Armed police seal off Parliament Square as man is arrested on suspicion of planning acts of terrorism

 
Emma Haslett
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2015 General Election - Crime And Policing
The Metropolitan Police said a man had been arrested (Source: Getty)

Whitehall was on lockdown today after a man in his 20s was arrested near Downing Street, as witnesses reported armed police near the Treasury.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed officers had arrested a man on Parliament Street on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.

Witnesses reported seeing kitchen knives on the ground on the pavement next to a backpack.

"He is being detained under the Terrorism Act and is in custody in a south London police station," they said.

"Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command are continuing their investigation, and as a result of this arrest there is no immediate known threat."

It added there were no injuries.

Meanwhile, Transport for London said Whitehall was closed northbound due to a "police incident", and warned drivers in the area to expect long delays.

The Met Police's statement in full

"A man has been arrested in Whitehall this afternoon, at approximately 14:22, following a stop and search as part of an ongoing operation.

"The man was arrested in Parliament Street, junction with Parliament Square, by armed officers from the Met’s Specialist Firearms Command.

"The man, aged in his late twenties, was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.Knives have been recovered from him.

"He is being detained under the Terrorism Act and is in custody in a south London police station.

"Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command are continuing their investigation, and as a result of this arrest there is no immediate known threat."

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