UK police detain man with knives near Parliament

Police arrested the man on Parliament Street yesterday afternoon. He is being detained under anti-terrorism laws.
Police arrested the man on Parliament Street yesterday afternoon. He is being detained under anti-terrorism laws.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • British police said a man carrying knives had been arrested in Whitehall, the street that is home to numerous government ministries in central London, and was being detained under anti-terrorism laws.

The incident comes just over a month after a British-born convert to Islam ploughed a car into pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge, killing four people before stabbing to death a police officer in the grounds of Parliament.

"A man has been arrested in Whitehall this afternoon, at approximately 14.22, following a stop and search as part of an ongoing operation," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement yesterday.

"The man, aged in his late 20s, was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism. Knives have been recovered from him."

The man was arrested by armed officers in Parliament Street, a stone's throw from the British Parliament building and Prime Minister Theresa May's official Downing Street residence.

No one was injured in the incident, police said, and Mrs May's spokesman said the Prime Minister was not in Downing Street at the time.

Reuters pictures showed police officers standing by at least two knives lying on the ground. Armed officers sealed off the area. A Reuters reporter and photographer saw police detaining a bearded man dressed in a hooded, black coat. His right hand appeared to have a bandage wrapped around it.

Police said the man was being held at a south London police station.

"Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command are continuing their investigation, and as a result of this arrest there is no immediate known threat," the police statement said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2017, with the headline 'UK police detain man with knives near Parliament'. Print Edition | Subscribe