Armed British police officers patrol near 10 Downing Street, the official residence of British Prime Minister Theresa May, in central London on July 15, 2016. (AFP photo)
Police in London plan to deploy an additional 600 armed officers across the city to protect against possible terror attacks.
Authorities said Wednesday that the decision was made in light of the recent terrorist attacks across Europe
including those in France.
“Anyone who’s been following events in Europe over the past few weeks will understand why we want to show our determination to protect the public,” Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said in a statement.
“The reality of having to deal with armed and deadly attackers is that you need firearms officers who will use force to stop those attackers in their aim. Our firearms officers are the ones who will run towards the danger,” Hogan-Howe added.
“Our gun controls and the simple fact we are an island mean that terrorists
in the UK
would struggle to get the firearms required to repeat attacks similar to those we have seen on the Continent,” he noted.
The additional armed officers will patrol London streets both on foot and in vehicles.
London was last hit by a terror attack on July 7, 2005, when four extremists targeted three underground trains and one bus, killing 52 people.
However, the threat level there remains at “severe” now following two terror attacks in France and similar ones in Germany.
Last November, terrorists struck at least six different venues in and around Paris, leaving 130 people dead and over 350 others injured.
Police at the scene of a terror attack in Nice, July 14, 2016
On July 14, a truck driver plowed through a Bastille Day crowd in the city of Nice and killed 84 people and wounded 200 others.
In Germany, a 27-year-old man detonated explosives in the city of Ansbach in Bavaria, injuring 15 people last week.
The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for most of the attacks in Europe.