LEDBURY'S mayor, Cllr Debbie Baker, said she was "shocked" to discover that armed police may have been on patrol in the town for Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Day, as an anti-terrorism measure.

Cllr Baker said: "I can't tell you how shocked I am.

"If the threat is there, police need to do whatever they need to do to protect the public. But the idea of armed police is mind-boggling. It really is, and it shows the times we are in right now.

"It's a really sad thought."

News that West Mercia Police did deploy police at selected locations during Remembrance Day was revealed in a report to the full Ledbury Town Council last week, by the county councillor Andrew Warmington, who wrote in his report: "Terrorism: this has already led to Remembrance Day becoming a major operation, with armed officers on patrol."

Cllr Warmington recently held talks with police chiefs, when major local issues were discussed.

Police did not reveal specific locations for the armed patrols in the force area, except to confirm that armed officers were on patrol for "higher profile processions".

Ledbury this year was the location for the county's Armed Forces Day, which 2,500 attended and its Remembrance Day was also a very well-attended, with an estimated 2,000 people in the town centre.

A police statement for what police call its "armed officer support" for Remembrance Day events has been issued.

Chief Inspector James Baker said: "Although there is nothing to suggest a particular threat to any event or location, West Mercia Police will provide a prudent and carefully considered approach to provide re-assurance to members of the community taking part in these nationally symbolic events.

"A small number of the higher profile processions were covered on the day"

Cllr Bob Barnes, a member of the Ledbury's Armed Forces Day committee, said of a possible armed police presence: "You want to be reassured they are there, if we need them.

"It's a prudent move, a sensible thing, living in the times we do."

He added: "We could become a soft target, and where the lone wolves are operating we do not know."