Armed officers from the Metropolitan Police have pounced on a man with a knife and pinned him to the ground outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Footage shared on Twitter show several officers surrounding the man, with some pinning him to the nearby road. Stunned onlookers can also be seen looking on, as motorist driving past on the other side of the road show down in their vehicles to see what is unfolding.
BBC journalist Sam Francis posted a video of the dramatic scene and wrote: “Met Police have arrested a man with a knife next to the Houses of Parliament.”
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: At around 11:50hrs on Friday, 21 October a man was seen behaving erratically in the SW1 area.
“He was stopped by armed officers on Millbank. Police taser was discharged and the man was arrested on suspicion of possession of a bladed article.
“He has been taken into custody. There have been no reports of any injuries.”
The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords in Central London.
It is informally known as the Houses of Parliament and lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster.
On Tuesday, a road near Prime Minister Liz Truss’s Downing Street office and residence in Central London had been closed due to reports of a suspicious package.
Whitehall, which is between the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square, is also home to several Government departments, including the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence.
City of Westminster Police said on Twitter: “Officers are in attendance and a cordon is in place as a precaution. The item will be assessed by specialist officers. Please avoid the area.”
The road was reopened around an hour later after police declared the item as “non-suspicious”.
Police said: “Specialist officers have assessed the item in Whitehall, and it has been declared as non-suspicious. The cordon has been lifted.”
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