Wednesday, 17 April, marked the 20th anniversary of the Brixton Market nail bombing. It was the first of three nail bomb attacks committed over a two-week period – a homemade device was detonated in Brick Lane in east London on 24 April 1999, and another device exploded in the Admiral Duncan pub in the heart of Soho in central London on 30 April 1999.
Three people were killed in the Admiral Duncan bombing; dozens more were seriously injured in the three attacks.
The perpetrator was sentenced to six terms of life imprisonment in June 2000 after being found guilty of three counts of murder and for planting the homemade explosive devices, following an investigation by what was then the Met’s Anti-Terrorist Branch.
Over the next two weeks, there will be a series of community events where the victims of these attacks will be commemorated.
Commander Mark McEwan said: “Two decades have passed since these abhorrent attacks which left an indelible mark on London. Our thoughts are with everyone affected – those who lost their lives, their family and loved ones, and all of the people who survived the attacks and continue to live with the physical and psychological trauma of what happened.
“London’s black, Asian and gay communities were the target of these bombs, but they were an affront to London as a whole, and to the diversity and unity which characterises this great city.
“In the past two decades, Londoners have shown time and time again that they wholeheartedly reject everything that attacks of this nature are intended to do – instill fear and create prejudice and conflict to divide communities.
“The anniversary of these atrocities serve as a reminder that we can never be complacent in dealing with extremism and people who harbour radical views based on racial, religious and other forms of prejudice.
“The Met’s priority is to keep the public safe, and we do not tolerate any criminality motivated by hate. We routinely engage with religious and minority communities and leaders, and we work closely with partners to address local community concerns and needs, and do what we can to protect them from hate crime.
“The police is working round the clock to keep the Capital safe from terrorism, from patrolling key areas to delivering training and advice to businesses through our ground-breaking e-learning package, ‘ACT Awareness’. We cannot do this alone however, so I urge the public to help by reporting anyone or anything that looks out of place or suspicious to a member of staff, security or police.”
Anyone with concerns can also report anything suspicious confidentially at www.gov.uk/ACT or by calling 0800 789 321. In an emergency always call 999. More information on what to look out for and how to contact police can be found at www.gov.uk/ACT.