British police have arrested a man after his car crashed into the gates of Downing Street
London’s Metropolitan Police on Thursday arrested a man who drove a car into the security gate of Downing Street, the official residence of British Prime Minister Rishi Sun and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.
The incident happened around 4:20 p.m. According to the police, there were no injuries. “Armed officers arrested a man at the scene on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving,” the Met said.
Asked if the case was being treated as potentially terrorist, the Met said: “Enquiries are ongoing.” Sun was in his Downing Street office at the time.
Photos taken at the scene show a middle-aged white man in handcuffs being led away by police.
Whitehall, the main road next to Downing Street from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square was closed. People flocked to the barricades, behind which there was a heavy police presence, including officers with sniffer dogs.
Footage taken moments earlier showed the car, a silver Kia, on the other side of Whitehall, on Downing Street in front of the Ministry of Defence, heading towards Parliament Square. He then pulled up and cut across the road at a low speed, slowing again as he approached Downing Street before stopping in front of the tall wrought iron gates.
A witness told the BBC he saw officers point a Taser at a man who was being held face down on the pavement. After that, the police arrested him and escorted him from the scene.
Within an hour of the incident, police lifted the security cordon and traffic flowed freely past Downing Street.
There were no early indications that Thursday’s clash was terrorist in nature. After the initial security operation, pedestrians were able to walk freely on the other side of Whitehall, which security sources said was a good indication of the absence of a wider threat.
The most recent terror-related incident at the seat of the UK government was in 2017, when 52-year-old Briton Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing a police officer outside Parliament.