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Cheshire police chief Simon Byrne issues statement following London terrorist attack

MPs return to Parliament in a show of defiance following murderous atrocity in the capital
A police officer close to New Scotland Yard in London, after seven people were arrested in raids in London, Birmingham and elsewhere linked to the Westminster terror attack. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Cheshire chief constable Simon Byrne says the thoughts of the constabulary are with all those touched by yesterday’s terrorist attack on Parliament which led to the murder of a police officer as well as two civilians.

Mr Byrne asked the community to remain vigilant following the atrocity which claimed the lives of stab victim PC Keith Palmer, 48, along with a woman in her mid 40s and a man in his mid 50s, who were mown down as the terrorist sped across Westminster Bridge in his car.

Police officer Keith Palmer who was killed during the attack on the Houses of Parliament in London. (Metropolitan Police via AP)

The terrorist was shot dead by armed police.

Mr Byrne said in a statement released late last night: “Our thoughts are very much with all those affected by the terrible events in London today (Wednesday). Those events are still unfolding at this time but we are now aware that sadly a number of people – including a police officer – have lost their lives and many others are injured.

“Although the incident appears to be isolated and has taken place on the other side of the country, I want to reassure the people of Cheshire that we are working hard locally to gain a clearer picture of what has happened and, importantly, how we need to respond operationally to ensure that our communities remain safe.

Cheshire chief constable Simon Byrne(Image: Cheshire Constabulary)

“It is important to stress that there is no current intelligence to suggest that an incident will take place locally, however, people are urged to remain vigilant and to report any concerns immediately.

“If you see anything suspicious or that causes you concern please report it via the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321 or, in an emergency, dial 999.”

Overnight seven people have been arrested during raids in London, Birmingham and elsewhere linked to the Westminster terror attack, police have revealed.

Mark Rowley, The Met’s acting deputy commissioner and head of counter terrorism, said six addresses had been raided.

Mr Rowley revised the death toll down from five to four, including the attacker.

Mark Rowley, Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations in the Metropolitan Police, speaking outside Scotland Yard in London, the day after a terrorist attack where police officer Keith Palmer and two members of the public died and the attacker was shot dead. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

He said 29 people had been treated in hospital with seven people in a critical condition.

At the scene of one of the police raids, a flat in Hagley Road, Birmingham, one witness told the Press Association: “The man from London lived here.”

Mr Rowley said it was still his belief the attacker worked alone and was inspired by ‘international terrorism’, adding that there was no specific information to suggest any further threat to the public.

People stand near the terrorist's crashed car outside Parliament with a injured person lying on the ground, right, following Wednesday's terrorist attack. (James West via AP)

He spoke as MPs were returning to Parliament in a show of defiance.

That includes this region’s members of parliament who were all at Westminster as events unfolded yesterday afternoon but are all confirmed safe. Chester MP Chris Matheson was able to speak to The Chronicle on his mobile phone direct from the House of Commons chamber where MPs had been locked in after business was suspended.

An Air Ambulance outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire(Image: PA)

Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders posted on Facebook last night: “Am able to report that I am safe and well after a traumatic day in Westminster. My thoughts are with the loved ones of those who have been tragically killed today.”

Eddisbury MP Antoinette Sandbach confirmed she and her staff were safe, later tweeting: “Walked past a line of officers who had been keeping us safe. One WPC with tears in her eyes for fallen colleague. Thoughts with families.”

Antionette Sandbach MP speaking in the House of Commons.

Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans said on Twitter: “In response to the very kind enquiries, I can confirm that I and my staff are well and being well looked after by parliamentary security staff. Parliament is grateful to our great British Police/ security doing amazing job. Thoughts are with family and friends killed and injured.”

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