Westminster could become pedestrianised to stop vehicle attacks, Britain’s most senior police officer has said.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick praised officers’ courage as they leapt into action following the latest terror attack in Parliament Square on Tuesday.
A 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terror after crashing a silver Ford Fiesta into pedestrians ‘at speed’, leaving two injured outside the Houses of Parliament.
In the past year and a half since the deadly Westminster terror attack in March 2017, Ms Dick said there had been an increase in the number of armed officers and barriers in place to protect the capital’s political heart.
She said: ‘You will notice that the security around parliament both in terms of armed officers and police officers and physical barriers has been further enhanced over the last several months and there is more to come on that in further months.
‘Whether that area outside should be pedestrianised further, there should be further physical works done, I think is a matter that will be discussed no doubt between parliamentary authorities, us, the intelligence agencies and indeed the local authorities and the mayor.’
But the commissioner added: ‘As with anything there is a balance to be drawn. ‘We are not going to give in, we are not going to just change our lifestyle, but it is important we take reasonable measures, as I think we have being doing over the last several months..’
‘..to try and make sure that the most iconic sites, including those in central London, are well protected and should something happen there, that the police are able to respond very quickly with armed officers, which is exactly what we saw yesterday.’
The commissioner was speaking ahead of a series of dawn raids – unrelated to Tuesday’s Westminster incident – that took place in Lewisham, south-east London, last night.
One man, 36, was detained after he had spent the night in bed with a hunting knife while eight men were arrested during raids on eight properties, with a number of weapons and drugs seized.