Man crashes car into UK PM’s 10 Downing Street office

Police officers stand near the car which was driven to the gate of 10 Downing Street. – AFP

Scotland Yard said a suspect was arrested on Thursday after he allegedly rammed the gates of the British prime minister’s Downing Street office and residence in central London.

“At around 16:20 (1520 GMT) a car crashed into the Downing Street gate at Whitehall. Armed officers arrested a man at the scene on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving,” police said in a statement. Police said in a statement.

There was no casualty and the police added that the investigation is on.

According to British media, Prime Minister Rishi Singh was reported to have been in the building at the time of the incident and left soon after.

Video footage of the incident shows a silver car driving at low speed into Whitehall, where many government ministries are located, leaving a pull-in area opposite Downing Street, opposite the Ministry of Defense car park. .

It then appeared to climb onto the pavement and stopped after crashing into the large metal gates guarding the Downing Street entrance.

Other footage showed police surrounding the car, which appeared to be a Kia, with the boot open.

Simon Parry, 44, said: “I heard a bang and looked up to see huge numbers of police with Taser guns shouting at the man.

“Many police vehicles arrived very quickly and were very quick to evacuate the area.”

He added: “There were sniffer dogs and bomb squads.”

Dean Parker, 36, said AFP The driver “didn’t seem upset. He looked like he’d had some sort of incident or something”.

Parker, part of the protest on the opposite side of the road, said the car was not speeding.

“It doesn’t look like he tried to close the gate … it was quite a slow impact. The police dealt with it quite professionally and promptly.”

Downing Street is a short walk from the Houses of Parliament, and following previous incidents the area is heavily guarded with barriers on the footpath and in front of government buildings.

In 2017, a man rammed a car into pedestrians on the footpath near Parliament, killing four people.

He then crashed the car into a fence around Parliament and ran into the grounds, where he stabbed a police officer. He was shot dead by an armed police officer.

IRA bombings in London in 1989 led to massive gates being installed at the entrance to Downing Street, and the group fired three homemade mortar shells at the Prime Minister’s residence in 1991.

The gates are the first line of security, with armed police stationed at the entrance. Official cars entering the road usually have to be checked before strong bollards are lowered to allow them to pass.

— with the additional input of AFP

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