Met Police update on "extraordinary day in London" after Whitehall attack and Willesden anti-terror raid: Statement in full

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Westminster was put on lockdown yesterday afternoon (Source: Getty)

The Metropolitan Police issued a statement this morning addressing various terrorism-related incidents which took place in London yesterday.

Deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national co-ordinator for counter terrorism policing, described Thursday as an "extraordinary day in London", referring to both an attempted attack in Whitehall, and a unrelated raid on a house in Willesden, during which a young woman was shot.

Basu said eight arrests had been made in relation to the raid.

A 27-year-old man was arrested at the scene in Whitehall, and there are ongoing searches at two address in London in connection to the investigation.

This is exactly what Basu said outside New Scotland Yard this morning:

Yesterday was an extraordinary day in London so I wanted to update you on the two separate unconnected and ongoing counter terrorism investigations that happened in the last 24 hours.

Given the horrors in London of a few short weeks ago – and our thoughts are still with the victims and survivors of that dreadful day

I wanted to reassure the public that our increased activity to combat terrorism over the last two years continues - both by police and security services

Activity continues around the clock to identify and stop these threats and we are making arrests on a near daily basis.

I want to pay tribute to the bravery of my uniform and detective colleagues who are doing that work to keep us safe.

So – to yesterday’s events:

In Whitehall, a 27-year-old man was arrested by armed officers from the Met's Specialist Firearms Command, who stopped and searched him as part of an ongoing counter terrorism investigation.

He remains in our custody having been arrested for Terrorism Act Offences and possession of offensive weapons and there are two ongoing searches at addresses in London as part of that investigation.

In our second and unrelated investigation, last night at just before 19:00hrs, our highly trained firearms officers carried out a specialist entry into an address in Harlesden Road that we had under observation as part of a current Counter Terrorism investigation.

An armed entry was necessary due to the nature of the intelligence that we were dealing with, and involved armed officers firing CS into the address.

During the course of that operation one of the subjects of that operation - a woman - was shot by police - she remains in hospital. Her condition is serious but stable. Because of her condition she has not yet been arrested. We are monitoring her condition closely.

As is routine we have informed the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

In total six people have now been arrested in connection with that investigation - five at or near the address and one in Kent.

The two further arrests were made when a man and a woman - both aged 28 - returned to the address later last night.

Searches are ongoing at three London addresses - including Harlesden Road - as part of this investigation.

Due to these arrests that we have made, I believe that we have contained the threats that they posed.

With the attack in Westminster on 22 March so fresh in people’s minds, I would like to reassure everyone that across the country officers are working round the clock to identify those people who intend to commit acts of terror.

After that attack, we increased the number of officers on duty patrolling at key locations - and that continues as we police against the backdrop of a severe terrorist threat.

There are constant acts of immense bravery by officers - armed and unarmed - those that the public see when our officers run towards danger, just like yesterday, but a huge amount of unseen work that the public will never know about from us and our brilliant security services.

I would also like to thank the public for their continued help and support. No matter how hard we try it is communities that will defeat terrorism and we rely on your vigilance. Please continue to let us know of any suspicions or concerns you may have. No call is ever a waste of our time and every call is treated seriously and confidentially and investigated.

We will continue to work with all communities to defeat terrorists together - we will not allow common criminals to spread discord and fear. And lastly can I thank the public for their bravery and help; for remaining calm and tolerant and being a fantastic advert worldwide for democracy, diversity and freedom."

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