This message is sent on behalf of the National Coordinator Protect and Prepare following an incident on Tuesday 14th August 2018 shortly after 7.30 am outside the Palace of Westminster, London, SW1. Police are currently responding to the incident and we will seek to provide an further update, if appropriate, once further information and advice is available.
Statement from Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu in relation to this morning’s incident in Westminster:
At 7:37am a silver Ford Fiesta was involved in a collision in front of the Houses of Parliament. That vehicle collided with cyclists and pedestrians before hitting a barrier and coming to a stop. Two people have been taken to hospital. One man has been discharged and one woman remains in hospital being treated for serious but thankfully, non-life threatening injuries. Another man was also treated at the scene but didn’t require hospital treatment. The driver of the Fiesta, who was alone in the vehicle, was arrested at the scene by armed officers who were already nearby.
The man, who is in his late 20s, was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences and has been taken to a south London police station where he remains in custody.
Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident and the investigation is being led by officers from the Counter Terrorism Command. Officers are searching the vehicle and no other weapons have been found at this time.
At this early stage of the investigation, no other suspects at the scene have been identified or reported to police. There is no intelligence of further danger to Londoners or the rest of the UK in connection with this incident. Our priority is to formally identify the suspect and establish his motivations if we can. He is not currently co-operating.
However, as you would expect, detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command are making various other urgent enquiries to ensure there is no outstanding risk to the public.
I would urge anyone who thinks they may have information that could assist the investigation to call police on 0800 789 321. Thank you to all the people who have already come forward.
Similarly, anybody who captured footage or images of the incident can download these to us via our website www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk
I appreciate that this has caused a great deal of disruption to those who may live, work or be visiting the area, and I thank the public for their patience and understanding whilst we deal with this incident. The safety of the public is our top priority and the Met Police will continue to do all we can to protect the people of London.
For further updates and information follow the MPS twitter feed @metpoliceuk
As always, the public should remain vigilant and if you see anything suspicious or something that causes concern, then please dial 999
Recent events in the UK and around the world remind us all of the terrorist threat we face, which in the UK remains ‘SEVERE’, meaning an attack is highly likely. Police and security agencies are working to protect the public but it is also important that communities remain vigilant and aware of how to protect themselves if the need arises.
The Protective Security stance outside London remains the same.
The four minute film, Stay Safe: Firearms and Weapons Attack sets out three key steps for keeping safe. The film is accompanied by an online information leaflet.
The film has already been delivered and widely used across industry as part of police-led counter terrorism security advice sessions for their own staff. In the same way people plan how to respond to a fire it also makes sense to plan the response to a firearms or weapons attack. These are emotive subjects but experience shows by becoming more alert to surroundings and plan and think ahead people have far greater chance of surviving.
We urge the public to be alert but not alarmed by the threat, and reassure them that the police service carries out daily activities to help maintain the protection and security of our citizens, public institutions, critical national infrastructure, and businesses and places, including those who are potential terrorist targets. Individuals should consider what are their plans if there were an incident.
The film advises those who get caught up in an incident to ‘run, hide and tell’ – guidance which can be applied to any place. We know that from case studies and real life testimony based on the experiences of people who have survived attacks the advice given in the film has saved lives. Run Hide Tell can be viewed via this link from here.
Any suspicious behaviour or activity to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency dial 999