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Britain's West Midlands Police Get Anonymous Kidnap Threat: Report

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LONDON — Police were put on alert after a force received an anonymous threat to kidnap and kill an officer, Britain's Sky News reported Tuesday. NBC News could not independently confirm the report, which cited unnamed sources. But West Midlands Police confirmed it had received "anonymous information" relating to the safety of its staff. West Midlands Police is based in Birmingham, the U.K.'s second-largest city. It serves a population of 2.8 million.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said his force had "received information relating to the safety of ... officers and police staff." Officers were given a "security reminder" and told to travel to and from work in partial uniform. There was "nothing at this time to suggest there is an increased risk to members of the public," Forsyth added. "We took steps last night to ensure the safety of our officers and staff ... but at no time were officers taken off the streets." Two radicalized Muslim converts last year hacked a soldier to death outside a London barracks in broad daylight. The U.K. recently raised its threat level for international terrorism from "substantial" to "severe," meaning "a terrorist attack is highly likely," according to its intelligence services.

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- Alexander Smith

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