Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron defends the police response to a knife attack at an underground station in east London, saying it’s not right to routinely arm the entire police force.
BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND, UK (DECEMBER 7, 2015) (UK POOL) – Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, praised Britain’s police force on Monday (December 7) following a knife attack at an underground station in east London over the weekend.
Speaking at a school in Burton-upon-Trent, the PM defended the actions of those who intervened during the attack, which injured two people at Leytonstone underground station on Saturday (December 5), about six miles (10 km) east of central London.
“First of all on Leytonstone, this is obviously a hideous attack that we’ve all seen pictures of it and read about it and first of all, full credit to the person or people who took on this attacker and full credit to the very brave police officers who managed to subdue him,” Cameron said.
He went on to say that he didn’t believe the attack called for the routine arming of police officers in Britain.
“Look, what we have in our country is a growing pool of police who do carry arms, the armed response vehicles and other police involved in protective security. Their number will grow when it’s right and it’s right that we have enough people to respond, but I think it’s right that police aren’t routinely armed in our country, and I think this event simply showed again what brilliant and brave and dedicated people there are when it comes to our police officers,” Cameron said.
A man appeared in court in London on Monday after being charged by counter-terrorism officers following the attack.
Wearing a grey t-shirt and grey track suit bottoms, Muhaydin Mire, 29, of east London spoke only to confirm his name, age and address at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Footage of the aftermath of the incident has been published on social media and the phrase “You ain’t no Muslim bruv”, which was shouted by one onlooker at the scene, has been widely repeated.
“Let me also pay credit to the person, can’t quite see who it is from the film, who made that brilliant statement about ‘You ain’t no Muslim’. I think some of us have dedicated speeches and media appearances and soundbites, everything to this subject, but ‘You ain’t no Muslim bruv’ said it all, much better than I ever could, and thank you because that will be applauded around the country,” Cameron said.
Britain is on its second-highest security alert level of “severe”, meaning a militant attack is considered highly likely, though not imminent, mainly because of the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.
The authorities say British security forces have thwarted seven militant plots in the past year.
Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock from the British Transport Police said the number of firearms teams had doubled in the last year and since Saturday they had boosted the number of officers and patrols across the London underground network.
Four British Islamists killed 52 people in suicide bombings on the capital’s transport network in July 2005, and the last militant attack occurred in May 2013 when two Muslim converts hacked a soldier to death in east London.