Residents’ solidarity with Paris after terror attacks

People stand next to candles and banners during a candlelight vigil for the Paris attacks in the town square of Molenbeek, Belgium on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. After a Wednesday morning raid in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis, authorities could not immediately confirm whether Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian Islamic State militant, was killed or arrested. Both Abaaoud and the Abdeslam brothers, that also participated in the attacks, grew up in the same neighborhood of Molenbeek
People stand next to candles and banners during a candlelight vigil for the Paris attacks in the town square of Molenbeek, Belgium on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. After a Wednesday morning raid in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis, authorities could not immediately confirm whether Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian Islamic State militant, was killed or arrested. Both Abaaoud and the Abdeslam brothers, that also participated in the attacks, grew up in the same neighborhood of Molenbeek
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WIGANERS are “standing united” with Paris after the recent terrorist attacks.

Only a small number of the borough’s tourists are changing their travel plans to the French capital after Friday’s massacre, according to local holiday firms.

This is despite many schools being told to cancel trips and people across the UK putting their plans on hold.

Director of Hallgate’s Holiday Getaway Angela Lucas said residents are wanting to pursue their trips to Paris in a bid to restore faith in the city.

She added: “We haven’t had anybody cancel their trip to Paris since the attacks. There has been nobody who is going with us within the next two or three weeks so we haven’t been affected.

“But we have a lot of people who are still booked for early next year and have decided not to cancel. I think residents in the borough are standing united and they’re still going because they know this could have happened anywhere, it could have happened in any country, even on their own doorstep.

“Everyone still wants to go and are uniting as it’s such a beautiful city.”

Staff at Worldchoice on Market Street agreed, saying there had been a couple of customers inquiring as to whether they could cancel but hadn’t done so yet.

And those at Kiwi Travel on Mesnes Street added that only those going to Paris on business ventures had cancelled but only because their meetings had been axed as a result of the terrorist attacks.

However one resident, Jessica Inglis of Whitley, who was set to head off to the French capital on December 5, has rearranged her trip.

The 25-year-old said: “As the news of the attacks unfolded I just knew I couldn’t continue with the trip. It’s heartbreaking and I knew I just couldn’t go through with it. It was supposed to be my and my boyfriend’s first break away together and I wouldn’t want anything to ruin that.

“It’s just scary and Paris is obviously a target as it’s been the centre of an attack twice in one year now.

“We have rearranged to go to Edinburgh now. Hopefully I will return to Paris again in the future. I just think it’s too soon at the moment.”

Elsewhere, Greater Manchester Police have vowed to step up security as European cites were on high alert.

Assistant Chief Constable John O’Hare of Greater Manchester Police, said: “In light of the recent events in Paris we have been closely monitoring the situation to determine the appropriate response required here, in Greater Manchester.

“I want to reinforce the fact that there is no specific intelligence suggesting that an attack is imminent within Greater Manchester.

“We have increased our police patrols to offer reassurance to our communities and to be in a position to respond immediately to any change in circumstances. This is particularly relevant to those places which attract large crowds.”