Man Arrested After Automotive Collides With Gates of Downing Road; Police Don’t Suspect Terror Assault

LONDON—A automotive collided Thursday with the gates of Downing Road in central London, the place the British prime minister’s residence and places of work are positioned, setting off a speedy, intense safety response at considered one of London’s most-fortified websites.

Nobody was injured and police stated they weren’t treating the incident as terror-related. Police arrested a person on suspicion of legal injury and harmful driving, and native officers, quite than counterterrorism detectives, had been dealing with the investigation.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was in his workplace on the time of the crash, which revived reminiscences of assaults on London’s authorities district.

It was not instantly clear whether or not the crash was deliberate. Video footage posted on social media confirmed a silver hatchback automotive heading straight for the gates at low velocity throughout Whitehall, the primary thoroughfare in London’s authorities district.

“I heard a bang and regarded up and noticed a great deal of police with taser weapons shouting on the man,” stated witness Simon Parry, 44. “Quite a lot of police automobiles got here in a short time and had been very fast to evacuate the world.”

The BBC confirmed a photograph of officers main away a person with handcuffed palms behind his again.

Footage shot quickly after confirmed a automotive with its trunk open up in opposition to the tall metallic gates. A number of cops minutely inspected the car, eradicating gadgets from the trunk and contained in the automotive and putting them in proof luggage.

About two hours after the crash, a automotive transporter arrived to take the car away.

Officers cordoned off a large space of London’s authorities district, however lifted the limitations lower than two hours after the collision passed off, permitting individuals again into Whitehall. The road usually teems with civil servants and vacationers eager to see the close by Homes of Parliament and different historic buildings.

London police
Police on the scene after a automotive collided with the gates of Downing Road in London on Might 25, 2023. (James Manning/PA through AP)

“A small cordon stays in place exterior Downing Road after a automotive collided with the gates earlier this afternoon,” the Metropolitan Police stated in an announcement. “The incident is being handled by native officers in Westminster and isn’t at the moment being handled as terror-related.”

Downing Road is a slim road with a row of Georgian homes that features the prime minister’s official residence at No. 10.

Public entry to the road is restricted and the heavy metal gates are protected always by armed cops. Bollards and metallic crowd limitations additionally assist preserve threats at bay.

The gates had been erected in 1989 in response to threats from Irish Republican Military (IRA) militants. In 1991 the IRA fired three mortars on the road, considered one of which exploded within the yard of No. 10 whereas Prime Minister John Main was main a Cupboard assembly inside. Three cops and a civil servant suffered minor accidents.

The realm was focused in 2017, when an extremist impressed by the ISIS terrorist group killed 4 individuals with a car on Westminster Bridge earlier than stabbing a police officer to demise exterior Parliament.

Seats of energy around the globe are sometimes magnets for protest, and typically violent assault. The incident got here three days after a person crashed a rented truck right into a safety barrier exterior the White Home in Washington, obtained out and started waving round a Nazi flag. Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, has been charged with damaging U.S. property.

By Jill Lawless and Sylvia Hui