Concrete blocks have been installed in Sheffield city centre to protect the thousands of people who will be visiting the city over the festive period.
Sheffield council installed the extra security measures from Surrey Street to Pinstone Street and on Fargate, to ensure that those visiting the Christmas markets, doing a spot of shopping, or enjoying after work celebrations at the festive bars, can do so in safety.
In keeping with other major cities that hold Christmas markets, and on advice from the police, the blocks will now stay in place during the lead up to, and shortly after the big day.
While there is no specific intelligence of an increased threat over the festive period, Sheffield council will be one of a number of councils to deploy security measures in busy town and city centres.
Councillor Jim Steinke, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhood safety, said: “More and more people are attending Christmas markets and activities across the city – and we hope that these extra measures means people can have an element of safety when they shop, work and play here.
“Other cities such as Bristol and Birmingham are doing the same, and many others will follow.
“Although there is no specific intelligence of any increased threat to Sheffield, it is right to make sure that we take appropriate and reasonable precautions, so that record numbers of shoppers and revellers alike can continue to enjoy the fantastic Christmas experience in our city centre.”
Sheffield city centre was packed out on Sunday, as crowds of over 35,000 people flocked to Peace Gardens to watch the likes of Kyle Tomlinson, from Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice finalist Lucy Milburn and X-factor star Molly Scott perform.
They were all on hand to switch-on the Christmas lights, along with the cast of this year’s cast Peter Pan pantomime at the Lyceum, and Great British Bake Off winner Rahul Mandal who made a surprise appearance.
Other activities were on offer throughout the day, including a Christmas grotto, carol singing, fairground rides, a spin on the big wheel, plus mulled-wine for the grown-ups.
Figures show a fall in numbers from last year’s event, which saw crowds of around 37,000 people celebrate at the light switch-on.