Police Scotland has issued a “Scottish Region Counter Terrorism” security update following on from the terrorist incident which occurred on Saturday 3rd June on London Bridge and in the Borough Market area. Following these incidents, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) reviewed the UK threat level from International Terrorism and decided that it should remain at SEVERE – an attack is highly likely, however this remains under constant review.
There is no current intelligence to suggest any specific threat to Scotland, however, as a precautionary measure, Police Scotland have maintained heightened security measures at various locations across Scotland following recent incidents. These measures will be continued and enhanced where necessary.
Police Scotland continues to review their position for the forthcoming General Election and measures are in place to ensure that the Police Scotland’s response is implemented accordingly.
On Saturday 3rd June, seven people were killed in central London when three attackers drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and launched a knife attack in the nearby Borough Market area. The NHS has confirmed that as of 1400 hrs on Tuesday 6th June 2017, 36 people remain in hospital, with 18 in a critical condition.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley (Metropolitan Police) says
“The investigation is progressing at pace, and officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command and the National Counter Terrorism Policing network are working relentlessly with UK intelligence partners to piece together exactly what occurred. We have already made significant progress, but of course, there remains much more to do”
The three attackers have been named:
- Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, a British citizen born in Pakistan.
- Rachid Redouane, 30, who had claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan.
- Youssef Zaghba, 22, a Moroccan – Italian man.
12 people arrested on Sunday after the attack, have subsequently been released without charge.
Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins (Police Scotland) publicly states:
“Our thoughts continue to be with the loved ones of those who were affected by the terrible incident in London on Saturday night.
While there is no intelligence of a specific threat to Scotland, we have significantly increased the number of armed officers on patrol. The number of armed officers we have in Armed Response Vehicles is in line with UK policing. This level ensures we can offer the right level of protection to our communities and enhances wider UK security.
Since the creation of Police Scotland in 2013, our armed policing capacity and capability has been strengthened across the country to ensure all of our communities have equal access to this specialist resource.
Following the attack in London, the number of ARVs on patrol significantly increased and we are able to sustain this for a significant period of time. These vehicles operate across Scotland, giving cover for the whole country.”
Concerns have been raised that with the London attacks and attacks in Manchester community tensions may increase. Police Scotland Safer Communities will be continuing to monitor communities for any rise in tensions. A spokesperson for the organisation has stated:
“Terrorists want to create discord, distrust and to create fear. The police stand together with all communities in the UK and we will take action against any criminal behaviour, which seeks to undermine society, especially where crimes are motivated by hate.
Communities defeat terrorism, which is why we must maintain the strong relationship between the public and police. We depend on information from the public, who can be our eyes and ears, in our efforts to keep us all safe.
Acts of terrorism and hate crimes are committed by a small minority of people and are not representative of the public. This is a time for us all to work closely together and unite against those who seek, through violence and extremism, to intimidate or cause fear.”
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Harding from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office adds:
“The threat level remains at Severe, which means that an attack is considered highly likely. I would remind you that this threat assessment is generic and does not provide any detail as to locations or timings, and whilst it is true that an attack could occur anywhere at any time we know that there are factors that potentially make some locations more attractive or vulnerable to terrorist attack than others.”