Resilient Cities

London’s preparedness to respond to a major terrorist incident

Publication date:
Lord Toby Harris, Independent Reviewer for the Mayor of London on Preparedness for a Major Terrorist Incident Member, Joint Committee on National Security Strategy, UK Parliament

The United Kingdom has suffered three major terrorist attacks with multiple fatalities since the beginning of 2017:

• on 22nd March an individual drove his car into tourists and others, killing four people, and then went on to stab a police officer to death within the precincts of the Houses of Parliament before himself being shot dead by another police officer;
• exactly two months later on 22nd May, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the foyer of Manchester Arena at the end of the Ariana Grande concert killing another 22 people and seriously injuring many more; and
• on Saturday 3rd June, three terrorists drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then ran armed with 30cm-long ceramic knives into the Borough Market area where they attacked and stabbed people in the cluster of bars and restaurants there. As a result, eight people were killed and 48 seriously injured before the police shot the three perpetrators dead.