Do I feel safe in London after the attacks?

No, I do not.

I believe the police when they say we are on Severe or Critical alert.I have seen that London is not safe.

We rarely get police walking along the streets due to red tape and cuts. I don’t see police do Stop and Searches though they do sometimes but I don’t see them doing this. There are no proper check points screening and checking motorists. The police tend to be out in their cars a lot, missing local intelligence.I feel sorry for them, as they have their hands tied by the ‘people at the top’.

The local media and Government tries to say #londonisopen, which is a bit of a PR stunt. It’s all very well carrying on ‘as normal’, but this can put our lives in danger. I certainly don’t trust our politicians. We have seen that these attackers target busy areas for maximum media coverage, so avoiding crowded places helps. Sometimes I forget about avoiding crowded places, and then, think about it afterwards. I try to avoid busy areas where there are few escape routes and I always take shoes that I can run in. Some people say, ‘you are letting them win’, I say, ‘I am winning, I am staying alive’.

I am a lot more vigilant now and I do report any suspicious behaviour to the police. Only a few weeks ago, I reported someone suspicious on the underground who was going from East London towards Westminster, a couple of weeks before the London attack. My friend kept on telling me, ‘there’s no need to report him’, but the police were glad that I did. He certainly looked out of place on the tube, particularly his reading matter. As soon as I saw his reading matter and his manner, I got off the tube train at once.

Once I helped a police inspector catch some car thieves at our local train station. The police were using our offices to spy on them. Though he was probably pi**ed off that I spotted them, and he didn’t, he did say they were up to no good and caught three males. I have a good sense of spotting shifty behaviour. We need to use our observational skills.We cannot be apathetic any more.

In the ideal world, I would prefer to wear an anti-stab vest in London or anti-knife collar round my neck, then if I was caught in some kind of stabbing spree, I would have a better chance of survival. These are quite expensive though, but I think they are worth it if you have the money. The thing is terrorism is so ‘random’ but there are places, that they always target and types of people.

A few days ago there was someone loading fireworks in Bermondsey, Southwark, and we wondered what was happening, and only last night, at the ridiculous hour of 1.30am I heard a serious of random gunshots or firework bangs,and I heard a police siren soon after. This is out of the norm at night. I am on edge, and I don’t safe but because of that, but I can be far more vigilant, and report unusual behaviour, this is something we can all do to combat terrorism. Maybe the nutter at Manchester could have been spotted earlier if people were vigilant. Prevention is better than cure, however, it doesn’t always work, as some people did report the London Bridge attackers to the police, but they somehow got through the net. At the end of the day, you can only try and do what is right, avoid busy areas and ones that ‘are likely to be terrorist targets’ as many of them follow a familiar pattern, particularly the copycats.

It is horrible that the UK has changed so much over the last decade. Things are different now, but we have to be awake to the new UK and learn to deal with it. Actually no city these days is safe from extremists. Sometimes avoiding busy and touristy places, is the key to survival now. Surviving is the best revenge to terrorists!

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Back to London Bridge 5 days after the #londonattack

I went up to London Bridge this afternoon.

Generally it was pretty much back to normal, bar more police and some road closures.

I said thank you to groups of police officers and staff at Network Rail for what they did during the #londonattack. The police said ‘they were just doing their job’ and ‘they didn’t mind doing longer shifts if it was the right thing to do’.

Parts of Borough Market was still cordoned off. London Bridge was open but it had new barriers along it.

One white woman of about twenty something saw a homeless person near the bridge and gave him £5.00. We remember that homeless Millwall fan, helped protect more people from being killed or injured during the attack. It was nice for the woman to do a random act of kindness.

Samaritans volunteers were out in force at London Bridge station.

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ABOVE: London Bridge now has barriers

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ABOVE: Flowers and tributes outside Evans Cycle Shop on London, a Muslim woman stood behind the flowers in deep thought.

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ABOVE: Victim Support leaflets on the flowers

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ABOVE: Victim Support leaflets being handed out by Police and Victim Support volunteers at London Bridge station.

South Eastern Railway passenger from Kent tells of his Experience of the London Attack

A passenger from Tonbridge, Kent, said that he was travelling on a train at 10pm on 3rd June to Lewisham when the South Eastern train driver said that he had heard some information and said there had been ‘an incident’ at London Bridge and that the train wasn’t going to let passengers off at the station.

The train driver told the few passengers that were on the train that it had to go back to Sevenoaks.He said the situation at London Bridge was ‘out of control’. He sounded like he knew more about the incident than he let on.

The driver was then seen to walk on the railway tracks at London Bridge to get to the other end of the train, presumably Network Rail turned the electrics off. There appeared to be no guard on the train.

The passenger said that while the train was waiting at London Bridge for a good half an hour he could hear several police sirens near the station, although he thought it was ‘just drunk men fighting’ at it was a Saturday night. Charing Cross station was swiftly closed during the incident was known.

The passenger was pleased that South Eastern Railway staff knew very quickly what was going on, and that they took swift action as soon as they knew something was up,

Though he never got to Lewisham, the passenger came home safely thanks to the driver and those communicating with him.

London Bridge Attack: My Experience

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ABOVE: Borough High Street, Sunday morning.

I was in Bermondsey, South London, listening to my friend’s podcast of his father who was doing his oral history for his birthday as he wanted to record his dad’s childhood memories as he was getting ill and approaching eighty.

We had a quick break after listening to an hour of it and my friend looked at the internet, looked shocked and said that there had been an terror attack at London Bridge, which is about 15 minutes’ walk away from me. We then dropped everything and tried to find out what was happening. I have never been so close to a terror attack before.

My friend had actually just arrived back from Bath on the train and had been on the tube going past London Bridge at about 9.45pm on the Saturday night but when he got home to Bermondsey, we didn’t look online until we had listened to some of the podcast, an hour later.

We couldn’t take it all in at first. I was online until 3am trying to give information to the public (although this was not always easy that there was false information from ‘reputable’ outlets which was frustrating.

Both of us let our family know that we were ok. My friend’s mother texted him and said ‘please be safe, as I have paid for the deposit of our holiday!’ in a typical British fashion. My own family, who I was estranged with at the time, seemed to be thinking of me, so this evening we had made up. The London Attack has brought us together again.

One thing that was really helpful, was the Facebook Safety Check, which went into action as soon as there was a terrorist attack in our area. This would tell our Facebook friends immediately that we were ok, so they wouldn’t have to worry, and they wouldn’t have to jam the Casualty Bureau’s lines. We could also ‘see’ friends who were also in the area too.

I heard the helicopter overhead all night which was really noisy and there were reports that one of the attackers had escaped (this clearly was inaccurate). At about 2am or so, I heard a huge explosion which was about a mile away which was a bit scary.

After this time I was very tired, and went to sleep. It was only afterwards when we both began to grasp how bad it had been. I was very surprised how late the incident had been which seemed to be out of character for these type of events. It was surreal as the London Bridge area is my regular neighbourhood, places I know very well and the people are generally nice It was shocking what happened to people, it beggars belief how mad these frenzied maniacs were.

This morning we wanted to gather our thoughts, reflect and visit the London Bridge area but it had all been cordoned off by the police with a bunch of international press there.

What I think we need are checkpoints like they had for the IRA in the Square Mile. In other countries where there’s frequent terrorism they have them. They can monitor comings and goings of cars and do stop and searches. Cars can be checked if they are stolen too.

I would like to thank the emergency services and volunteers who were so quick to the scene and helped make the area safer and all those who offered places to stay, free Wi-Fi, bagels and even tequila.

It is a terrible tragedy, there really aren’t words that can really describe the horror.

London: Visiting Westminster Bridge days after Terrorist Attack

I visited Westminster Bridge last Sunday to pay tribute those who had died and reflect.

My own brother was there the day before, taking a photo of Big Ben as he does photography, so it came close for me too.

I thought it was going to be a bit eerie going up, but actually it was not. There were few police in the tube station and a handful of police outside chatting. I did see a police officer with a dog go past the station.

Generally things seemed to be ‘back to normal’, the bridge was totally packed with tourists, even the bagpiper was back again. The only people who weren’t there, were the Three Lady criminals who regularly con tourists in the area for large sums of money.

I did see motorists on Westminster Bridge driving with a handheld phone, despite the risk of getting 6 points on their licence. Now their behaviour, could also mow down people.

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Parliament Square

 

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“He was not a Muslim, he was a Monster”

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PC Keith Palmer was a Charlton Athletic football fan

Incidently, it was nice hearing from people round the world supporting London and sending in their own thoughts  over social media and having all the lights lit up round the world at various attractions was great. Thanks to everyone who made a stand against  terrorism.