Statement from Metropolitan Police following incident at Leytonstone Underground Station
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command are now investigating the incident at Leytonstone Underground station.
Police were called at 19:06hrs on Saturday, 5 December, to reports of a number of people stabbed at the station. The male suspect was reportedly threatening other people with a knife.
Met officers attended the scene. A man, belived aged 29, was arrested at 19:14hrs and taken to an east London police station where he remains in custody. A TASER was discharged by one of the Met officers.
One man, believed aged 56, sustained serious knife injuries; these are not believed to be life-threatening. Two other people (no further details at this time) sustained minor injuries.
Commander Richard Walton, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said:
“We are treating this as a terrorist incident. I would urge the public to remain calm, but alert and vigilant.
“The threat from terrorism remains at severe, which means that a terrorist attack is highly likely.
“I would appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity of Leytonstone underground station earlier this evening at around 7pm who saw anything suspicious to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
“Anyone who may have captured video or photographic footage of the incident is also urged to make contact with the Counter Terrorism Command via the Anti-Terrorist Hotline.”
Message from Chief Inspector Nick Collins Lambeth Police
As you will be aware, there was a stabbing in Leytonstone over the weekend. The suspect involved made references to Syria whilst committing the offence. As a result this is being investigated by counter-terrorism officers; but all options as to why this offence took place will be considered.
Clearly this will be a cause for concern for many in our communities; however these incidents are very rare. There is nothing that we are aware of at this stage to indicate that this is part of a wider campaign.
We are aware that the presence of police officers does have a reassuring influence – we will be increasing our patrols again, particularly around the transport network and areas where people will be congregating for the festive period.
We are also aware that incidents like this may have more of an impact on some sections of our community in Lambeth; not least the Muslim and Jewish communities. The events of the last couple of months have shown how powerful community resilience and support can be; we would encourage all incidents of hate crime to be reported to us. You will likely see increased social media support, particularly using #westandtogether and similar.
Most importantly, as we enter the festive period, we would ask that you consider our key messages below – and remain alert but not fearful.
1) UK policing is prepared and has a variety of operational tactics that are regularly used to protect the public. Many of you will be aware that Lambeth took part in a successful exercise to test part of that response in the summer.
2) People can expect to see an increase in high visibility police activity around a variety of sites, sectors and communities.
3) Communities defeat terrorism. The public are urged to report suspicious activity. We are particularly concerned about those might be intending to, or who have returned from, fighting in Syria and Iraq.