Sussex Police deploy armed officers to Lewes bonfire night

Man in Lewes procession Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police said additional security measures would be in place

Armed police will be at this year's Lewes bonfire celebrations as tens of thousands of people gather in the East Sussex town.

Sussex Police said there would be greater security on Saturday because of the national security risk, but there is no specific threat to the event.

Ch Supt Neil Honnor said: "Due to the national security threat assessment we have reviewed our response."

Additional security also includes more road closures, he said.

The force will not be using concrete blocks, Ch Supt Honnor added.

"Lewes bonfire is a very large event and in the current climate it is not unusual to see armed officers at an event of this size," he said.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption There are seven different bonfire societies in Lewes

Rail strike disruption

The number of visitors to Lewes can be as high as 40,000, though last year numbers fell to between 20,000 to 25,000 spectators because of wet weather.

More visitors are expected this year because 5 November falls on a Saturday.

Lewes holds one of Britain's biggest Bonfire Night events with more than 30 different processions making their way through the town.

It has seven bonfire societies, with six of them taking part in the 5 November celebrations.

This year's celebrations are expected to be affected by a strike on the Southern rail network.

Extra buses will be running and travel advice has been issued for people attending the event.

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