A freedom parade by RAF Wittering personnel through the streets of Stamford, due to take place tomorrow, has been cancelled on the advice of police following the Manchester terror attack.
RAF personnel from the base had been expected to parade through Stamford tomorrow afternoon, Thursday May 25, to exercise the freedom of the town, granted in 1961.
However, the base today revealed the parade will not go ahead following advice from Lincolnshire Police, which has increased armed patrols countywide.
A statement from RAF Wittering said: “On the advice of Lincolnshire Police RAF Wittering has taken the decision to postpone the parade marking the freedom of Stamford tomorrow.
“Although we are not aware of any specific threats to Stamford or RAF Wittering, it is our belief that a better date for the parade would be more appropriate. This is in line with the police guidelines.”
Lincolnshire Chief Constable Bill Skelly said: “People in Lincolnshire can expect to see more officers on the streets, more routine checks and patrols will be taking place and, quite simply, you can expect that those officers will be around for you to approach if you have any concerns or if you need any information.
“Some of those officers will be armed. If you’ve ever been to a big event in the county or anything large scale and pre-planned, then you’ll be used to seeing officers carrying firearms; this is a necessary response to the events of the last few days.
“At the moment you won’t see soldiers on our streets. Military capability is there if we need it and, if we do, will be in accordance with a well-considered plan.
“I understand people will be anxious and concerned and I want to reassure everyone that we are well prepared. There are a number of events planned across the county coming up which people might be worried about. We are working with organisers to ensure those events are as safe and secure as possible and we hope that you are still able to go and enjoy them.
“This is an exceptional and difficult time. The key things to take away are that we are constantly reviewing and assessing and that you should be alert, not alarmed. If something seems out of place to you, talk to us. We’d much rather hear about something that comes to nothing than receive information too late to act.
“Please take note of safety advice and, in the very rare event you are caught up in any kind of weapons attack, please remember to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind people that any type of hate crime will not be tolerated. Emotive incidents like these can sometimes cause discord within communities. Over the coming days and weeks we will be reaching out to make sure those existing bonds and relationships stay strong. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of hate crime please report it straight away on 101 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
“Terrorists seek to create fear and distrust. As the police, but more importantly as people, we will not let that happen. We stand with Manchester and we stand together as a country. A small amount of people carry out these heinous crimes and we will not let them win. Let us work closely together to unite against those who seek, through violence and extremism, to intimidate or cause fear.”