Shortly before 10pm on the 3rd of June, a hired van ran into pedestrians on London Bridge, the van continued into the Borough Market area before 3 attackers jumped out and began stabbing those close by, including customers of nearby pubs and restaurants.
Police arrived on the scene and shot the 3 attackers dead within 8 minutes of the first 999 call whilst the country’s emergency services have also received praise in regards to their response time. Despite this extraordinary call-out time, 7 people were killed and 48 injured. 15 of these still remain in critical condition, in hospitals across London at the time of this publication.
This tragedy comes just short of a fortnight after the attack in Manchester where 22 people were killed at Manchester Arena. Both attacks have since been confirmed as an assault on the country, with Islamic State claiming responsibility.
Witnesses of the London attack reported one of the attackers shouting, “This is for Allah”, having already driven the van into crowds of people. Police have since said that a “huge amount” of forensic material and evidence has been seized in raids associated with the attackers who have now all been identified, with the investigation still on-going.
With the up and coming general election on June 8th, the subject of national security has become a major election issue. Since the Conservative party have been in office (2010) the total number of police officers in England and Wales has fallen by approximately 20,000 (gov.uk). Theresa May has recently come under fire in relation to this and has been accused by Jeremy Corbyn of “protecting the public on the cheap”. In addition the Labour leader has recently stated “we (the British Government) have got to get serious about cutting off the funding to these terror networks, including Isis here and in the Middle East”. Corbyn has also added that if he is elected, he will add another 10,000 police officers including more armed police, as well as 1000 more security service staff.
In typical British fashion, London refused to remain defeated, much like Manchester, they rose together in unity. Houses were opened up to those in need, food supplies were handed out to officers on duty and on Tuesday the capital fell silent as people payed their respects to the victims of the London Bridge attack.
People have since taken to social media sites such as Twitter to show the terrorists and the rest of the world that the country remains as united and as stronger than ever.
By Paige Middleton and Evan Merner