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London

Westminster car crash: Man arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences

The Met’s Counter Terrorism Command is now leading the investigation.

LAST UPDATE | 14 Aug 2018

Westminster car crash Police activity on Millbank, in central London, after a car crashed into barriers outside the Houses of Parliament. Sam Lister Sam Lister

A MAN HAS been arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences after a car crashed into the barriers outside the Houses of Parliament in London.

The incident happened at 7.37am this morning when a silver Ford Fiesta car collided with a number of cyclists and pedestrians, before crashing into the barriers.

The driver of the car, a man in his late 20s, was arrested at the scene by armed officers. He has been taken to a south London police station where he remains in police custody.

He was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences, according to Met Police, who added that the man has yet to be identified and is not co-operating with the investigation.

There was nobody else in the car, which remains at the scene and was searched, although police say no weapons have been recovered at this stage.

Met Police has said it is treating it as a terrorist incident and the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command is now leading the investigation.

A meeting of the government’s emergency COBRA committee will take place at 2pm in response to the incident.

During a press briefing at 11.30am, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said that police did not believe that the suspect was known to MI5 or counter-terrorism police.

He added that no other suspects have been identified or reported to police in relation to the incident, and said there did not appear to be any further risk to London or the rest of the UK at present.

Basu also confirmed that police were not chasing the vehicle before it crashed, after images emerged which suggested that it may have been pursued moments beforehand.

He said: “I believe [that] was an ambulance on a completely unrelated call.”

Injuries

Three people were injured during the incident, two of whom were later taken to hospital, according to Met Police.

One of these people, a man, has now been discharged, while a woman who remains in hospital is being treated for serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

Videos posted on social media by people in the area show a large police presence.

Officers remain at the scene and cordons are in place to assist the investigation.

Road closures in the area are likely to remain in place for some time.

London Ambulance Service said it was called to reports of an incident at 7.40am on St Margaret Street.

“We sent a number of resources to the scene, including three ambulance crews, responders in cars and an incident response officer,” it said in a statement.

“We have treated two people at the scene for injuries that are not believed to be serious and have taken them to hospital.”

Westminster station has been closed for entry and exit due to the incident. The station is open for interchange between the lines only.

Met Police said the public can expect to see extra police officers – both armed and unarmed – out on the streets in and around central London.

“The public should remain vigilant and if you see anything suspicious that causes concerns, dial 999 immediately,” Met Police said.

Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation can call 0800 789 321.

With additional reporting by Stephen McDermott.

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