The response to the incident was extraordinary. Eight minutes from the first call being received, armed officers had stopped the attack. Since then the operation has been vast, keeping people safe and examining the scene, and increasing our visible presence across London to reassure our communities. That work continues, with thousands of officers engaged, working with colleagues up and down the country.
The investigation has been moving very, very fast. We have made a number of arrests and a central priority is to understand whether the attackers were working with anybody else in the planning of this attack. We have seized a huge amount of forensic material and we’re working closely with the intelligence agencies.
The terrorist threat we face is very real and I understand that people are of course very worried. But I want to reassure all who live and work in our capital. We have prepared for the worst and prevented it many times, through the police and security network’s effective and relentless work to stop would-be attackers. We have very good intelligence and frequently disrupt plots and protect the public from those who would do us all harm.
We are stepping up a gear to keep London safe, altering our deployment of officers and reviewing our policing plans for certain crowded spaces and iconic locations. We will do all we can to minimise disruption, but we fully appreciate the support the Met and the emergency services have had from the public, and the understanding for the actions we need to take.
Questions are of course being asked about how such atrocities can have happened. We will play a full part in seeking to learn from these events and in any future review of the Government’s approach to countering terrorism. It is not just a police response that’s needed to overcome the threat we face. We need London’s communities to play their part. Now is the time for the police and the public to be closer than ever. We need communities to challenge those expressing radical views or harbouring violent thoughts. One call can save lives. If someone has even the faintest suspicion that someone is planning a violent attack, please tell us. If there is immediate danger please call 999, or our anti-terrorist Hotline is available on 0800 789321 for reporting suspicions.
Finally, the Met is working at a very high intensity to protect the communities we serve from attack. We will always respond to your emergency calls as quickly as we can, as we did on Saturday night. But I ask our communities to understand that we will not be as focused on non-emergency work for a period, and we will not be able to always arrive at non-emergencies as quickly as we have done. So please think twice before you ask for officers if it is not an emergency, and if you’re thinking about scheduling a new event that may need policing support, just ask yourself it really needs to happen now.
We have had these periods of intensity before, after 9/11, 7/7 and earlier terrorist attacks, so we are used to adapting at speed to respond to threats. We want to be transparent with the public about what to expect, and how to help us.
This has been a truly ghastly few weeks, with the attacks in Westminster, Manchester and now again in London. It is unprecedented in my working life – but we have faced a terrorist threat before. That threat morphs and we change and we adapt. We have fantastic people, with very high levels of skills. We stand together with London and will be doing all we can in our power to keep London safe.
Cressida Dick, Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis