Britain’s shopping centres are on high alert following the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 129 people in public places on November 13.
The Royal Victoria Place shopping centre in Tunbridge Wells has removed rubbish bins in the wake of the attacks. It said the move is temporary, but could not say when the bins would be returned.
Northumbria Police publicly dismissed a social media rumour of a terror threat to the Intu-owned Metrocentre in Gateshead on Sunday.
A spokeman for Intu, which operates 15 centres across the UK, said it has “well-rehearsed and flexible plans” in place and had taken “additional measures” in light of recent events, although it would not give details.
Another false alarm led to the evacuation of The Mailbox shopping centre in Birmingham on Saturday. It later emerged that the alarm had been triggered by maintenance work.
Robert Fusco, general manager at the Mailbox, said the centre’s security plan is being ”reviewed and updated on a regular basis”.
Westfield, which operates two of London’s largest shopping centres, said it is working closely with police to “ensure the appropriate level of security is in place”.
The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre is responsible for setting the level of threat from international terrorism in the UK.
It is currently set at “severe”, meaning an attack is highly likely. This is the second-highest level on the government’s scale after “critical”, which means an attack is expected imminently.
Prime minister David Cameron said the threat level would remain at severe, but the Paris attacks would prompt a review. Number 10 encouraged the public to “remain alert but not alarmed”.
At least 129 people were killed and more than 350 injured in the attacks across the French capital last Friday (November 13).
In the UK, special forces have been deployed to monitor rail stations, shopping centres and other key public places.
Meanwhile, individual businesses have stepped up their security.