Manchester Christmas Market 2022: what armed police and a drone are doing at the markets

Police say to expect ‘increased visibility’ of officers during the Christmas Markets in Manchester city centre.

Police says there will be additional neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs, along with specialist teams, in place to help kepe the public safe at Manchester Christmas Markets this year.

GMP has revealed details of their policing operations around the popular festive event, which will attract thousands of visitors to Manchester in the countdown to Christmas. The markets open on 10 November and police say in addition to neighbourhood bobbies, visitors can expect to see firearms officers, police dogs and horses - while covert plain-clothes officers will also be on duty.

The force says their presence is to ‘help disrupt hostile reconnaissance and criminality whilst reassuring and engaging the public.’

Sergeant Lee Keefe, GMP's Project Servator coordinator comments that: “We would like to reassure the public that GMP will be closely monitoring Manchester city centre throughout the festive period. Our security plans are in place for the Christmas markets and visitors can expect to see lots of police across the city centre as safety is our main priority.

“There will be a mixture of highly visible activities such as officers on the streets, including firearms officers, our police dogs and horses, along with more covert operations such as plain-clothes officers and use of drones, CCTV and ANPR cameras to be our eyes across the city centre.

Police at Manchester Christmas markets

“We will be working alongside our partners and local businesses to ensure we utilise stewards, market staff and the general public to report anything suspicious to an officer.

“The safety and security of all those attending and involved in the markets is a priority for us over the coming weeks and I’d like to reassure the public that Manchester is a safe place to come and enjoy the festivities.”

Coun Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, added: "We want everyone who comes to the Christmas Markets in Manchester to have the very best time possible and to feel safe whilst they're here with us. Our partners at GMP do a great job of helping make sure our world-famous markets are a safe place for everyone to visit and we very much value the measures - both seen and unseen - that they put in place every day, all day, at the markets to make sure they are."

You can report anything suspicious to GMP by calling 101.