Police conduct fresh raids, more people may be involved

London Police commend officers who responded 'quickly and bravely' to the attack in the capital on Saturday (June 3).
Police escorting a person to a police van in Barking, east London, yesterday following a dawn raid on a property. Pedestrians navigating past barriers put up at Westminster Bridge in central London yesterday. The terror threat level in Britain remain
Pedestrians navigating past barriers put up at Westminster Bridge in central London yesterday. The terror threat level in Britain remains at "severe", meaning an attack is highly likely, and additional security measures are in place.PHOTO: REUTERS
Police escorting a person to a police van in Barking, east London, yesterday following a dawn raid on a property. Pedestrians navigating past barriers put up at Westminster Bridge in central London yesterday. The terror threat level in Britain remain
Police escorting a person to a police van in Barking, east London, yesterday following a dawn raid on a property. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PM May defends cutbacks in police force as security becomes hot election topic

LONDON • Police say they know the identities of the three male attackers who killed seven people and injured 48 others in last Saturday’s terror attack in London. Two of the names were released yesterday evening.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attack, in which British police fired an "unprecedented" 50 bullets because they believed the attackers were wearing suicide vests.

More gunshots were heard yesterday  as the police conducted fresh raids in east London - one in Newham and another in Barking - to investigate if others were
involved in planning the attack.

Twelve people were arrested in Barking on Sunday after armed raids at a flat believed to be the home of one of the attackers.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the victims included a "number of nationalities", saying it was "an attack on the free world".

One of the seven victims killed in the attack has been named as Ms Christine Archibald from Canada.

With the attack dominating attention, a reduction in the number of police officers in England and Wales by almost 20,000 during Mrs May’s six years as interior minister, from 2010 to last year, has shot to the top of the agenda before the general election on Thursday.

The Conservative Party leader did not answer questions on the cutbacks, but said counter-terrorism budgets had been protected and police had the powers they needed.
Her main opponent, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, backed calls for her resignation over the police cuts. He said many people were "very worried that she was at the Home Office for all this time, presided over these cuts in police numbers, and now is saying that we have a problem".

The Conservatives’ lead over Labour has narrowed markedly from 20 points or more when Mrs May called the election in April to a range of between one and 12 points now, although the party is still widely expected to win a majority.

The pound rose on currency markets, which favour Mrs May over Mr Corbyn, after the latest ICM poll, taken between last Friday and Sunday and published yesterday, suggested the Conservatives were ahead by 11 points.

After chairing a meeting of the government’s crisis response committee yesterday, Mrs May said the official threat level remained at "severe", meaning an attack was highly likely, and additional security measures were in place. "This was an attack on London and the United Kingdom, but it was also an attack on the free world," she said.

She also defended herself against criticism, saying the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has said it is "well-resourced".

REUTERS

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London Police commend brave officers. str.sg/4L62

 

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2017, with the headline 'Police conduct fresh raids, more people may be involved'. Print Edition | Subscribe