Five properties being searched as part of counter terrorism operation in Chesterfield and Sheffield

Police carrying out a counter terrorism operation in Chesterfield and Sheffield are now searching five properties.

Tuesday, 19th December 2017, 11:40 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th December 2017, 1:40 pm
Police have been carrying out an operation in Whittington Moor.

One man from Chesterfield and three men from South Yorkshire have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences this morning.

The 31-year-old was arrested from his home address in Chesterfield on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

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Police have been carrying out an operation in Whittington Moor.

Also arrested on suspicion of the same offences were a 22-year-old man from Burngreave, Sheffield; a 36-year-old man from Burngreave in Sheffield and a 41-year-old man from Meersbrook in Sheffield.

The men have been taken to a police station in West Yorkshire for questioning.

The arrests were intelligence led and pre planned as part of an ongoing investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East and MI5.

Police have been carrying out an operation in Whittington Moor.

An additional address is now being searched in Stocksbridge, Sheffield in connection with these arrests. This takes the total number of properties to five; four in Sheffield and one in Chesterfield.

The Army's Bomb Disposal Unit is currently attending the address in Chesterfield. As a precautionary measure and in the interest of public safety, the immediate area has been cordoned off and local residents evacuated while a thorough search is carried out.

Police said: "We recognise that local people may have concerns as a result of this activity. We would ask people to remain alert but not alarmed and we are grateful for the assistance and understanding of people locally.

"The public may have heard loud bangs at the time police entered the properties. We would like to reassurance them that this was part of the method of entry to gain access.

"Residents will be kept as informed as possible and we are grateful for their understanding, patience and support while these enquiries continue.

Derbyshire Constabulary Assistant Chief Constable Bill McWilliam said: “We of course understand that police activity of this nature can be unsettling. However, please be reassured; the arrest we wanted to make has been made. Our advice remains to be vigilant, which is not different to our day-to-day advice in the current climate, but continue to go about your business as usual.

“We will be working closely with colleagues at the North East Counter Terrorism Unit as this investigation progresses.”

South Yorkshire Police Superintendent for the Sheffield area Una Jennings said: “I understand our local communities will have concerns about this morning’s police activity but I want to offer my reassurance that we will continue to serve and protect the public of South Yorkshire.

“We work very closely with our colleagues at the North East Counter Terrorism Unit and we will ensure we maintain these strong links in order to provide a high level of service and delivery to everyone in our community. Public safety is our utmost concern.”