Counter terrorism police to be placed on London buses to prevent attack

16 December 2020, 20:43

Officers will patrol at bus stops, bus stations and transport interchanges
Officers will patrol at bus stops, bus stations and transport interchanges. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Counter terrorism police will be places on London buses in a bid to prevent an attack in the capital following a warning from the UK's senior counter terrorism officer that investigations are at a "record high".

Police will also patrol at bus stops, bus stations and transport interchanges in a bid to prevent would-be terrorists to move around the city.

Sniffer dogs and automatic number plate recognition technology will be deployed across the capital, with officers monitoring movements at key locations from CCTV control rooms.  

Police will also be able to access support from armed officers.

Read more: Top counter-terror cop on release of 100s of convicted terrorists from prison

Read more: Online radicalisation has worsened during Covid pandemic, counter-terror chief tells LBC

The new drive to strengthen public protection follows a warning by the country’s most senior counter terrorism officer, Met Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, investigations being carried out by his teams has reached a record high over the past two weeks.  

The official threat level has also been raised to “severe” following the recent attacks in France and Vienna.  

Neil Basu said investigations are at a "record high"
Neil Basu said investigations are at a "record high". Picture: PA

The new transport patrols, which will supplement those already carried out at railway and Tube stations and on busy shopping streets, will be carried out by a new “Project Servator” team.

Speaking about the new checks, Met Inspector James Beattie said: “The introduction of specially-trained Project Servator officers will make life even more difficult for potential terrorists and criminals to operate across London’s roads and transport network.

“Don’t be surprised if you see us. It is nothing to worry about and we will be talking to members of the public and urging them to help us.

Read more: UK terror threat raised to 'severe' after France and Vienna attacks

Read more: No certainty terror offenders can be 'cured', terrorism expert warns

"Defeating terrorism requires a collective community effort where police, security staff, retail workers and the public come together to minimise the chance of attacks. The cooperation between the public and the police is a powerful defence against terrorism.”  

Officers in involved in the new patrols will also encourage members of the public and business owners to be alert and report anything that they believe is suspicious.  

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