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Security to be stepped up at Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre as a precaution

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre in 2016. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre in 2016. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Armed police will attend Bury St Edmunds’ popular Christmas Fayre this year - although organisers are keen to stress there is no evidence of any specific threat.

Armed police on patrol in Charter Square at the Arc Shopping Centre in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTArmed police on patrol in Charter Square at the Arc Shopping Centre in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The award-winning fayre will see thousands of visitors descend on the town from Thursday, November 23, to Sunday, November 26, to enjoy a feast of entertainment, delicious food and fun festive activities.

This year there will be increased security with bollard and barrier systems, and patrols by uniformed and plain clothed police officers, both armed and unarmed. This is in light of the recent national and international terror threats. But, John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said the extra security would not be apparent to those enjoying the festivities.

He said: “While there is no evidence of any specific threat, like any other large events across the UK, you may see a range of physical security measures at this year’s Christmas Fayre as a precaution.

“They include a variety of effective bollard and barrier systems that have been approved and meet national standards.

“Some of our measures have also been designed and integrated as part of our street furniture to blend into the aesthetics of our beautiful town, so they may not be apparent, but they are there.

“We would also like to say thank you to the police who have worked with us and encourage visitors to say hello to officers and give them your support as they will also be on patrol and are part of public services working together to support our communities and help people enjoy this great event.”

Father Christmas will again be taking a break from his busy schedule to join the fun of the fayre at his grotto in the Abbey Gardens. Visitors can also meet some of his reindeer as Rudolph and his pals set down in the gardens from the Friday onwards.

There will be a funfair on Angel Hill along with a host of food and drink stalls.

Mr Griffiths added: “It’s a magical time of the year and we are very proud of the fayre. It involves so many people from the local community from choirs and schools as well as the town centre businesses all of whom, like us, love where they live. Our fayre was crowned the UK’s best following a public vote last year and I am looking forward to welcoming our local residents.”

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