Scotland

London attack: More armed police on duty in Scotland

Scene of the attack Image copyright AFP
Image caption Seven people were killed in the attack in London on Saturday night

Scotland will see a "substantial" increase in the number of armed police on duty in the immediate aftermath of the London attack, the first minister has said.

But Nicola Sturgeon said there was no intelligence of any specific threat to Scotland.

Seven people were killed and at least 48 injured in the attack on Saturday evening.

Three suspects were shot dead by police officers.

The attackers used a white van to hit pedestrians on London Bridge, before getting out and stabbing people in nearby Borough Market at about 22:00 on Saturday.

Police said the men, who were shot dead within eight minutes of the attack starting, were wearing fake bomb vests.

Twelve people have been arrested in connection with the attack following a raid on a flat in Barking, east London.

Thirty-six people are in hospital with a "range of injuries" and 21 are in a critical condition, police said.

Ms Sturgeon expressed horror at the "despicable and cowardly terror attack" in London.

She said there was no information to suggest any victims of the attack were from Scotland, but warned it was not yet possible to be "definitive" about that.

The first minister has chaired a meeting of the Scottish government's resilience committee and has been briefed on what is currently known about the attackers.

She said: "It is important to stress that there is no intelligence of any specific threat to Scotland, However, the police will ensure appropriate protective security measures are implemented.

"As was the case after the Manchester attack, the public can expect to see a more visible police presence, particularly in busy areas.

"That will include armed police. The number of armed response vehicles on duty today has been substantially increased."

Image copyright AFP

Ms Sturgeon also said the country had to "unite as a society" to defeat extremism.

She added: "We must not allow the terrorists to divide us and we must not allow any community to be scapegoated for the actions of a violent and mindless minority.

"Those who carry out these attacks in the name of Islam do not speak for that faith."

Police Scotland has also urged communities to "remain united against extremism and hate" after the attack.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson said Police Scotland stood with its colleagues and the communities of London.

"While we understand that the public will clearly be appalled by these events, I would urge each and every member of our communities to remain united against extremism and hate," he said.

"Police Scotland will not tolerate any attempts to target any community by any misguided individual or group and will work with all of our partners to resolve any issues and address any concerns.

"Should anyone become a victim of, or witness to, any hate crime, they should contact the police and report the incident."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Armed police in London shot three suspects dead within 10 minutes of the attack starting

Assistant Chief Constable Johnson added Police Scotland would be continually reviewing its safety and security plans.

The main Scottish political parties suspended national campaigning on Sunday ahead of the general election.

But in a statement outside Downing Street, Prime Minister Theresa May said full campaigning would resume on Monday.

She also confirmed that the general election would go ahead as planned on Thursday.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said her "thoughts and prayers" went out to the victims and their families.

"Once again our nation finds itself under attack from those who hate our way of life and seek to change us.

"But we will not allow that to happen, because the values that they hate - democracy, the rule of law and tolerance - are what make our country so special.

"It's why Britain is a beacon for other nations around the world. We will not let the terrorists win."

Image caption Flags outside the Scottish Parliament are flying at half mast

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson praised the response of the emergency services.

She said: "Our hearts all go out to the families of those affected today and to those who lost their lives last night.

"Just as in Manchester, the terrorists behind this appalling incident are trying to attack our freedoms and our values. Just as in Manchester, they will fail.

"Once again, the response of the emergency services - from the officers who rushed to the scene to the paramedics who treated people - was incredible. We all owe them so much."

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: "Another attack on innocent victims, more grieving families and friends. We will not become immune to such tragedies.

"We stand with all those affected in their grief, ever more determined to overcome."

The Muslim Council of Scotland (MCS) said it was "deeply saddened and hurt by the loss of innocent lives".

In a statement, the council said: "The attacks were carried out at a time when most Muslims were attending night time prayers in the month of Ramadan.

"This underlines that these people have no respect for life nor religion and follow a perverted ideology and we condemn their actions in the strongest possible terms.

"MCS reaffirms its commitment to combating extremism and terrorism. We would urge everyone to remain alert and vigilant but not be alarmed. United, we stand as one humanity against our enemies."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites