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, an investigation was launched into the Salisbury & Amesbury nerve agent attack.
Click to recap:
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury city centre at 4.15pm on Sunday, 4 March 2018 after being poisoned by a Novichok nerve agent. Both Sergei and Yulia spent weeks critically ill in hospital. Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, a Wiltshire police officer, was also seriously ill after being exposed to the nerve agent. He continues to make good progress but remains off work.
Tragically 44-year-old mother of three, Dawn Sturgess died in hospital on Saturday, 8 July. She fell ill on 30 June after being exposed to Novichok and she never regained consciousness. Her partner, 48-year-old Charlie Rowley, was also exposed to the nerve agent and became seriously ill later that day. He received treatment at Salisbury District Hospital over three weeks.
The attack on the Skripals and the events in Amesbury which affected Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley now forms one investigation. It is not believed Dawn and Charlie were deliberately targeted, but became victims as a result of the recklessness in which such a toxic nerve agent was disposed of. The Novichok was applied to the Skripals’ front door in an area that is accessible to the public, which also endangered the lives of members of the public and emergency service responders.
On the 5 September 2018, charges were authorised against two suspects, including attempted murder of Sergei Skripal; conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal and Nick Bailey; use of a chemical weapon; and causing grievous bodily harm to Yulia Skripal and Nick Bailey.
The investigation into the two Russian nationals has been marked as one of most complex and intensive pieces of work undertaken by Counter Terrorism Policing in 2018.
Over 250 specialist detectives alongside a wrath of partner agencies meticulously followed the evidence, working closely with specialist forensic teams and scientists.
Watch the investigation timeline here:
Domestic and European arrest warrants have been issued for two suspects – known by their aliases; Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov and upon arrest; charges will be brought upon them.
As we go into 2019, the investigation continues and detectives leading the case ask those with information to please call police in confidence on 0800 789 321 or email the investigation team Salisbury2018@met.police.uk
To find out more about Counter Terrorism Policing and how you can help us fight against terrorism head over to our website.