We are writing with an update regarding the shocking incident at Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Sunday 14 November. While the investigation continues at pace and some details are still unclear, this has now been declared a terrorist incident by the Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon. The investigation is now being led by Counter Terrorism Policing North West, with support from Merseyside Police.
We are able to provide some details about what we know so far: Shortly before 1100 on Sunday a passenger asked a taxi to take them to Liverpool Women’s Hospital. As the taxi approached the drop off point at the hospital, an explosion occurred from within car, which quickly engulfed it in flames. Remarkably, the taxi driver escaped from the cab. He has been treated for the injuries he sustained and has now been released from hospital.
Emergency services quickly attended the scene and put out the fire following which it quickly became apparent that the passenger remained in the vehicle and was deceased. Army Ordinance Disposal officers have examined the scene at the Hospital and made the area safe. Following consultation with Ordinance Disposal officers, we are able to confirm that this is being treated as the ignition of an improvised explosive device. Our assumption so far is that this was built and brought into the taxi by the passenger in the taxi. We believe we know the identity of the passenger but cannot confirm this at this time.
Searches have taken place at two addresses in Merseyside and three men aged 21, 26 and 29 have been arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act in connection with this case. Further searches will be necessary today and potentially into the coming days. The scene at the Hospital remains in place with specialist examinations ongoing.
It is currently not clear what the motivation for this incident is. The reason why the device was taken to the Women's Hospital is unknown, as is the reason for its sudden explosion. We are of course aware that there were remembrance events just a short distance away from the Hospital and that the ignition occurred shortly before 11am on Remembrance Sunday. We cannot at this time draw any connection between this but it is a line of inquiry. Although, the motivation for this incident is yet to be understood, given all the circumstances, it has been declared a terrorist incident and Counter Terrorism Policing are continuing with the investigation.
We understand that this news will be of concern to the people of Liverpool and the rest of the UK, but it is a reminder that the threat from terrorism remains significant. Police, with all our partners, will continue to work hard to protect the UK and keep the public safe, but countering terrorism also requires support from all corners of our society.
We have said for many years that Communities Defeat Terrorism, and the help and support we get from the public is a vital part of that. So we would urge everyone to remain vigilant, and if you do see anything suspicious then please report it, in confidence, to police via gov.uk/ACT. It won't ruin lives, but it may well save them. In an emergency always call 999. You can also help support our efforts by sharing our social media content on your own channels and in your own networks.
We are also aware that these are distressing incidents and would remind you that support for victims and anyone affected by terrorism is available here https://victimsofterrorism.campaign.gov.uk/
Can we also once again take this opportunity to thank you for the work you do to bring communities together, offering reassurance in these difficult times and helping to ensure that violence, hate and division never wins.