There is no specific threat to Sunderland’s Christmas market or others in the North East following a suspected terrorist attack in Berlin, a top police officer has said.
Twelve people died after a lorry ploughed into a crowded Christmas market in the German capital on Monday in what police believe was a deliberate attack.
A further 48 were injured - at least eight seriously - when the vehicle rammed into the market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the city, where tourists and locals were shopping and drinking.
Police forces across Europe have been put on alert following the incident, with many reviewing procedures for the upcoming Christmas and New Year schedule.
Northumbria Police have, however, said that there is “nothing” to suggest that there is any specific threat to the North East area in the wake of the incident.
Sunderland currently has a Frost Village winter market running in Keel Square until this Friday, while Newcastle has also been running its own festive market.
As well as an ice-skating rink the attraction on Wearside also includes stalls selling crafts as well as hot food and drinks.
Speaking about the tragedy in Berlin, Chf con Ashman said: “This is a tragic day for all those who have been affected by the incidents in Berlin and our thoughts remain with them at what is an extremely difficult time.
“The incident in Berlin will no doubt cause concern for many people but we want to reassure those living and working in our region that there is nothing to suggest there is any specific threat to the North East.
“We pride ourselves on the fact that this is one of the safest places in the country and we want the public to feel safe and reassured that we are here to protect them.
“Earlier this year we said we would be increasing armed patrols and we have done so in high footfall areas including our shopping centres, high streets and major transport hubs.
“People should feel as comfortable speaking to our armed officers as they are speaking to our regular, unarmed patrols.”