ARMED police are to be deployed in York as patrols ramp up over the Christmas period.

North Yorkshire Police said officers with firearms will join extra officers and plain-clothed patrols in busy areas to keep the public safe.

“They're there for your safety, so please don't be alarmed,” said a force spokesperson.

Police urged people in York to look out for anyone acting suspiciously or things that look out of place and report it.

“You can report anything concerning to our officers, by calling 101, reporting online at our website or on the ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) website,” added the spokesperson.

Throughout the year City of York Council has been installing anti-terrorism bollards across York after Counter Terrorism Policing North East said the measures were a “vital, precautionary step” to protect people in the city.

“Areas of high footfall remain a potential target and this includes city centres, entertainment venues and attractions across the UK,”  Detective Superintendent Dan Patrick, the unit’s regional head of protect and prepare, said at the time.

“York is not exempt from this threat, and it is essential that we take all necessary precautions to protect the public and make the city a less attractive target for terrorists.”

On the first Saturday of York’s Christmas market last week, stall holders told the T&A's sister paper the York Press that the controversial new security bollards did make them feel safer.