Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham city centre streets shut after London attack

Police car in Broad Street Image copyright @SNAPPERSK
Image caption Police manned Broad Street in Birmingham until 03:00 BST on Sunday

Roads were closed in Birmingham city centre in the wake of the London attack, with West Midlands Police saying it was a "reassurance move".

Broad Street, the centre of the city's nightlife, and a number of side roads were shut to traffic at 23:30 BST.

The swift response led to some speculation on social media the city was also under threat.

"We closed Broad Street purely as reassurance in response to what happened in London," a spokesman said.

Image copyright @BrumRobBrum
Image caption Police manned either end of Broad Street to stop traffic
Image copyright @SNAPPERSK
Image caption A spokesman said the decision was taken because it was a busy Saturday night

Officers stopped traffic entering Broad Street, which is home to several bars, restaurants and nightclubs as well as the Symphony Hall, International Convention Centre and the city's library.

The Broad Street taxi rank was moved to nearby Sheepcote Street while the main route was cordoned off.

Rumours circulated on social media the heightened police presence was in response to a specific threat but the force was quick to dispel them.

Many praised officers for their response.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

Rob Barnes, who lives in the city centre, said: "I was watching the terrible events unfolding in London on TV when I saw the police closing off Broad Street to traffic.

"The speed at which they closed off Broad Street did make me wonder if something had happened here too, but then saw tweets confirming it was just a precaution.

"I was so impressed with how quickly the police were able to do that, so grateful at how they are keeping us all safe."

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: "We were quick to respond following Saturday's attack and purely as a reassurance move we temporarily restricted access to Birmingham's Broad Street while businesses remained as usual. The restrictions were lifted at 3am having been implemented at 11.30pm.

"Other key locations across the region also saw enhanced patrols. Again, this was simply to reassure people worried by events in the capital and not in response to any local threat."

Heightened security is taking place across the region, including at Sunday's ICC Champions Trophy cricket match between India and Pakistan at Edgbaston and in Coventry for MotoFest, which is expected to attracted 120,000 people.

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