The open letter below, from Avon & Somerset Constabulary PCC and Chief Constable, has been republished at the request of Avon and Somerset police:
We never imagined we would be writing a second open letter so soon after the Westminster attack but it is with the deepest sadness and shock that we write to you again in the wake of the tragic events in Manchester.
Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones who were killed and injured in this callous terrorist attack that targeted innocent children and young people and their parents. Our thoughts are with them all.
In their spontaneous care and support for people who were at the concert, the community of Manchester have demonstrated a strength and unity in the face of adversity that makes us feel very proud. We salute those people.
We have long and well-established plans in place to deal with attacks of this nature and we rehearse them regularly with partners to ensure we are as ready as we possibly can be. We would urge you to remain alert but not alarmed – together we are doing everything we can to help protect our local communities. You may see extra officers in your local area in the coming days and weeks; they are there to be visible and engaged with our communities and provide reassurance at this difficult time.
Most importantly, like the people of Manchester, we must stand united and not allow terrorism or hatred to divide us.
Acts of terrorism and hate crimes are committed by a small minority who are not representative of local people. This is a time for us all to work closely together and unite against those who seek, through violence and extremism, to intimidate or cause fear.
The events in Manchester have shown a crime motivated by hate at its most devastating. Let us be clear, there is never any excuse for hate crime of any kind. Ours is a rich, multi-cultural community, one to be celebrated and strengthened.
Please join us in working together to keep our communities safe.
Sue Mountstevens Andy Marsh
Police & Crime Commissioner Chief Constable