POLICE have confirmed armed police were on standby for this year's Armed Forces Day in Ledbury.

Armed police were on strategic standby for the county's Armed Forces Day, which took place this year in Ledbury, and which was attended by 2,500 people and a number of dignitaries.

A police spokesman said: "Armed officers were available to be deployed to any incidents in the Ledbury area during Armed Forces Day, should they have been required."

We reported last week how Ledbury mayor Debbie Baker was shocked to discover armed police may have been on patrol in the town for Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Day.

Police say that, for Remembrance Day, armed officers were placed strategically "across Herefordshire in order to be able to quickly respond to any incident in the region".

But police declined to state the exact locations or numbers of officers deployed.

A police spokesman added: "Resources were managed across the region to ensure patrols were best placed to quickly respond to wherever they may be needed, rather than to be deployed to a specific town or parade."

Cllr Bob Barnes, who was a member of the organising Armed Forces Day committee, said: "I am reassured that the police are responding positively to the possible, but very unlikely, risk of serious incident.

"I am not that naïve to think Ledbury would not be a target for a random attack, at any time, we must all be vigilant of what is around us, and report any unusual activity."

He added: "With respect to Armed Forces Day, the attendance by the Lord Lieutenant, all of her deputies, HMS Ledbury, an admiral, a brigadier and an air vice marshall, plus all the civic dignitaries and 2,500 people, only served to heighten the risk. I’m saddened the police needed to be deployed, nearby, but I’m pleased that they would have been there to respond if called upon.Let’s hope it never happens."

West Mercia Police has stressed, in a statement, there is no specific terrorist threat to Ledbury or other county location, and the measures remain a prudent precaution.