AN anti-terror operation in Chester remained shrouded in secrecy yesterday as police stepped up patrols to reassure members of the public.

The Leader understands that police officers carried out searches at University of Chester halls of residence on Delamere Street in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday.

However neither the police nor the university were willing tocomment on the exact location of any searches.

A Cheshire Police spokesman reiterated a line from its previous statement which simply said “an address in Chester” had been searched.

Photographs emerged online showing a number of police vehicles and officers outside the Sumner House halls of residence at about 4.30am on Monday (May 29).

National media have reported that a 19-year-old University of Chester law student had been arrested at his Manchester home in connection with last Monday's terrorist attack carried out by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22.

Police have since carried out a number of raids and have so far arrested 16 people.

A total of 22 people were killed and more than 100 injured when Abedi detonated a rucksack bomb in the foyer of the Manchester Arena after a concert by US singer Ariana Grande. The victims included off duty police detective Elaine McIver, 43, from Frodsham, who grew up in Ellesmere Port.

Police chiefs have sought to reassure people in the county that there is currently no direct threat and there are extra officers on the streets to provide visible reassurance.

Detective Superintendent Aaron Duggan, head of crime with Cheshire Police, said: “Officers will be visible in Chester over the next few days providing reassurance and if any members of the community have any concerns then I would encourage you to speak to local officers.

“We will continue to work closely with our communities by carrying out patrols over the coming weeks and addressing any concerns they may have.

“I want to urge local communities to stay alert, but not alarmed, be extra vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour to the Anti-Terror hotline on 0800 789321 or in an emergency call 999.”