Huge West Midlands Police security operation for Tory Party conference in Birmingham
Severe disruption is expected in Birmingham city centre this weekend as West Midlands Police launch their huge security operation around the Conservative Party Conference, which returns to the International Convention Centre (ICC).
Extra security measures including visible armed patrols around the ICC, barricades and road closures, are expected to cause disruption and queues.
Police are urging people to plan ahead and be cautious as there will be increased security around the ICC, Hyatt Regency Birmingham and Broad Street.
The Conservative Party Conference 2022 is taking place from Sunday 2 October and will run until Wednesday 5 October.
More than 11,000 delegates are returning to the city for the major political event and although the force says their operation is precautionary, West Midlands Police is keen to keep an "excellent reputation".
Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby, who is leading the operation, said: “We’re proud to be able to play our part in this event and are confident that we will provide a safe and secure environment for all those who attend the conference and for everyone who lives and works in Birmingham.
"I want to stress that there has been no specific intelligence received relating to a threat to the conference and everything we are doing is as a precaution."
The police force also say they are "prepared for peaceful protests" which usually happen around the time of the conference.
The force says they have been planning the event's security for months, working with the city council and ICC.
The restrictions will be lifted and the security operation will scale down when the conference ends on Wednesday 5 October.
This is the first time the Conservative Party Conference has taken place in Birmingham since 2018, as the 2020 conference was cancelled because of the pandemic.
Which roads will be closed during the conference?
Cambridge Street, from Civic Close to Brindley Drive: closed from Sunday 2 October to Friday 7 October.
Broad Street, from Lyon Queensway (Paradise Circus) to Gas Street: closed from Wednesday 28 September to Thursday 6 October (will remain closed until 9 October for Metro tram works).
The north section of Bridge Street (outside of Hyatt Regency Hotel): closed from Tuesday 27 September to Friday 7 October.