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London fortifies bridges to protect pedestrians from attack

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-06-2017 Lisa Fleisher

London: Concrete and metal barriers are being erected along the sidewalks on some of London’s bridges after terrorists used cars and vans to target pedestrians for the second time in just over two months.

London police on Sunday evening said commuters could expect to see more officers on the streets and more physical measures on bridges, after at least three men killed seven people at London Bridge on Saturday. That followed a similar attack in March on Westminster Bridge, near the Houses of Parliament. A police spokesman declined to say how many locations are being fortified, but at least three of the of the dozens in the capital are already visibly altered.

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Commuters saw uniformed police officers at Tube stations around London, an unusual sight for a city where officers are less visible on the streets than in other major global cities.

“Our security and policing plans for events are being reviewed, the public will also see increased physical measures on London’s bridges to keep the public safe,” said Mark Rowley, an assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police Service.

London mayor Sadiq Khan had told residents not to be “alarmed” at the increased police presence, drawing criticism from President Donald Trump.

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On 22 March, a man drove a car up onto the sidewalk across Westminster Bridge toward Parliament as part of an attack that killed six people.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday said the uncoordinated attacks months apart were evidence of a new form of copycat attacks.

“We believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face, as terrorism breeds terrorism,” she said. “Perpetrators are inspired to attack not only on the basis of carefully constructed plots after years of planning and training—and not even as lone attackers radicalized online—but by copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack.” Bloomberg

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