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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 27, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines: armed police are at the scene of what has been described as a knife incident in whitehall. the police say an arrest has been made but nobody has been endured. borisjohnson indicates the government might be prepared to take military action in syria without seeking the consent of parliament. if the americans to us to ask again and they asked us to help, i think it would be very difficult to say no. we need to work through the un. we need to defend ourselves totally to getting we need to bend ourselves totally to getting a political settlement in syria. the vice president of the european commission says the general election will have no effect on brexit negotiations. new figures show a big rise in violent crime in england and wales. how a simple eye test could lead to much earlier detection of glaucoma, a condition which causes irreversible sight loss. in the next hour: switching back to paper. why readers are turning off e—books,
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as publishers enjoy a record year. and nasa's cassini space probe sends back dramatic data from saturn, after diving through the gap between the planet and its rings. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. let's return to the developing news of the last half—hour. news of an arrest after an incident in
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whitehall in central london. the centre of london, near westminster tube station. you can see that on the bottom left of your screen. whitehall is the street running down into parliament square, for the houses of parliament are. you can see at the bottom left, a police van. this following, it seems, as a small contained incident in which british police, according to reuters, have arrested a man who according to witnesses may have been armed with two knives. some witnesses saying he had been pinned to the ground next to a bag. let me bring in our home affairs correspondent danny shaw who has jointly no. we don't know very much about this. we should stress, this sounds like a small incident? the good news is it sounds as though this incident has been contained and
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nobody has been injured. a person has been arrested. the pictures you can see on the screen and on social media appear to show, certainly in one image i have seen, someone lying one image i have seen, someone lying on the ground surrounded by armed police. then later images appear to show two knives on the ground. one witness told me he saw two knives on the ground, one was a large bread knife. it appears there is a bag near those two knives. there are reports that someone with a bag or a rucksack was tackled by armed police. another report said the knives fell to the ground. all these reports could be slightly misleading. there is no confirmation of that. but it looks as though someone of that. but it looks as though someone has been arrested by police
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and the two knives have been found nearby. the location of this is right in the centre of westminster. it is just near parliament square coming down whitehall, sojust it is just near parliament square coming down whitehall, so just on the corner of parliament square and whitehall, very close to the houses of parliament and the dreadful attack took place last month. there will be echoes of that attack, but tha nkfully will be echoes of that attack, but thankfully on this occasion, it looks as though no one has been hurt. just hearing the suggestion is that police have closed the main gate to parliament, understandably, in the light of what you were saying, such a dreadful attack so recently. they won't want to take any chances, although this appears to be something quite small. an incident like this in that location is bound to raise huge concerns about security... you would expect
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police to take every precaution. it would appear to be the case that someone carrying would appear to be the case that someone carrying two knives like this has been stopped very soon. this will cause considerable disruption. civil servants are being told to stay indoors as a precaution. it looks as though the incident is under control. it appears there are forensics officers in overalls dealing with things out the back of a silver van. we can see a police officer talking with them. armed police have been on the scene. clearly the metropolitan police are
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appearing to have this incident very much under control. traffic will have been impacted. we had a wider shot, so traffic coming down into parliament square was still falling. the street going up without silver van is very much appears to be closed off. this is a crime scene. police must take evidence. photographs and forensic material. witnesses must be spoken to. we have to ta ke witnesses must be spoken to. we have to take those measures to ensure there is no other risk to the public before they can reopen the street. it would seem from what we are hearing that probably won't be too long because the incident doesn't appear to have been very serious, although who knows what potential there may have been for it. we don't know at the moment weather the incident is being treated as a counterterrorism incident or not, police are investigating at the moment. the threat level from
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terrorism in britain is still set at severe. no change in that. it wasn't amended after the terrorist attack in westminster last month. one line coming in here saying that theresa may was not at street residence during this whitehall incident. she is in derbyshire today. downing street is not very far from where all of this was taking place. we will return to it as and when we have more details. the foreign secretary has suggested britain could take military action in syria without a vote in the house of commons. borisjohnson said it would be ‘very difficult to say no' if president trump asked for british help in punishing the syrian regime for another chemical weapons attack. meanwhile mrjohnson has also waded into the election campaign for the first time, with a highly personal attack on the labour leaderjeremy corbyn. he has called him a mutton—headed old mugwump. here's our political correspondent, alex forsyth. us missile strikes on a syrian
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airfield earlier this month, the first direct us action against syrian government forces, a response to a chemical attack which killed civilians. today the foreign secretary suggested if asked the uk would support such strikes in the future, possibly without the approval of parliament. if they come to us and ask for our support, whatever it happens to be, as was the case in 2013, in my view, and i know this is the view of the prime minister, it would be very difficult for us to say no. she would have to go to the commons. i think that has to be tested. i think it would be very difficult for us to say no. mps said no when asked to back air strikes in syria by david cameron in 2013. today opposition parties said the process for making such
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decisions was vital. unilateral illegal intervention would be counter—productive. boris johnson is following tony blair in that respect. if the government wants to have parliamentary authority they should ask for parliamentary authority, not speculate wildly and jump to whatever president trump does. sources close to borisjohnson said the situation has not changed. he has not ruled out a parliamentary vote. this is one of the dividing lines between the parties. the tories think it is a strength, trying to portrayjeremy corbyn as a threat to national security. borisjohnson launched a personal attack on the labour leader today calling him a mutton—headed old mugwump who would be calamitous in downing street. campaigning in essex, jeremy corbyn said
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they were focused on serious debate, not name—calling. asked about the possibility of air strikes in syria, he said labour wanted a political solution. above all we need to bend ourselves totally to getting a political settlement in syria and allow the inspectors space to work, allow them to make sure we know who committed that terrible chemical weapons attack and recognise that inspectors are destroying any stocks of chemical weapons they find. this campaign will determine who sits in number 10. who gets to make those decisions abroad and at home. decisions about policy abroad and at home. politicians know their vision for the nation's future is vital. the former london mayoral candidate zac goldsmith has been chosen by the conservatives to stand
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for parliament in his old constituency of richmond park. mr goldsmith was ousted as mp by the liberal democrats during a by—election in december. he had previously left the conservative party in protest at the government's backing of a third heathrow runway. the liberal democrats have decided not to contest the brighton pavilion seat currently held by the only green party mp, caroline lucas. last week, she called for a "progressive alliance" — where parties did not put up candidates in some seats to avoid the vote against the conservatives being split. let's get more from our chief political correspondent vicki young in westminster. some strategic thinking going on here? trying to encourage what is cold tactical voting. the question is really, can it ever work? nationally, the parties are not having any kind of formal pact. but the liberal democrats have said he
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will not stand against caroline lucas in brighton, the greens' on the seat. in return, they have suggested he won't stand in some places in south—west london, richmond park being one of them. they didn't contest that in the by—election. they are trying to make sure that people who don't want the conservatives all get behind one candidate. it is quite controversial because you are potentially denying people choice, denying people may be their first people choice, denying people may be theirfirst choice, people choice, denying people may be their first choice, and people choice, denying people may be theirfirst choice, and it's not guaranteed to work because you can't possibly know weather everyone who voted green with switch behind the candelabra democrats. that richmond park seat, zac goldsmith back in the tory fold, having resigned over heathrow. he joked last tory fold, having resigned over heathrow. hejoked last night saying, this is what winning an election feels like. he didn't win as london mayor and then was beaten
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in the by—election. he will now do it again. the lib dems say they welcome the fact that zac goldsmith is standing. how can he possibly have any credibility. he resigned over the development of heathrow airport. he resigned over that conservative party policy. the policy has not changed and he is backin policy has not changed and he is back in the tory party. it will be interesting to see in the next couple of weeks weather there are other places across the country bridges can of local deals are done. wrap party either stands them com pletely wrap party either stands them completely awed decides not to fight it very hard. it has been quite a busy day in westminster. not least because boris johnson busy day in westminster. not least because borisjohnson has loomed into the debate once again? yes, there was a lot of speculation about weather he was being sidelined from the campaign. during the referendum campaign, he had his own battle bus. he was obviously fighting for the leave side. he went around the country drawing huge crowds. today
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was in the confines of the radio studio, but still quite controversial. his language in a newspaper article about jeremy corbyn. will that signal a desire to go forjeremy corbyn in a very personal way? the use of language raised some eyebrows. some say it undermines and demeans the office of foreign secretary. others say it is just the style he has. the conservatives saying leadership is a big issue because people are of course deciding who their next prime minister will be. thank you. let's return to the breaking news of the past half hour. armed officers
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we re the past half hour. armed officers were called to an incident in whitehall. reports saying two knives we re whitehall. reports saying two knives were seen. whitehall. reports saying two knives were seen. here whitehall. reports saying two knives were seen. here are whitehall. reports saying two knives were seen. here are the live pictures of the street in question. you can see a police van on the left. just to give you a sense of the geography, you can see just above a tube sign poking out and thatis above a tube sign poking out and that is one of the entrances into westminster tube. giving you a sense that this is at the heart of government on whitehall near many government on whitehall near many government ministries, not far from downing street and indeed the houses of parliament. we are told that there have been no reports of any injuries but an arrest made. we can show you the aerial shots from the helicopter. because one of those lines of traffic you can see has been closed off. police have closed pa rt been closed off. police have closed part of whitehall as a result of this incident which seems now to be contained. but now a potential crime
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scene. you can see forensic officers in their overalls dealing with what may well be a bag on the floor. there were reports from eyewitnesses on twitter of a man having been arrested but a bag being seen on the floor that may have contained knives. talk of possibly two knives. one of them a bread knife. this seems to be something on the pavement that police are taking a forensic interest in. ongoing investigations in westminster. and yet most of the area remains open. overhearing the main gates to parliament have been closed. i believe some of those working in government offices on whitehall may have been advised to stay in their offices for now. no suggestion at this stage that there is any ongoing incident after this arrest was made ofa man incident after this arrest was made of a man reportedly with a knife.
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downing street, it is worth saying, is very near where all of this is happening. the prime minister not in residence. she is on the campaign trail in derbyshire. forensic team lifting up some of the items on the pavement. looks like they are about to box them up to take them away for any analyses the need to do. the officer with the camera around his or her neck taking details of what has happened. we have some still photographs we can assure you. there we are. armed police in some numbers responding to that incident earlier. it seems there is a person on the ground who they are dealing with. the suggestion is this is the man who was arrested in this incident earlier. it is a busy part of london. many pictures coming in from eyewitnesses who were just going about their business near
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westminster and the houses of parliament. they became aware there was police activity. that is the live pictures at this incident on whitehall. one man arrested. no suggestion that anybody has been injured, but reports of knives. actually you can see two knives it would seem to me in that shotjust to the left of brown rucksack. and certainly police cordoned and the presence of forensic officers suggesting there is work to be done in terms of photographing and no doubt taking away any material that may be needed for forensic analysis and evidence. but police, metropolitan police, saying they will produce a statement a little later explaining what has happened. but we know at this stage that a man has been arrested following an
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incident on whitehall. that street home to numerous government ministries in central london. more to come as and when we have it. the labour leader has been out campaigning in harlow and has been talking about housing. labour have pledged to build a million homes overfive years, half of which would be council houses. this is a key issue. we are not building the houses we should in this country. we're building less than any time in the 1920s. our pledge is to build i million homes over the lifetime of the parliament, half of which will be cancelled and housing association builds, for rent and affordable housing. we need to have our country properly housed. young people in overcrowded places don't do so well in school. it is very stressful in the private sector. especially if you don't know how long your policy is in the private sector. those are the policies
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we are producing in our manifesto. the conservatives say they are the party of housing. since the 1970s, there have been on average 160,000 new homes built each year in england. a government white paper published in february said the consensus is that we need from 225,000 to 275,000 or more to tackle population growth. last year, the average was more than double old figures. people having to spend 7.6 times their annual earnings to buy a property. liverpool is changing. we are
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walking into the building now. this man is building one of the tallest buildings in liverpool. nearly 170 residential properties. this property will cost millions to build. it would be difficult to do this without foreign investment. is this without foreign investment. is this type of sales model pushing prices up and making it harderfor people to get on the market? there are ways for first—time buyers to get on the property ladder. the bank of mum and dad, government schemes or one—off charity projects like this which will take 500 hours of
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work instead of a cash deposit. the problem is, they don't work for everyone. hannah and martin say they we re everyone. hannah and martin say they were lucky they were able to move in here after giving up their time to help build their home. here after giving up their time to help build their homelj here after giving up their time to help build their home. i found a lot of my friends were buying houses in liverpool would buy them and a year or two later when thinking they might have kids, the house is not big enough. having the shared experience of building together built relationships and community. i would never want to give that up. we know there are many people struggling to get on the housing ladder. we want a chance of their first home. to see a development go up, go to look at it and find it had been bought up by people from abroad who are simply going to keep those properties empty to hope for capital appreciation, must be absolutely galling for young people. housing campaign groups are worried foreign investment is putting more pressure
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on an already tough housing market for first—time buyers. on an already tough housing market for first-time buyers. i think what we would like to see some proper research done, not all foreign investment is bad, but if it is making property unaffordable for local people to rent or buy, that cannot be a good thing. this issue is just cannot be a good thing. this issue isjust one of cannot be a good thing. this issue is just one of many difficulties facing first—time buyers. last year in england and wales they paid out an average of nearly £200,000 for that first step on the ladder. suit looks certain to remain challenging for many years to come. and you can find out more about today's election pledges — and the latest on the campaign — on our website. bbc.co.uk/news. crime in england and wales has risen in almost every category according to the latest statistics. violent crime is up sharply by 19%. it's the final set of crime figures before the general election and our home affairs correspondent
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daniel sandford has the details. a brutal attack outside a west midlands pub last month by half a dozen men who are still being sought by police. it appears to have been a targeted attack using a machete at a time when there are signs claim is on the increase in england and wales, particularly violent crime and crimes involving knives and guns. the number of offences recorded by police was up 9%. burglary was up 4% and vehicle crime up 8%, both crimes that have been falling for decades. the office for national statistics says some of the increases can be explained by changes in police record keeping. any rises we are seeing are genuine because those improvements stabilised a long time ago. it is not good enough for ons to keep on saying they are to do with improved recording. i think they must be genuine.
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one of the biggest concerns in police forces at the moment is what seems to be a clear rise in knife and gun crime. more people seem to be carrying knives and using them. more guns are being fired. overall violent crime was up 19% last year. again some of that increase can be explained by record—keeping changes but firearms offences were up 13% and knife offences were up 14%. recent figures from hospital suggested a dip in serious violent related injuries. a crime expert told me it is too early to know why violence is rising but there are some possible reasons. speculations would focus around things that we think might be related to crime like levels of police numbers, cutting services, mental health is becoming an important issue raised in public awareness during the election campaign and is important in relation to crime. the police recorded crime figures are contradicted by the official crime survey of people's experiences of crime which appear to be stable
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but statisticians believe the survey may be lagging slightly behind. also out today were separate figures on violence in prison showing a big increase in assaults on staff, self harm, homicide and suicide. let's return to whitehall. police have arrested a man in whitehall. this is a very long street which ru ns this is a very long street which runs down into parliament square houses of parliament are a street that has several government ministry buildings on it. and indeed which downing street runs into. this particular incident, just to show you where this is, if you look in
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the centre of your picture, you can see a silver van and two forensics officers who are working there, very near one of the entrances to westminster tube. that is the aerial shot, a slightly better sense of what these officers are working on. of interest to them appears to be that brown rucksack at the bottom right of your picture. this follows the arrest of a man who reportedly was armed with one or possibly more knives. a little earlier, we were looking at shots of those forensic officers examining what appeared to be two knives on the ground. i think they have now been taken away. they we re they have now been taken away. they were boxing up the various items. the man arrested is being held on suspicion of possessing an offensive
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weapon and planning act of terrorism. one man has been arrested after armed police, iwould terrorism. one man has been arrested after armed police, i would say ten or so after armed police, i would say ten or so armed police, were called to the scene. the apparently, according to witnesses, tackled a man to the ground. you can see the man in the centre of the picture lying on the floor. a number of armed police around him. making the arrest which several eyewitnesses talked about. the entrance to westminster tube station. batman has we been taken away. in a police vehicle. as i said, we havejust heard he is being held on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon. meanwhile, police also saying there is no immediate known threat after that arrest. this seems to be an incident which has been contained. one arrest. no
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injuries. in that sense, something that was contained and it seems pretty quickly. their we are, our man being arrested and reports you can see that he had his hand bandaged. you can see something wrapped around his right—hand. that suggestion that there may have been knives involved with potentially... to give you a sense of where this is happening, this is whitehall, a long road which runs down into parliament square. you can see the buses on the right—hand side still moving freely, but the traffic on the left—hand side of that street understandably has been shut off. traffic shot from there. people not able to come down there. people not able to come down the street a vehicle. girly bysta nders the street a vehicle. girly bystanders and people still moving quite freely around. police seem to have that contained. for a while,
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there was a sense that things need to be shut down. rehab reports the main gates to parliament had been closed. and various people in offices along whitehall, many of those offices being government ministry offices, some of those people we were told had been told to stay in their offices. the tube station entrance just to the left of this picture, you can see that the moment, there we are, there is one entrance into westminster tube station on the left of your picture. from what i can see, the gates to that entrance have been shut. of no suggestion the tube station as a whole has been shut. clearly police won't contain the area and you can see the coroner police tape running around what is not a huge area of whitehall but needed while forensic investigations continue following the arrest of one man. two forensics officers still working there. one
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particular area of pavement. we saw a brown rucksack that had been left lying on the pavement. they were photographing that. still they are. they were also in earlier pictures what looked like two knives on the ground. these are earlier pictures, not life. you can see by that white piece of equipment is seen to be two knives on the ground. there is clearly an evidence box on the ground and they're putting the item into the box to take away, including those to knives. let's bring in heaven chandler, whojoins us bring in heaven chandler, whojoins us by telephone, an eyewitness to what happened. thank you for being with us, helen. i saw a backpack on
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the ground with knives laid next to it, the road was cut off, it seemed normal other than that, traffic flowing, people sat on the bus, waiting to get to the next stop. and did you see the actual arrest take place? we saw pictures of armed officers and what looked like somebody on the ground, as he was arrested. yeah, so, i saw a man bundled into a car, he might have been the attacker, a guy in a hooded top followed. was that all done fairly quickly? i thinki top followed. was that all done fairly quickly? i think i arrived on the scene maybe ten minutes after the scene maybe ten minutes after the attack, so he was held for questioning for a short time, i think because there were just so many eyewitnesses there who could say it was him. he wasn't held for too long. and we should say, helen, i knew you used the word attack, a
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sense that something had gone all right, but i just sense that something had gone all right, but ijust want sense that something had gone all right, but i just want to stress that there is no suggestion that anyone was hurt injured. can you describe the atmosphere? people still acting normally, not even a proper police cordon, a group of tourists asking if it was someone famous about to stop by. but itjust seems like an ordinary day in westminster but unfortunately with this happening. in terms of the number of officers and police vehicles, forensic teams, and so on, what sense did you get off the scale of the operation? nothing like the attack which happened earlier this year, not on that scale at all. a couple of police cars and plainclothes police officers, although i can't say for sure, that's just my perspective, yeah,
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and it really wasn't... that's just my perspective, yeah, and it really wasn't. .. thank you for talking to us. that was helen chandler, who saw some of that activity on whitehall. while we continue to show you goes live pictures of continued for rinsing work going on after that arrest, we can bring in our correspondent.” work going on after that arrest, we can bring in our correspondent. i am at the police cordon, about 100 yards away from that scene of forensic activity. i can see, at the moment, to forensic officers dressed in blue boiler suits and white boots and they have been picking up objects from the floor, just before i arrived, they picked up a large knife, what appears to be a bread knife, what appears to be a bread knife and while i have been here, they have picked up a smaller object, what appears to be another knife, and so that operation is still ongoing on a traffic island in
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the centre of whitehall, just by the station, whitehall is closed off to traffic in one direction and all of this happening within about 200 yards of downing street, within about 200 yards of the houses of parliament. what we have heard from the police is that this happened just over one hour ago, at 2:22pm, they say they stopped the man as pa rt they say they stopped the man as part ofan they say they stopped the man as part of an ongoing stop and search operation and at that point, they found these suspicious objects in what appears to be a backpack, we saw a backpack on the ground earlier as well and that man has been arrested on suspicion of carrying an offensive weapon and on suspicion of terrorism offences and he is being questioned at a south london police station. police say that as far as they are aware of the moment, there is no ongoing threat to anybody else in the area. it is interesting what
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you say, that is a new developments to us, that suggestion that he was detained as part of a stop and search operation, that suggests he wasn't wielding the knives in any way or attempting to hide anybody, or is that too much of an assumption? it sounded like they stopped him because they thought he might be carrying knives? it's unclear, i mean, i can tell you the backpack he was carrying, a brown backpack, that has just been picked up backpack, that has just been picked up by backpack, that has just been picked up by the forensics officers and placed in an evidence bag, so, it is unclear whether he was targeted in some way, whether he was suspicious in some way, all we know is that it was a stop and search, as part of an ongoing operation, so we will have to wait and hear the details about why this man was searched at this location, whether there was any particular intelligence or whether
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it was just that he acted suspiciously or whether there were further knives. and the location of this, in the heart of political london, it sounds like police quite quickly took steps to ensure people in the nearby area were safe and perhaps stayed in their offices, at least for a while. that's right, you can imagine the concerned this will have generated, when a man with knives is found in this area. there we re knives is found in this area. there were armed police on the scene immediately, in case there was a greater risk. as i look around me now, i can't see any armed police officers in the immediate vicinity. there are officers directing traffic and there is the frantic operation under way in line with that statement that police don't believe there is an ongoing threat, there is no sign the moment of armed police
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officers. i am sure they are alongside whitehall and outside the houses of parliament as they would normally be, but at this particular location, it seems to be now and evidence gathering exercise, it's not being treated as an ongoing crime. and you mentioned that the man who was arrested is now being questioned. that's right, we understand he is a man in his 20s, he was arrested he read the scene, we have seen photographs of him being surrounded by police officers and he is now being questioned on suspicion of acts of terrorism, no charges yet, it is any case, but he is certainly been arrested on suspicion of acts of terror. the pictures we are showing viewers are close in now of those forensic officers at work butjust close in now of those forensic officers at work but just for close in now of those forensic officers at work butjust for people who don't know the area itself, give
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us who don't know the area itself, give usa who don't know the area itself, give us a sense who don't know the area itself, give us a sense of the geography and chem of where this is taking place in relation to some key bits of london. yes, well, i'm looking at those forensic officers, they working by their van on forensic officers, they working by theirvan ona forensic officers, they working by their van on a traffic island near their van on a traffic island near the entrance to whitehall. it is just buy an entrance and exit to westminster tube station, so behind the forensics officers, who are taking photographs of items on the floor at the moment, we can tv houses of parliament and that's about 200 year to way, probably only about 200 year to way, probably only about 100 yards from the location where the police officer was sadly stabbed and killed just a few weeks ago, in the opposite direction. downing street is 200 yards away, so right at the centre of whitehall. the centre of the government
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district. and just to reiterate to people just joining district. and just to reiterate to peoplejustjoining us, we are reporting that according to the metropolitan police, one man has been arrested and theyjust wanted to bring in these pictures of the man who has been arrested, a p pa re ntly man who has been arrested, apparently on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon and planning acts of terror. we're just chilling some stills of his arrest and we believe, of course, armed police involved in this. —— they are just showing some stills of his arrest. that's right. they were surrounded by armed officers, of course they didn't know what's at the time, they might have been dealing with other threats, but that the rest is all over and done with and another man is being questioned.
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and news helicopters are hovering overhead and we can see the evidence gathering operation. several items have already been lifted from the floor, they include a brown backpack and what appears to be several knives, photographs being taken, measurements being taken and all that operation going on one side of whitehall is closed to traffic while the evidence gathering is going on, the evidence gathering is going on, the other side is open to traffic, so, about 100 yards of whitehall is closed to traffic, so certainly causing problems in whitehall but it's not the case that the whole of whitehall is cordoned off or shut down. police are keeping the area moving. andy, thank you very much indeed. andy moore, our correspondent who is fairly near what is going on there in whitehall and as he was saying, forensic officers still working there on that
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traffic island, essentially on whitehall, following an incident in which one man was arrested, you can see these still shots of police making the arrest, you can't see actually, because of our strap on the bottom but the suspect seems to have a bandaging around his right hand. we don't know what happened but we do know that as part of this progressed, at least two knives seem to have been found on the ground near a brown rucksack and forensic teams to close away, boxed those up, presumably to conduct further investigations on them and that area of whitehall remains cordoned off, the entrance to westminster cheap station they're on the left of your picture has certainly had the gates closed to it, just to contain this particular part of whitehall and
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traffic flowing freely down the right—hand side of your picture, as you can see that the other side of the road clearly closed off while police conclude their investigation. we know the man has been detained, a p pa re ntly we know the man has been detained, apparently according to our home affairs correspondent, as part of an ongoing operation by scotland yard's counterterrorism command and i enjoyed now by our correspondent who may well have more information from the metropolitan police. danny, can you tell us more about what we know? what seems to have happened is that this wasn't an arbitrary or random stop and search in the street or some kind of operation to stop people in that area but it seems as though there was an ongoing investigation by counter—terrorism police with this individual as one of the targets of interest and as pa rt of the targets of interest and as part of that operation, at 2:20pm this afternoon, this man was arrested in the street, asked to
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stop and officers then searched him. we understand that he was arrested by officers from the firearms command, the specialist firearms command, the specialist firearms command, highly trained firearms officers, the individual who has now been arrested is in his late 20s, according to police. he has been detained on suspicion of possession ofan detained on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism, that under the terrorism act. knives have been recovered from him, is what scotland ya rd recovered from him, is what scotland yard is confirming. we have seen what appears to be two knives on the ground, another object was taken away by specialist forensic officers, whether that is another knife or not remains to be seen. so, the individual has now been detained under the terrorism act and is in custody at a police station in south london. the investigation is being led by counter—terrorism detectives, so led by counter—terrorism detectives,
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so this isn't an investigation into an individual who had knives for some other purpose but it looks as though the inquiry is focused on counter—terrorism. there is no immediate known threat. the metropolitan police are saying, it looks as though the incident is over in terms of threat but we know about the destruction that has been caused in the area. work with civil serva nts in the area. work with civil servants in the area were told to stay indoors and up outside and so on, soa stay indoors and up outside and so on, so a huge stay indoors and up outside and so on, so a huge concern stay indoors and up outside and so on, so a huge concern because of the area, the proximity to government departments, the houses of parliament, but it looks as though the incident is under control and the incident is under control and the individual has been arrested and there are no reports of any injuries. have police given any details on this individual‘s that crowd ? details on this individual‘s that crowd? we don't have any details at the moment, we don't know his nationality. that is the kind of information that may be released in due course, all we know is he is in his 20s. police will be questioning him and it may be that those
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inquiries lead to other individuals but there was certainly what appears to be an ongoing counterterrorism operation and as part of that, when this individual was in the westminster area, officers decide to stop him and search and make an arrest. actually, we can just show viewers again some of the still shots of the operation earlier. if we just stay on that picture for a moment, you can see on the ground there, wearing black tracksuit trousers with a big white stripe down them, that would appear to be the man arrested, officers it seems, tackled him to the ground while that arrest was made. you can see armed officers around him and they are now standing up and it looks like he has ha ndcuffs standing up and it looks like he has handcuffs and some injury to his hand. yes, he has some white covering to his hand, whether that was as a result of the way he was arrested or a struggle or some sort of prior injury, wejust arrested or a struggle or some sort of prior injury, we just don't know
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at this stage. we are seeing now it doesn't seem to be any ongoing police activity, certainly no armed police activity, certainly no armed police in the area but the interest now is forensic. if we perhaps bring back the live shots, i got the sense that these forensic officers here are almost perhaps concluding what they have been doing because they have taken object away after having photographed them. yes, some people might look at that and wonder why there are still forensic science service as they are, why there is a different photograph objects the scene, to carry out such detailed inquiries and investigations, when it all appears to be a straightforward incident that has been resolved? straightforward incident that has been resolved ? and straightforward incident that has been resolved? and the answer is, you can never tell what is going to be relevant at a later date. so, you have to establish exactly where the object is aware, you have to fore nsically object is aware, you have to forensically sealed off, so they are preserved, so tests may be conducted to see whether there are dna traces on there that might lead to other
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individuals and so on, it is vitally important that all evidence at the scene of a crime such as this is preserved. and that you don't regret that by not doing something you could easily have done at the time. that is why they're taking such with this. this is a serious incident, there is no doubt about that, because of the proximity to the houses of parliament and clearly the fa ct houses of parliament and clearly the fact that counter—terrorism police are involved to see equallyjust how seriously police are taking it. danny, thank you very much. didn't stay with us. danny shaw, our correspondent. the tannoy came on and the road had
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been shot and they were escorted to the other exit. and we came to a building. they were ushering us to the other side of the road. we crossed the road. we could immediately see the guy with the armed police officers against the side of the wall. in the road, we saw the forensics team arrive and then from then on, more and more police coming as well. and harry, it's an area you know well, i think, where your work takes you fairly regularly. and would you say the incident was handled pretty speedily? yeah, we're pretty much they're all the time because
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obviously the government, but the response rate from police and how they handled it seems to be pretty efficient. as i said to my colleagues, it was amazing how quickly everybody got there. including the news and media crews as well. to get there that quick. that's pretty good, i mean, there we re that's pretty good, i mean, there were helicopters in the air, within about 510 minutes, whilst everything was happening. it's quite amazing how all, whether it was terror related, or what was actually happening, how quickly that news travelled to the various different people necessary, that quick. and clearly, some people might be thinking, gosh, in the light of more recent events in this area, that might bea recent events in this area, that might be a little alarming, what they have seen today. but what was your feeling about the mood and the
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sense of how threatening this was?” think it seemed, i wasn't there are a few weeks back but my colleague was, he said the whole place was shut down pretty was, he said the whole place was shutdown pretty quick last time and there was a lot more terror, i think this was almost wrapped up fairly quickly, the guy was standing with armed police officers for a significant amount of time. and then forensic teams examining the back and taking photos, but other than that, there wasn't really much else going on. there wasn't that much terror in people, there was more interested in actually finding out what was going on, a lot of people speculating, as they do. but that was it, whereas, there was obvious they are a lot more terror from before. thank you for taking the
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time to speak to us here on bbc news. for those of you justjoining us, we news. for those of you justjoining us, we are news. for those of you justjoining us, we are reporting on an incident in whitehall in westminster, central london, that happened about 2:20pm this afternoon. i enjoyed by our security correspondent. frank, just for people coming to this without knowing what has happened, just bring us up to speed on what we know about this incident, which now appears to be contained. sure, this was a small but potentially serious incident which took place atjust after 20 past two this afternoon, in the heart of whitehall. a man has been stopped and arrested, suspected of terrorism offences, eyewitnesses said he was carrying two knives, one of them quite a large bread knife, found next to him on the ground. he is currently being held in a south london police station. he was being followed or tracked as part of an intelligence led operation, so this wasn't a random stop and search. given the fact this has taken place
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very close to where the recent incident involving a man who was subsequently shot dead and two killed four people, it is being taken very seriously indeed. there has been no announcement yet but obviously, given where it is, right outside parliament, in the centre of government and whitehall, it is being taken very seriously. and on the point of where it has happened, some people will be very familiar with this part of london, others not so with this part of london, others not so much, just give us a sense of where we are here in relation to keep points like downing street.” was afraid you might ask that, i haven't had a chance to look, sorry, i have been on the telephone. ok, let me explain what you're looking at here. on the bottom left, you can see the corner of westminster abbey and whitehall running down into parliament square for the houses of parliament. many of the government ministries along whitehall, the road
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that has been partially closed, and downing street is just out of the picture, up on the left—hand side. do we do know that the premise, theresa may, is not 10 downing street at the moment, she's on the campaign trail in derbyshire. but she will no doubt be being kept very much informed about this. yes and if it is considered serious enough, the government will hold a cobra cabinet office briefing, which is an emergency traces, i don't think it has got to that stage because there is no suggestion at the moment of any ongoing threat, so, for example, the national terrorism threat level remained at severe, not that critical. what i would say that because of that perceived threat level of danger for international terrorism, there are a large number, a relatively large number of armed police vehicles constantly patrolling in central london, some marks, some not. these are mobile
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armouries and they are continually moving around the streets in whitehall, ready to respond extremely quickly, so you've got the visible overt armed police presence, the automatic weapons that he seek outside parliament and elsewhere and outside parliament and elsewhere and outside government, at downing street, but there are also mobile units roving continuously. this all really stems from the 2008 attack in mumbai, which was the first big international marauding terrorism firearms attack. where terrorists came in, in this case, from pakistan, and went into india's commercial capital, armed heavily with kalashnikovs and plenty of ammunition and simply picked off targets. and they realised that if somebody wanted to do that in london, at that time, the police would not be able to respond with sufficient firepower. that's changed. just for people joining us,
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these are not life pictures, these are pictures from earlier and refer very much, frank, to what you were saying about the forensic interest in this case now, because of what appears to have been being carried by the suspect. the two men who are wearing what looked like spacesuits, these are forensic suits used by crime scene investigators. what you saw earlier was some objects on the ground which witnesses said were two knives, one of which was a large bread knife. we have to be careful here because the terrorist suspect has not been charged yet but he has been arrested under suspicion of preparation, instigation of an act of terrorism, the previous incident that took place in whitehall in the heart of westminster did of course involve knives. one was the fatal
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stabbing of the policeman, of keith palmer, the policeman who sadly lost his life. so, everyone has a little bitjittery, his life. so, everyone has a little bit jittery, perhaps his life. so, everyone has a little bitjittery, perhaps that is unfair but they're very much on the alert round there. so, who knows what was going through the mind of this person? just a line coming from reuters news agency, essentially confirming what we were saying, frank, that the prime minister has been informed of the incident in westminster and will be kept up to date. naturally, of course, something of this potential significance. it shows how there is very much now a procedure in place, people, eyewitnesses reporting from the scene talking about how swiftly all of this was dealt with and how quickly some of the buildings there we re quickly some of the buildings there were shut down, albeit temporarily. yes, they will have rehearsed for
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something like this and there is no better rehearsal, i'm afraid, then a real—life incident, which is what happened a few weeks ago. it is significant that one of the agencies involved is counter—terrorism command. that is what used to be the anti—terrorist branch that was rolled into one particular branch of the metropolitan police. you now see a lot more armed police officers than you used to ram the centre of london. britain's police is still largely an unarmed force but given the nature of the terrorist threat and just to remind people what severe means is that a terrorist attack is thought highly - i attack is thought highly likely. i would reassure people by saying the chances of anyone of us as an individual being caught up in a terrorist incident is extremely small. the chance of another incident happening in britain is pretty high. but it is unlikely, you've got to be very unlucky to be caught up in it. lots of people
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passed through westminster minutes before and after the previous attack. ok, frank, do stay with us for now. frank gardner, our security correspondent bringing us up to speed on that developing news this afternoon, that a man has been arrested and armed officers were seen on arrested and armed officers were seen on whitehall after an incident where it appears knives were confiscated. but that incident now seems to have been contained. we're showing you live pictures of a forensic team continuing to work on that scene in westminster. armed police now appear to have left the area. you're watching bbc news. it is apm. some breaking news this hour. a man has been arrested after an incident in whitehall, near parliament. this is what we know. metropolitan police statement said
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the man was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation and that there were no reported injuries. and there is no immediate known threat. several knives were recovered and were spotted by witnesses on the floor at the scene. the man is being detained under the terrorism act and is in custody in a south london police station. a downing street spokesman says the prime minister has been informed of the incident and is being kept up todate with developments. our security correspondent frank gardner

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