British Police Firearms Officer Project Servator (CC2, 2012)

#BreakingNews: Armed Police Surround Bank of England

“Routine” Police Action Underlines Tensions in London

Armed police surrounded the Bank of England in London and cordoned off surrounding roads, according to reports.

The incident caused widespread alarm, with witnesses tweeting pictures on social media and describing sirens, flashing lights and armed police officers on the streets.

A witness to the incident said that “Armed police [were] all around the Bank of England. They’ve cordoned Lothbury at the junction with Princes Street – armed police stood at the junction of the road.”

The incident comes only days after arrests in Hertfordshire and south London under the 2006 Prevention of Terrorism Act.

According to MI5 the UK threat level for international terrorism is severe. Severe means that an attack is highly likely.

Update

A City of London Police spokesman has now classified the incident as “routine”. Road closures, sirens and armed police on the streets are not normally considered “routine”.

A similar incident yesterday saw Fenchurch Street evacuated by police responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle.

The area in front of the Walkie Talkie building, the iconic 38-floor skyscraper, was cleared, with City of London Police tweeting that “Fenchurch Street is currently closed while our officers assess an abandoned vehicle”.