Operation Temperer is a British government plan to deploy troops to support police officers in key locations following a major terrorist attack. Temperer had been planned in secret back in 2015 until it was accidentally disclosed in July 2015 after being inadvertently uploaded to the website of the National Police Chiefs’ Council. There was a high level of secrecy of the Operation by Whitehall as officials considered it to be sensitive under David Cameron’s government, through fear the public would make a comparison to the Troubles in Northern Ireland when 21,000 troops were deployed to assist the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Operation Banner and the Army remained present for decades.
The concept of putting boots on the ground was to free up extra armed police to patrol the streets and protect the public. Temperer was put into effect for the first time on 22 May 2017 following the bombing of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena. Although it was not the first time Manchester has suffered in this way, it is the worst attack the city had experienced, and the worst ever to hit the north of England with 22 killed and left 59 injured.
Temperer was activated for a second time following the Parsons Green bombing by order of the Former Prime Minister Theresa May, along with a public campaign “be alert but not alarmed”
The plan was activated for the first time on 23 May 2017 following the Manchester Arena bombing. Former Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the police had asked for military support and the request had been approved by Sir Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence. The operation remained in force until the end of the bank holiday weekend, despite the threat level being reduced from critical to severe on 27 May indicating a likelihood of an attack.
The president reassured the Prime Minister that
Americans stand with the people of the United Kingdom and that our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism,Donald Trump President of The United States of America
He offered American aid in the United Kingdom’s investigation and vowed to continue the mutual fight against terrorism.
The plan provides for up to 5,100 service personnel from all 3 services to be deployed to “augment armed police officers engaged in protective security duties” at key sites in the United Kingdom.
The British armed forces have previously deployed to support the police, as mentioned above during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Also in 2003, Tony Blair’s government temporarily deployed 450 troops to Heathrow Airport and other London locations during a period of heightened terrorist threat.
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