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PHOTOS: Theresa May Deploys Thousands Of Soldiers To The Streets Of England

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Prime Minister Theresa May made an unprecedented decision Tuesday to deploy up to 5,000 troops on the streets of the United Kingdom to combat terrorism.

Operation Temperer was constructed in 2015 to give the government more resources to respond to a major terror threat. May became the first prime minister to use the power when she upgraded the terror threat from “severe” to “critical” Tuesday.

Armed soldiers were spotted Wednesday at popular tourist sites and government buildings across London as a result.

 

Soldiers walk with a police officer on Whitehall in London, Britain May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Soldiers walk past tourist souvenir stalls in London, Britain May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Armed police officers stand on duty outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Britain, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

A soldier and an armed policeman pass Big Ben in London, Britain May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

A soldier and an armed policeman pass Big Ben in London, Britain May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Security has also been enhanced across Manchester where the attack took place.

Armed police stand near the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Britain May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Armed police stand near the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Britain May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Armed officers are rare in the U.K., as more than 90 percent are unarmed on duty.

Officer Ketih Palmer, 48, was stabbed to death while guarding the entrance to the British Houses of Parliament unarmed in late March. Just 2,800 out of London’s 31,075 police officers are armed, which the police force considers a safety measure.

A cornerstone principle of the Metropolitan Police in London is that guns send the wrong message to communities by provoking crime rather than preventing it. Most officers are only equipped with batons, handcuffs, a mace and in some cases stun-guns. A small number of specially-trained officers are the only ones carrying guns on patrol. These include counterterrorism police and some officers in high-risk areas like the Parliament.

France declared a state of emergency in 2015 after a string of deadly terror attacks. The measure is still in effect and tens of thousands of soldiers remain on the streets.

Police officer crammed inside a subway train in Paris (Jacob Bojesson/TheDCNF)

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