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Britain’s top anti-terror cop: MPs to face more intrusive security at Parliament

Britain’s top anti-terror cop today signalled MPs may have to put up with more intrusive security at Parliament to protect it in future. Scotland Yard s anti-terror chief Mark Rowley stressed that a review following the terror attack1 would probe whether a different tone or balance was needed for security at Westminster.

Our current arrangements have been developed with Parliament over many years and are designed to provide access to the seat of our Government balanced with security that is proportionate but not overly intrusive, he said.

As would be expected, my team will work with Parliamentary authorities to assess whether a different tone or a different balance is necessary. Police at the scene after the attack (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

He spoke out as calls grew for more armed officers to be deployed at key points around the estate.

Senior Tory MP Nigel Evans said: If the tragic death of Keith Palmer points us to any action that we need to take it is if we are going to have unarmed police officers on the frontline, we need to ensure that within inches of them there are armed police officers behind them. Forensic investigators at the scene of the attack (Jeremy Selwyn)

The attacker, Khalid Masood, 52, is understood to have been shot dead by two officers from Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon s personal protection team who were waiting for him in his official car as he went to vote in the Commons. This has raised concerns among MPs over the speed of response of other armed officers.

However, Ken Marsh, chairman of the London Police Federation, said: If these two were not there, there would still have been armed officers there in seconds. It emerged today that Masood burst through Parliament s main carriage gates while they were open for a car carrying Acting Met Commissioner Craig Mackey to leave the estate . Mr Mackey was driven off quickly.

Police officers have long complained the solid iron Victorian gates are too heavy to open and close constantly, despite modifications, for cars to come and go, which may explain why they were not shut instantly. Meanwhile, amateur footage captured the apparent confusion of the moments after the attack when Theresa May was walking through a Commons courtyard flanked by protection officers. After shouts of Get in the car , the Prime Minister began to walk one way before veering back to the nearest car .

A member of the security detail is heard shouting for his car keys, in the video published by the Sun. The security review will also inevitably focus on the vetting of the thousands of people with passes to access the parliamentary estate. More than 1,200 passes have been lost over the last seven years, including 280 belonging to MPs, which once reported are blocked from use.

Hundreds of people on social media backed calls by MP James Cleverly, who served in the army with Pc Palmer, for him to be post-humously honoured, with the George Medal or another award.

Meanwhile, former Culture Secretary and ex-London Minister Dame Tessa Jowell said: There should be a lasting memorial to those who died and to the emergency staff who, like PC Keith Palmer, showed such courage.

References

  1. ^ following the terror attack (www.standard.co.uk)

Evil rapist who screamed at victim from dock then punched security guard is jailed for life

An evil rapist who screamed at his victim from the dock before punching a security officer has been sentenced to life. Neil Anthony Thompson, 28, subjected his victim to a nightmare ordeal after following her home and climbing through her window armed with a knife. During a 30-minute attack Thompson threatened to kill her more than once.

It ended only when the brave victim managed to escape and run naked to a neighbour for help. Her incredible bravery continued at Manchester Minshull Crown Court1 on Thursday when she was interrupted during her statement by a shouting and swearing Thompson. Attacking the guard beside him, Thompson shouted at his victim as he tried to break free from the dock – while stunned officials in Court Seven sounded the alarm for help.

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However, after a brief struggle, the convicted attacker was placed in a headlock and led to the cells to calm down. The hearing was adjourned until the afternoon, when Thompson emerged again to be given a life sentence. Afterwards, his defiant victim told the M.E.N: What he did in court just shows the type of person he is.

Neil Anthony Thompson has been jailed for life

I don t regret facing him in court – I wanted to look him in the eye and tell him what he d done to me and my family.

I ve got my life ahead of me and I won t let what he did define me . This is closure.

Earlier, Phil Barnes, prosecuting, told the court how Thompson, of Oswald Road, Chorlton2, followed his victim home on November 12 last year. She was sitting on her bed texting her boyfriend when Thompson burst into her room armed with a knife. He shouted at her to give him all her money , before ordering her to undress.

What followed was a gratuitous, brutal, sustained and violent series of sexual assaults which left her shaking and terrified for her life . The ordeal only came to an end when the victim bravely fled the house chased by Thompson, but she managed to get help from a neighbour who called the police. Detectives followed a trail of fingerprints, footprints and DNA evidence to a nearby bail hostel three days later.

On arrest, Thompson complained about being interrupted while watching a pornographic site and insisted he had been home alone taking cannabis and spice on the night of the attack. Only when confronted with the undeniable evidence did Thompson admit rape, attempted rape, three charges of sexual assault, causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence and burglary. Sentencing Thompson to life with a chance to apply for parole after eight years, Judge Tina Landale said Thompson had shown no remorse and couldn t care less about the impact of his behaviour . She said he could apply for parole in eight years, but added: However, you are an extremely dangerous man and it s possible you may never be released.

Minshull Street Crown Court

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Defending, Thomas McKail said Thompson was appalled by his outburst in court and had in fact been trying to apologise to his victim. He added: There is no amount of apology or remorse that will begin to make amends for the damage caused to the complainant and her family. He said his client recalled following her home but cannot remember the attack .

As a career burglar, much of his life had been spent behind bars and he had been institutionalised, he added. Det Sgt Rebecca Mills, of GMP s Trafford borough, said: This is one of the most horrendous incidents I have been involved with investigating and the details of it will no doubt send cold shivers down the spines of anyone who hears them. Praising the courage of Thompson s victim, she added: I would like to thank her and pay tribute to her for this bravery, and I just hope the significant sentence passed today will bring her some comfort to know that her help has taken a dangerous man off the streets and seen justice served.

‘There is no way someone like that should ever be allowed to walk the streets again’

The victim of Neil Anthony Thompson showed incredibly bravery – first escaping his evil clutches, then helping police with their investigation – and finally facing him in court. On Thursday she saw him jailed for life and shared her relief that he can t hurt anybody else.

I don t have the words to describe how I feel about Neil . The overriding feeling is anger . He doesn t deserve to ever be let out . There is no way that someone like that should ever be allowed to walk the streets again.

There are a lot of cases where rapists aren t caught, where people haven t come forward because they might be afraid of the police not believing them.

I want to say if anyone has had a similar thing happen to them, come forward . If I hadn t come forward this person would still be out there, doing what he did to me to other people.

My life has changed now . It s affected me, my family, my health .

I m coming to terms with it, with wondering why me ? I m not going to be able to answer that.

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I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks . I worry a lot now, I ve very nervous about situations . I m now very shy around people I don t know . I was shy when I was younger but I managed to get over that and this has brought it all back home.

A couple of weeks ago I felt like I couldn t cope any more . Everyone in my life has been affected, even though it happened to me.

The emotional effects on my mum where she started to suffer badly with anxiety and depression . She doesn t really sleep or eat.

My relationship with my dad is now also very strained . We rarely speak now and he has been very distant from me . I think he is struggling to come to terms with what happened.

When I m walking about on my own outside I feel as though I m now on high alert, constantly looking over my shoulder and about, in a way, suspecting everyone I come across on the street.

Before Neil did what he did I was in my second year of university .

But after this, I couldn t even get myself out of bed to find the energy or the mental strength to go into uni . As a direct result of Neil, I left university and I am no longer in full time education while I try to focus on putting my life back together.

I now share a flat with girls who have been through similar things in their lives . I m worried what is going to come next for me, emotionally .

But now I have closure and I want to get on with my life.

References

  1. ^ Manchester Minshull Crown Court (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Oswald Road, Chorlton (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)

These are the extra security measures which will be in place for the Champions League final

It will be the biggest security operation undertaken in Cardiff, with extra officers being shipped in to help. The Champions League final on June 3 will be a huge undertaking for the city’s police who have warned there will be “significant” disruption for people living or working in Cardiff. Since Uefa said the final would be in Cardiff1, there have been devastating terror attacks across the world.

It means there will large security measures in place around Cardiff for the final. Fans who travelled to Euro 20162 will know the sort of measures expected, including frequent security searches and armed police on the streets.

Security perimeter

A huge security fence was put in place for the Nato summit in 2014

In Cardiff, a security perimeter will be put in place around the Principality Stadium. Only those with tickets or valid accreditation will be allowed to access the areas next to the stadium on June 3.

Police

Police keep watch near Cardiff Castle during the NATO Summit

There will be more police on streets and what’s been described as an “unprecedented” security operation with a focus on “hostile vehicle mitigation”. The FAW say that normal policing will be maintained and Neighbourhood Officers will continue their daily duties, patrolling the area protecting and reassuring local communities but that there will be more officers on the street.

Restrictions on water travel

There will be restrictions on water travel during the event

As part of the security measures restrictions will be placed on water travel along the River Taff and inside the Bay area. Organisers say they have spoken to all those affected.

Roads

There will be a large impact on roads, particularly the M4 and significant road closures across the city centre. There will also be an impact in Cardiff Bay because of the festival taking place there between June 1 and June 4.

Organisers have warned there will be “significant and unavoidable congestion at certain times”. They advise using public transport but say cycle parking will be impacted so people should not cycle on the day of the final.

References

  1. ^ Cardiff (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  2. ^ Euro 2016 (www.walesonline.co.uk)