British police have said they are not treating a car crash at the front gates of Downing Street – where Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has his office and residence – as “terrorism-related”.
And the British Metropolitan Police announced earlier that armed officers arrested a person after his car crashed into the gate of the government headquarters in Downing Street in central London.
The police indicated that no one was injured in the accident, but they arrested the driver on suspicion of causing criminal damage and driving the car dangerously, and that they began investigating the circumstances of the accident.
Television footage broadcast by the BBC showed the car crossing the road towards Downing Street and approaching the gate at low speed. The main gate was apparently not damaged.
An eyewitness (who did not reveal his name) said that the driver was a white man in his fifties, while the London police said in a statement that “there is still a limited security cordon outside Downing Street after the collision.”
It is noteworthy that Downing Street is the main residence of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, which is also the seat of Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, and there are other government buildings that are heavily guarded by armed officers around the clock.
Large gates were erected at the entrance to Downing Street in 1989, following attacks by the Irish Republican Army in London.
The gates are the first line of protection, with armed police deployed at the entrance, and official cars entering the street are usually subject to inspection procedures, before the reinforced columns are lowered to allow them to pass.