Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has confirmed that two members of the public have died following the “terror incident” at London Bridge earlier today, during which the suspect was also shot dead by police.
A further three members of the public were injured in the “attack”.
At a press conference earlier this evening, the Commissioner said:
“I am deeply saddened and angered that our city has again been targeted by terrorism. It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must now inform you that, as well as the suspect who was shot dead by police, two of those injured in this attack in the London Bridge area have tragically lost their lives.
“My heart goes out to their loved ones and to the three further injured victims who I understand are being treated in hospital, and of course to everybody who has been affected by today’s terrible and mindless events.”
Officers were called to a stabbing near the bridge just before 2pm on Friday 29th November. Pictures on social media showed several police cars on the bridge, with a lorry stopped across the central reservation of the dual carriageway bridge. Videos of the incident also emerged on social media throughout the afternoon.
Speaking at another press conference this afternoon, Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations Neil Basu said:
“I can confirm that at approximately 2pm today, Friday, 29 November, police were called to a stabbing at a premises near to London Bridge, EC1.
“Emergency services attended, including officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police.
“A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from City of London Police and I can confirm that this suspect died at the scene.
“As you would expect, due to the nature of the incident, we responded as though it was terrorist-related. I am now in a position to confirm that it has been declared a terrorist incident. We are working jointly with the City of London Police as we continue to respond.
“Officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command are now leading this investigation. I must stress, however, that we retain an open mind as to any motive. It would not be appropriate to speculate further at this time.
“Due to reports that the suspect may have had an explosive device, specialist officers also attended the scene and wide cordons are in place to ensure there remains no further danger to the public.
“However, I can confirm that at this time, we believe a device that was strapped to the body of the suspect is a hoax explosive device. Officers continue to carry out meticulous searches in the area to ensure there is no outstanding threat to the public.
“Those extensive cordons will remain in place for a considerable time and I would ask the public please continue to avoid the area.
“Public safety is obviously our top priority and we will be enhancing police patrols in the City and across London.
“I would ask anyone with information, image or footage of the incident that this be shared with our investigation team to do so on the UK Police Image appeal website. I would also ask the public to “continue to remain vigilant and report any concerns they have to police.”
In response to the “attack”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“This country will never be cowed or divided or intimidated by this sort of attack and our values, our British values, will prevail.”
The Prime Minister has called a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee which will take place this evening.
Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation can call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. Anyone who may have footage or images of the incident is asked to send them to the UK Police Image appeal website: www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk
Having worked in children's media and publishing for almost a decade, Ben is thoroughly excited to now be able to swear in stories and features. He is such a big fan of Disney and Horror films that he started an LGBTQ+ podcast called 'Once Upon A Scream'. His mum listens. You can contact Ben at [email protected] Twitter: @PulsfordBen / Instagram: @thebenmidlerFollow