:

  • Low - an attack is unlikely
  • Moderate - an attack is possible but not likely
  • Substantial - an attack is a strong possibility
  • Severe - an attack is highly likely
  • Critical - an attack is expected imminently

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