York & North Yorkshire

Scarborough chippy in 'terror target' warning

Fish and chips
Image caption Police said the letters were being sent to places that could get crowded

A fish and chip shop owner has criticised police for "wasting money" after he was sent a letter to assess if he was at risk of a terrorist attack.

Dave McGregor, owner of Winking Willy's in Scarborough, received a letter asking him to assess how vulnerable his business was to a terrorist threat.

He said: "Wake up North Yorkshire Police and spend that money on policing."

The force said the letters were being sent to places which could get crowded.

Mr McGregor said: "At the end of the day we are a fish and chip shop.

"Yes we have thousands of people coming and enjoying the Scarborough sea front but why on earth are they wasting money on sending out these letters."

North Yorkshire Police said they were writing to all businesses in areas that could get crowded in line with National Counter Terrorism Security Office advice.

'Reduce vulnerability'

The letter invites businesses to complete an online "vulnerability self assessment tool", which the force said aimed to make such locations safer.

Mr McGregor said: "In this day and age we've got people concerned about rising costs and cutbacks... why on earth are North Yorkshire Police wasting this much money writing to both my fish and chip shops in Scarborough."

North Yorkshire Police's Assistant Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said: "It's probably true in the sense that his fish and chip shop is not a national target for any terrorist attack but we know all sorts of premises and businesses can be wrapped up in the fall out of terrorist activity."

Mr Madgwick said it would be "complacent not to accept the fact that we live in a heightened sense of terrorist threat", adding the letter was part of a national initiative.

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