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Further statement from Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu

News   •   Nov 30, 2019 16:48 GMT

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu

Statement from Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu outside New Scotland Yard on Saturday, 30 November.

“Good afternoon, I’d like to update you on our continuing investigation into the terrible attack that took place yesterday near to London Bridge.

“Officers from the Counter Terrorism Command have been working flat out with our security services as you would expect as we continue to try and establish the full circumstances of what happened.

“At this time, we have found no evidence to suggest anybody else was involved in this attack. However, we are still making extensive enquiries to ensure there were no other people involved. Our investigative priority at this time is to ensure that there is no related outstanding threat to the public.

“To this end, we have carried out two searches at addresses both in the Staffordshire and Stoke areas. Our officers are being supported with this by officers from Staffordshire and the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Police. I would like to thank them, as well as the local community in those areas, for the support they’ve shown as we carry out these crucial enquiries.

“The investigation team has also spoken to many of those who were present at Fishmongers’ Hall, but I would appeal to anyone who was there on Friday, or anyone who hasn’t been spoken to, to contact police on 0800 789 321 immediately.

“We now know that this attack began inside Fishmongers’ Hall just before 14:00hrs yesterday. The attacker, whose identity we confirmed last night, stabbed a number of people inside the building and as a result, five people have suffered injuries.

“Three people – a man and two women – were injured and remain in hospital. Their families have been contacted and specialist officers are supporting them.

“Tragically, two people – a man and a woman – were killed during the attack. Of course, I am fully aware that the media and social media have named one of those victims. You must understand that I need to wait for formal identification from the Coroner. I will provide an update as soon as I can.

“On behalf of the entire policing family, I would like to offer my heartfelt thoughts and condolences to all those families, both deceased and who still remain in hospital, and everyone affected by this tragedy.

“Whilst we’re still piecing together the exact details of what happened, what is already clear is that this cowardly act was immediately countered by some truly incredible acts of bravery by both members of the public and police officers.

“We know the attacker was attending an event, called “Learning Together” and some of those present at that event confronted the attacker to try and stop him. The attacker then left the building and ended up on London Bridge, he was pursued and detained by members of the public, as well as a British Transport Police officer who was in plain clothes, before armed officers from both the City of London and Metropolitan Police arrived, confronted the attacker and shot him.

“The actions of the police and the public are all the more remarkable as we now know that the attacker was wearing what looked like a very convincing explosive device. Thankfully, we now know it be a hoax device.

“Detectives and forensic officers remain at the London Bridge area and cordons continue to be in place as we meticulously gather the evidence required for the investigation and this obviously may take some time. We’re working as fast as we can, we would ask the public to continue to avoid the area and we really thank those affected by this for their patience and understanding.

“On that point, can I also thank the public for their tremendous support and cooperation in response to this incident. The public have shared nearly 500 images and videos with the investigation team so far and I am incredibly grateful for this. But again if you have any images, any video, and you haven’t spoken to police, please do so as soon as possible.

“It is vital that the empty ideology of terror is rejected by all of us and that communities come together side-by-side to ensure that those seeking to divide us will never succeed.

“As a precaution, we have enhanced police patrols across London of both armed and unarmed officers. The public can expect to see an increased police presence throughout the weekend as colleagues from the Met, City of London and British Transport police carry out those patrols.

“Our advice to the public is to continue with your plans as usual. Please be vigilant but be alert, not alarmed. If you do see anything suspicious then, please ACT, and report it to police – either speak to an officer, call us on 0800 789 321 or report it via the ACT website at gov.uk/ACT.

“Countering terrorism is never something that can be done by any single agency on its own. It needs the cooperation and support from every corner of our society. The help and support we get from the public, and indeed the media, is a vital part of that, we are extremely grateful.I am grateful for your support.”