Londoners must 'remain vigilant' to Christmas terror attacks, warns Met chief

29 October 2021, 13:52 | Updated: 29 October 2021, 13:54

The UK’s terror threat level is currently set at “substantial” meaning “an attack is likely”
The UK’s terror threat level is currently set at “substantial” meaning “an attack is likely”. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Londoners have been warned to "remain vigilant" over potential attacks in the build-up to Christmas, as counter terrorism investigations "remain at record levels".

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Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has urged the public to "trust their instincts" and find the "courage" to report any suspicions in the coming months.

According to Dame Cressida, terrorists have been particularly focused on London.

Writing in the Standard, she said: "A significant proportion of [terrorist] activity has a connection to London, so it’s vitally important that Londoners continue to be alert and vigilant.

"This is particularly true as we continue to enjoy regaining our freedom in the run-up to Christmas - we must all remain vigilant and if you see or hear anything suspicious then I urge you to report it to us."

The UK’s terror threat level is currently set at "substantial” meaning “an attack is likely".

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Appealing directly to the public, the Met Commissioner said: "We cannot defeat terrorism alone - we need your help and support.

"There are few finer examples of that public support than the courageous actions of those who took on the attacker at Fishmongers Hall back in November 2019.

"But bravery has many forms and we also need people to have the courage and confidence to report something to us that might feel wrong or seem suspicious - trust your instincts and ACT.

"Reporting something to us won’t ruin lives, but it might just save them."

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Counter terrorism investigations across the UK "remain at record levels" with more than 800 live investigations and 31 foiled plots since 2017.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s stark warning comes just weeks after the murder of Sir David Amess.

The 69-year-old MP was stabbed at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex on October 15 whilst holding a constituency surgery.

Ali Harbi Ali, 25, was charged with the terrorist-related murder of Sir David. He faces a trial in March next year.