Police whistleblower says council need to take anti-terror warnings more seriously in Ilford
PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 November 2017
A whistleblowing police officer has told the Recorder that Redbridge Council needs to take Ilford town centre's vulnerability to a potential terror attack "more seriously".
The officer said that police have advised the local authority for the past two years that more measures need to be implemented both generally and for regeneration of the High Road and train station.
They decided to speak out about the issue in the hope that something would change, saying: “We take the security of the public very seriously.
“In the current climate, more emphasis needs to be put on security in relation to terror threats.
“They need to take the matter more seriously.”
Redbridge Council said it has sought the police’s views on the regeneration and the scheme has been jointly reviewed.
“Ilford High Road is an important part of the town centre, while for much of the day it is car-free it is not formally pedestrianised and many businesses require access to be maintained for deliveries and servicing.
“Our public realm scheme is seeking to remove clutter from the High Road to make it easier to host events as part of our broader effort to encourage more cultural activity.
“We are keen to balance these requirements against the need to ensure safety and security of all residents and visitors.
“While it is not proposed to introduce permanent measures, discussions continue with police and permanent measures can be introduced if specific advice changes.”
A Met Counter Terrorism Inspector said it is working with event organisers and partners in the run up to Christmas.
“Our priority is the safety and security of all those attending or involved, and the public are encouraged to continue with their plans as normal,” she said.
“The public may see additional protective security measures and barriers at events this year, in response to a number of vehicle-based terrorist attacks we have sadly in the UK and abroad.
“There could also be increased security checks at some events and venues.”
The Met said the current threat level across London remains at severe, and they reiterate advice to remain vigilant and alert.
They are reminding residents to report anything suspicious to
the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800789321 or call 999 in an emergency.