Thursday, July 28, 2005

London armed

Traveling home from Central London today was a pretty scary experience. I clutched my rucksack, then opened it wide so people could glance inside it and be assured that it's not armed with any bombs.

The Met has deployed thousands of armed SO19 policemen around the city at almost every Tube station. Each were carrying Heckler & Koch MP5K PDW carbines and Glock 17 handguns on their hips.

To readers from other countries this may seem normal, but it isn't. The police in London are usually unarmed. I swear I have never seen a single armed police on duty (apart from an armed siege in Leicester Square which I witnessed with dull interest) during my first four years in Britain. Only after the September 11 attacks have I seen armed police.

I didn't dare to take pictures of those armed units. Did not want to get shot. So here is today's Evening Standard with a front page picture of the fine boys in uniform.

This is the only picture I managed to get of the Met Police outside our local Tube station. I shot this across the road. Thank god for zoom.

They look pretty bored. I bet most of them are secretly wishing they would be transfered to SO19 and be issued with those nice looking submachine guns. And the guy in the middle is wearing a 'Livestrong' yellow band!

BTW, Tony Blair and Jack Straw claimed that there were no links between the London bombings and Iraq. Then what is this here? It is MI5's take on the recent London bombings:
Though they have a range of aspirations and "causes", Iraq is a dominant issue for a range of extremist groups and individuals in the UK and Europe. Some individuals who support the insurgency are known to have travelled to Iraq in order to fight against coalition forces. In the longer term, it is possible that they may later return to the UK and consider mounting attacks here.
Oh what about this:

Relatives say Met admits that, contrary to reports, electrician did not leap tube station barrier and wasn't wearing bulky clothings.


Jay said...

I'm sure right now a lot of cops are wishing they're not cops at all. Busy busy.

selumbar said...


There goes my planned vacation. I have actually been saving money to take my family to UK to visit all the places where I lived when I studied there.

Looks like I have to wait another 10 years... or forever.

Jon said...

Well according to your profile you studied in London during the heights of the IRA bombing. It is nothing. When I said it was a scary experience I meant that it wasn't terrorist I was scared of, it was those 'accussing eyes'.

Bring your family over!