The location around Centenary Square looks like “Alcatraz” as the area is closed off and secured for the Conservative Party conference which starts on Sunday (2 October).

Broad Street is a hive of security with armed police patrols in place ahead of the conference which is expected to attract 11,000 delegates.

Brummies have been reporting a huge police presence in and around Centenary Square with road closures announced and public transport diversions in place for the days ahead.

Walkways and sections of public pavements have security gates in placeHSJ
Walkways and sections of public pavements have security gates in place

Concrete bollards, sandbags, mesh fences and security barriers cordon off most of the roads and streets around the International Convention Centre (ICC) – where the conference will take place – and around the Hyatt Regency Birmingham where Prime Minister Liz Truss and party members will be staying during the conference.

The hotel closed down on Friday lunchtime and ushered in 200 temporary staff to accommodate the huge number of guests who will be arriving this weekend for the conference.

Sections of Broad Street closed off to public transportHSJ
Several streets are closed off to public transport around the area where the conference will take place

A spokesperson for the hotel said the high profile security operation involved West Midlands Police, London Metropolitan Police, Birmingham City Council and several private security companies.

The Hyatt Regency Birmingham has an interior walkway which leads directly to the ICC but police have put extra security measures in place and erected security walls and gates all around the conference complex.

Several public walkways are also sealed off and people are directed to use other pathways.

Centenary Square is cordoned off with security barriersHSJ
Centenary Square and the International Convention Centre are cordoned off with security barriers

A member of the public told I Am Birmingham that the area around the Library of Birmingham looked like “Alcatraz” and that she would have to “find another way to work on Monday morning” due to the security fences that block off her usual journey to her office.

Nearby residents and businesses have been sent a letter explaining how they will be affected by the security operation.

All information relating to road and public walkway closures is available on the Birmingham City Council website.

Security measures have been taking place since last weekWMP
Security measures have been taking place since last week

Police are also on high alert for the two public protests which are planned for the weekend to highlight the cost of living crisis and the government’s new mini-budget.

On Saturday a rally will take place outside New Street Station at 12pm, and another larger scale gathering will take place on Sunday in Victoria Square with speakers from various organisations in attendance.

Security will be tight and officials are hoping the two weekend protests will be peaceful and orderly.

A protest highlighting the cost of living will take place during the conferenceWMP
A protest highlighting the cost of living will take place during the conference

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police stated that security will be tight with additional officers deployed to carry out high visibility patrols in the vicinity of the ICC and armed officers will also be out on patrol for the duration of the conference.

The restrictions will be lifted and the security operation will scale down when the conference ends on Wednesday 5 October.

Motorists are reminded to allow extra time for their journey if they are travelling into the city centre.

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