As 2018 draws to a close and the new year begins we’re looking back at Counter Terrorism Policing‘s commitment and dedication to protect the public and our national security by preventing, deterring and investigating terrorist activity. This includes terror plots that have been foiled, acts of outstanding bravery and some of world’s most dangerous people being put behind bars. Join us as we look back over the past 12 months…
In 2018, three police officers were commended by the Queen for their actions during the London Bridge terror attack.
Click to recap:
On 3 June 2017, a terrorist vehicle ramming and stabbing took place in London. A van was deliberately driven into pedestrians on London Bridge before crashing on the south bank of the River Thames. Its three occupants then ran to the nearby Borough Market area and began stabbing people in and around restaurants and pubs.
They were shot dead by Metropolitan Police officers and were found to be wearing fake explosive vests. Eight people were killed and forty-eight were injured, including members of the public and four unarmed police officers who attempted to stop the assailants.
Metropolitan Police Constable Charlie Guenigault was off-duty and enjoying an evening with friends following his shift, when terrorists attacked the area by driving a van into pedestrians on London Bridge; and then indiscriminately attacking people in Borough Market.
In 2018, Charlie alongside British Transport Police PC Leon McLeod and PC Wayne Marques were awarded a George Medal for bravery in The Queen’s Civilian Gallantry List.
PC Charlie Guenigault, said: “To be awarded the George Medal is such recognition, is an incredible honour, and I am so humbled. Unfortunately some will not get to receive their award in person.
“I hope that I have done my friends, family, colleagues and the nation proud. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me throughout the past year – especially those who helped to save my life.”
He ran towards the attackers, putting himself between them and other officers being attacked. As a consequence he received serious injuries to his head, back and stomach.
PC Marques, said: “It is unbelievable to be awarded with the George Medal, I am truly speechless. When I think back to the night of the attack, I was just doing my job and trying to save lives – I never expected to be honoured in this way.
“I remember the events of that night vividly, the evil that was done but also the courage and bravery of the public and my colleagues. I am here today because of my friends who helped me, I’d cannot thank them enough.”
PC McLeod, said: “I am overwhelmed to receive this honour – I was in complete shock when I opened the letter. As police officers, you never know what to expect on your shift.
“When me and Wayne heard the screams at London Bridge, our first instinct was to run and help. We never thought we were being brave, all we wanted to do is help as many people as possible.
“It feels surreal and bittersweet to be honoured following the horror of this attack. So many people acted with courage, I was just one piece in London’s response to this atrocity.”
After his recovery Charlie’s selfless actions didn’t stop there, he went on to run the London Marathon to raise money for the hospital that treated his injuries:
Hero police officer Charlie Guenigault was off duty when the London Bridge terror attack happened last June – but risked his life to stop the massacre. This weekend he is running the London Marathon to raise money for the hospital that treated his injuries. pic.twitter.com/QPHFQgEkkc
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) April 20, 2018
The cooperation between us and the public is a powerful defense against such attacks.
We need your help to stop terrorists being able to plan, prepare and carry out terror plots, groom or recruit people or encourage others to carry out attacks. You may have seen or heard something that could be that vital piece of information that will help to stop a terrorist attack.
If you have any information about suspicious activity or behaviour please report it. Use our secure online form at gov.uk/ACT Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 789 321.
In an emergency you should always dial 999.