MATT JUKES, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR SPECIALIST OPERATIONS:
I want to provide you with an update on the investigation into the murder of Sir David Amess MP.
On behalf of everyone involved in counter terrorism and wider policing, I’d like to offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sir David, who died so tragically last Friday.
Sir David’s dedication to his family, his constituents and his community, and his positive impact on the lives of so many, have been abundantly clear since his death.
Specialist officers continue to support Sir David’s family. All of our sympathies are with them.
I would also like to recognise the courage and professionalism of officers from Essex Police and paramedics for their response to the incident.
As you know, last Friday Sir David tragically died from serious injuries after being stabbed at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea. A man was arrested at the scene.
Since then the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command has led the investigation.
A large team of detectives has been working around the clock to find out as much as we can about what happened, and why.
That work has included searches of a number of London addresses. Our advanced forensics team has analysed digital devices and carried out a painstaking review of CCTV footage. I also want to thank witnesses and members of the public who have supported the investigation with information.
As a result of all that work, today, we have reached a significant milestone. Following the submission of a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, charges have been authorised.
A man 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.
The man remains in custody and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this afternoon.
We will continue to build our case. If there are members of the public who have further information that might help the investigation, I urge them to come forward.
Every piece of information in investigations like this is important. You will not be wasting our time. Please contact us through the Anti-terrorist Hotline.
It remains the case that no other arrests have been made, and at this time we are not seeking anybody else in relation to this incident.
There has been considerable speculation in the media about the background, history and motivation of the man now charged.
I understand the interest in these questions and, of course, they form part of our investigation.
However, now charges have been brought we will not be providing further information on any aspects of this case.
And I would strongly urge everyone interested in this case to exercise restraint when commenting on it publically. We all have an interest in ensuring future court proceedings are not prejudiced in any way.
I would also like to reiterate the request made by Sir David’s family that their privacy be respected.
I fully understand the significant impact that the attack on Sir David has had on his colleagues in the Houses of Parliament.
We have been working closely with Parliament’s own security team and with the Home Office to review existing arrangements for MPs’ security, and that work will continue.
Police forces across the country have been working with individual MPs to review their specific arrangements.
Alongside this case, it’s important for me to stress that Counter Terrorism officers across the UK – with the security services and other partners – work night and day to bear down on the threat from terrorism.
And our communities play a vital role in these efforts. Every day information given to the police by the public helps our investigations.
If you see or hear something suspicious, trust your instincts and call the police, or contact us in confidence online.
In respect of this investigation, although charges have been laid, our work continues. And whilst it does, Sir David’s family remain in our thoughts. Thank you.
Report to police in confidence via gov.uk/ACT.
Reporting won’t ruin lives, but it might save them.
Call 999 or the police Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 to report an immediate threat to life or property.