We wanted to update you following the terrible loss of Sir David Amess MP last Friday 15th October. We know how shocked and saddened you will have all been, how busy you will have been in your communities providing support and reassurance, and how determined you will be to keep bringing people together and help prevent similar incidences of terrorism in the future. Our thoughts remain with Sir David’s family, friends and colleagues.
The investigation into Sir David’s death by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command and supported by Essex Police has been rapid and round the clock. As a result of all that work we have reached a significant milestone and the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations announced on Thursday that charges have been authorised.
Ali Harbi Ali, aged 25 and from north London, has been charged with Murder, and the preparation of terrorist acts contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006. It remains the case that no other arrests have been made, and at this time the police are not seeking anybody else in relation to this incident. However the work of the investigation continues and anyone with information about this or any other case can contact the Anti-Terror Hotline on 0800 789 321 at any time.
The Assistant Commissioner also noted that there has been considerable speculation in the media about the background, history and motivation of the man now charged. However, now that charges have been brought, we will not be providing further information on any aspects of this case. He also strongly urged everyone interested in this case to exercise restraint when commenting on it publically.
You may also have seen media coverage and speculation about the Prevent programme in the past few days. The police will not be commenting on that and await the outcome of the Independent Review of Prevent. The Home Office have published a useful factsheet on Prevent which we would encourage you to read and to share in your communities and networks: https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2021/10/18/factsheet-prevent-and-channel-2021/
Many of you will also have been concerned about the issue of the security of MPs and their staff and others in elected public service. The Home Secretary announced on Wednesday that the threat level facing MPs is now assessed to be substantial. This is the same level as the current national threat to the UK as a whole. We can tell you that work on this is thorough and ongoing, and that police forces across the country have been working with individual MPs to review their specific arrangements.
We also know that you will be monitoring any community tensions arising as a result of these events, and encourage you to keep reporting these wherever appropriate. The police stand together with all communities in the UK and we will take action against any criminal behaviour which seeks to undermine society, especially where crimes are motivated by hate. We are aware that following acts of terrorism incidents, there can be an increase in hate crimes within our communities. Call 999 in an emergency or otherwise you can report hate crime online here: https://www.report-it.org.uk/your_police_force
We know these are distressing events and remind you that support is available for anyone who has been affected by them here: https://victimsofterrorism.campaign.gov.uk/
Thank you again for your support and cooperation.