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Greater Manchester Police have decided to decided to keep armed officers following Paris attackReuters

One of the biggest police forces in the UK has scrapped plans to axe 25 firearm officers in the wake of the Paris terror attack.

Senior officers at Greater Manchester Police (GMP) met within hours of the shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 people dead, including two police officers.

The senior figures have reportedly scheduled to shelve plans to cut 25 armed officers from the force, as well as 50 officers from its traffic division, in wake of the Paris shooting, as well as ongoing fears of a potential terror attack in the UK.

There have been several warnings over the last few months that there could be an attack on police officers by Islamic fundamentalists.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) warned officers to be vigilant "for their own personal safety" following a rise in the police's internal threat level from "moderate" to "substantial".

Last November, Metropolitan Police officers were also advised not to wear their uniforms to and from work over fears they could be targeted.

Plans to cut police marksmen from GMP were first revealed as part of a £154m cost-cutting review.

Deputy chief constable Ian Hopkins told the Manchester Evening News: "Greater Manchester Police have been reviewing all areas of business to cope with the level of cuts imposed upon us. As such, no areas of the organisation have been untouched in terms of considering where to make savings.

"No formal papers have yet been considered regarding firearms and traffic roles. However, what is clear is that in future, we will have to make very difficult decisions around how we use the budget we are allocated taking into account the threats and risks of policing an area as diverse as Greater Manchester."

The decision follows a warning by director general of the MI5, Andrew Parker, who warned al-Qaeda are planning "mass casualty attacks" against the West.

He said: "We know that terrorists based in Syria harbour... ambitions towards the UK - trying to direct attacks against our country, and exhorting extremists here to act independently.

"We still face more complex and ambitious plots that follow the now sadly well-established approach of al-Qaeda and its imitators: attempts to cause large scale loss of life, often by attacking transport systems or iconic targets."

Last August, Home Secretary Theresa May announced the terror threat level in the UK had risen to "severe", suggesting an attack is "highly likely". This has not been raised to the highest level, "critical", following the attack in Paris.

Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of GMP, said there is "huge worry" from some of his unarmed officers if there is an attack in the UK.

He added: "There is a particular increased threat to police officers at the moment and there have been a number of attacks foiled in differed parts of the country, but I can tell you that our officers are very concerned about it... they see what happened in France, and clearly we are an unarmed police force but it is the nature of that threat, which is worrying, but despite that our officers go out there and do their duty."