Skegness has been listed among 10 British seaside towns as a next ‘prime target’ after a Jihadi ploughed a van through crowds in Barcelona – but residents and visitors are being urged not to worry.
An article on the Daily Star online – which claims Jhadis may be seeking to target open promenades in Britain with copycat attacks in a bid to “maximise casualities” - has been described by East Lindsey’s T/Chief Insp Colin Haigh as “sensationalist journalism designed to sell papers” and he has reassured the public Lincolnshire Police are “ready for any eventuality”.
But there is concern, too, following the attack on Thursday when 14 people died and more than 100 were injured when Jhadis crashed a vehicle through Barcelona’s packed tourist street of Las Ramblas.
Skegness has been listed alongside, Blackpool, Scarborough, Great Yarmouth, Margate, Folkstone, Brighton, Weymouth, Torquay and Weston-Super-Mare.
The article on Daily Star Online includes comments by security expert Chris Philips who said attacks on UK seaside towns are “feasible”.
He said: “You can’t prevent the use of vehicles as weapons completely, but you can make it more difficult to attack certain sites.
“That is what we have done in the UK. But you cannot put it everywhere. because there is just too much, and even then people have to cross the road.”
Responding to the article this morning, East Lindsey’s T/Chief Insp Colin Haigh told the Standard: “The story is not supported by any evidence or intelligence.
“I don’t want to give this story any credibility but I want to reassure the public that Lincolnshire police constantly review and test our procedures to ensure that we are ready for any eventuality.”
However many readers on Facebook are not convinced Skegness would be a target.
Colin Ross said people shouldn’t be worried. He said: “The Jihads will probably get stuck behind a tractor coming here and get fed up and turn back.”
Carol Thornton said: “Can’t imagine car or van rampage in some of these areas as traffic is nose to tail to get anywhere near seafront.
“You have at least 1-2 tail back here in Skegness.
“Just lots of scaremongering folk to stay at home and not venture our anywhere.”
However, Kirste Tuplin said no-one really knows where the next attck will be. She said: “In reality we really don’t know where is next or how. Did we think 911 wouldn’t happen?
“Who would think let’s smash a plane into a high building causing devastation? Did we think they would drive a vehicle at a crowd men women and kids... we really just don’t know and it’s scary the world we live in. Be vigilant and take care.”