Three terrorists have been shot dead after seven people were killed and forty eight injured, including an off duty British Transport Police officer after terrorists attacked people on London Bridge and Borough Market in London last night.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: “Since late yesterday evening [Saturday, 3 June], the Metropolitan Police Service has been responding to incidents in the London Bridge and Borough Market areas of south London. We are treating this as a terrorist incident and a full investigation is already underway, led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.
“You will understand that our knowledge of the incident is still growing but what we understand at the present time is:
- At 22:08hrs yesterday evening we began to receive reports that a vehicle had struck pedestrians on London Bridge.
- The vehicle continued to drive from London Bridge to Borough Market.
- The suspects then left the vehicle and a number of people were stabbed, including an on-duty British Transport Police officer who was responding to the incident at London Bridge. He received serious but not life-threatening injuries. His family has been informed.
- Armed officers responded very quickly and bravely, confronting three male suspects who were shot and killed in Borough Market. The suspects had been confronted and shot by the police within eight minutes of the first call. The suspects were wearing what looked like explosive vests but these were later established to be hoaxes.
“The ongoing operation is led by the Met, working closely with British Transport Police, City of London Police, the London Ambulance Service and the London Fire Brigade.
“At this stage, we believe that seven people have died in addition to the three attackers shot dead by police. And at least 48 casualties have been taken to six hospitals across London.
“I’d like to repeat our request for the public to avoid the following areas: London Bridge and Borough Market. This is to allow emergency services to deal with this incident.
“The investigation is being led by the Counter Terrorism Command and we would ask anybody who has images or film of the incident to pass those to police by uploading it at www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk.
“Our thoughts are with all those involved and those responding to both incidents. Those who are concerned about a loved one can contact the Casualty Bureau on 0800 0961 233.
“We are reviewing and planning to strengthen our policing stance across London over the forthcoming days, and there will be additional police and officers deployed across the Capital.
“I would like to ask the public to remain vigilant and let us know if they see anything suspicious that causes them concern and dial 999 immediately.”
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “This was an horrific attack in the heart of our capital city, targeted at people enjoying their evening with friends and family. My thoughts are with the victims and all those affected by this incident.
“As ever, in difficult and traumatic circumstances, I am extremely proud of and thankful to our police and emergency services who responded so swiftly and those who will work tirelessly as the investigation into this appalling act continues.”
GMP Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan from Greater Manchester Police said:“We’re deeply saddened to hear about last night’s horrific attacks in London and our thoughts are with everyone affected, including the emergency services responding to the incident.
“There are two large-scale events taking place in Greater Manchester today and we would like to assure people that these will still take place, but with additional security in place to ensure the safety of everyone.
“We have dedicated resources at both events, with a significant number of officers from both GMP and colleagues from other forces, some of which will be armed.
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“There will be additional security checks taking place and everyone will be searched, including bags. We would ask people not to bring bags if they can, as this will help speed up entry.
“I’d like to remind people that the threat level remains at severe, which means an attack is highly likely.
“Please remain vigilant at all times and report anything suspicious that causes you concern to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or 999 in an emergency.”
Statement by the Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, following the terror attacks in London Bridge and Borough Market.
“Last night saw another appalling and tragic incident in London; something we hoped we would not see again.
“Obviously my thoughts are with all of those affected, those injured and the families of those innocent people who died whilst out enjoying a Saturday night in our Capital.
“In the early hours of this morning, I have visited one of the hospitals where the injured are being treated.
“There, I heard truly remarkable stories of extraordinary brave actions by officers – on and off duty – who were first on the scene. I also heard of colleagues from other emergency services and members of the public who ran towards the danger as this incident unfolded.
“Many, many people risked their own safety to help others and to treat those seriously injured and indeed to confront the suspects involved.
“It is clear to me that the courage of those people during and following the attack was extraordinary and I pay tribute to all of them who came to the aid of those in need during this dreadful attack and I am sure helped to save lives.
“As you know our officers confronted the suspects and brought this terrible incident to a conclusion within eight minutes.
“It has now been confirmed sadly that seven members of the public have died. In addition, as you know, we believe three suspects are dead.
“My current information is that 48 people have been injured. They are currently being treated in hospital.
“To remind you, we were called at 10.08pm on 4 June to reports that a vehicle had struck pedestrians on London Bridge.
“That vehicle continued to drive from London Bridge to Borough Market. The suspects then left the vehicle and a number of people were stabbed. The suspects were shot dead by armed officers.
“We believe that this incident is under control. However, a large cordon remains in the area around London Bridge and Borough Market and there are many officers on scene, as we need still to carry out a thorough search of the area to ensure that everyone has been accounted for, and to make the whole area safe. I appreciate this has been a terrifying experience for many people, and I would like to thank the people affected in that area for their forbearance as we carry out our work.
“To anyone who is currently within the cordon our advice is to stay inside and our officers will be in touch. If you are concerned contact us.
“London Bridge Station and Underground is also closed. So for people who might be thinking of travelling to that area, I would ask you to avoid it if you possibly can.
“This is a fast-moving investigation and we have significant resources deployed both to the investigation and to the visible patrols that people will be seeing as they wake up this morning. We will have increased patrols in many areas by the police, and these will as you would expect include armed officers.
“An emergency number has been established for anyone who is concerned for loved ones who perhaps not have returned home. The Casualty Bureau number is 0800 0961 233.
“Our priority now is to work with our colleagues in the National Counter Terrorism Policing Network and also with the intelligence agencies and other security services to establish more details about the individuals who carried out the attack and the background to it.
“Finally, this is a very worrying time for people; I do understand that. I would ask people in London and visitors to remain calm. Please of course be very vigilant and if you see anything suspicious, anything at all, or you are concerned about anyone at all, even if you think it is very insignificant, don’t hesitate to contact us on the anti-terrorism hotline on 0800 789 321. Your information could be vital.
“Thank you very much.”
Prime Minister Theresa May gave a statement in Downing Street following the terrorist attack in London.
Last night, our country fell victim to a brutal terrorist attack once again. As a result I have just chaired a meeting of the government’s emergency committee and I want to update you with the latest information about the attack.
Shortly before 10:10pm yesterday evening, the Metropolitan Police received reports that a white van had struck pedestrians on London Bridge. It continued to drive from London Bridge to Borough Market, where 3 terrorists left the van and attacked innocent and unarmed civilians with blades and knives.
All 3 were wearing what appeared to be explosive vests, but the police have established that this clothing was fake and worn only to spread panic and fear.
As so often in such serious situations, the police responded with great courage and great speed. Armed officers from the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police arrived at Borough Market within moments, and shot and killed the 3 suspects. The terrorists were confronted and shot by armed officers within 8 minutes of the police receiving the first emergency call.
Seven people have died as a result of the attack, in addition to the 3 suspects shot dead by the police. Forty-eight people are being treated in several hospitals across London. Many have life-threatening conditions.
On behalf of the people of London, and on behalf of the whole country, I want to thank and pay tribute to the professionalism and bravery of the police and the emergency services – and the courage of members of the public who defended themselves and others from the attackers. And our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and with their friends, families and loved ones.
This is, as we all know, the third terrorist attack Britain has experienced in the last 3 months. In March, a similar attack took place, just around the corner on Westminster Bridge. Two weeks ago, the Manchester Arena was attacked by a suicide bomber. And now London has been struck once more.
And at the same time, the security and intelligence agencies and police have disrupted 5 credible plots since the Westminster attack in March.
In terms of their planning and execution, the recent attacks are not connected. But we believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face, as terrorism breeds terrorism, and perpetrators are inspired to attack not only on the basis of carefully-constructed plots after years of planning and training – and not even as lone attackers radicalised online – but by copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack.
We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change, and they need to change in 4 important ways.
First, while the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism. It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam. It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth.
Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time. But it cannot be defeated through military intervention alone. It will not be defeated through the maintenance of a permanent, defensive counter-terrorism operation, however skilful its leaders and practitioners. It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence – and make them understand that our values – pluralistic, British values – are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate.
Second, we cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet – and the big companies that provide internet-based services – provide. We need to work with allied, democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist planning. And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.
Third, while we need to deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online, we must not forget about the safe spaces that continue to exist in the real world. Yes, that means taking military action to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But it also means taking action here at home. While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is – to be frank – far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.
So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out – across the public sector and across society. That will require some difficult and often embarrassing conversations, but the whole of our country needs to come together to take on this extremism – and we need to live our lives not in a series of separated, segregated communities but as one truly United Kingdom.
Fourth, we have a robust counter-terrorism strategy that has proved successful over many years. But as the nature of the threat we face becomes more complex, more fragmented, more hidden, especially online, the strategy needs to keep up. So in light of what we are learning about the changing threat, we need to review Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need.
And if we need to increase the length of custodial sentences for terrorism-related offences, even apparently less serious offences, that is what we will do.
Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public. But it is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.
As a mark of respect the 2 political parties have suspended our national campaigns for today. But violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process. So those campaigns will resume in full tomorrow. And the general election will go ahead as planned on Thursday.
As a country, our response must be as it has always been when we have been confronted by violence. We must come together, we must pull together, and united we will take on and defeat our enemies.