Be Very Afraid!

By London_Nick Last edited 146 months ago
Be Very Afraid!

Peter Clarke, the national coordinator of terrorism investigations said something pretty worrying at a conference in Berlin yesterday - that London, and in fact, Britain in general, still has a high risk of suicide bombings. For most Londoners, like Londonist Nick (above middle, looking shifty), travelling on the tube or on a bus is an everyday thing. Therefore the news is especially worrying for Londoners.

"Since July, the pace of investigation, the scale of the threat has not diminished in any way whatsoever" said Clarke. He did say, however, that 35,000 documents, 10,000 witness statements, 38,000 police exhibits and 90,000 pieces of computer evidence had been looked at as part of the investigation into the July 7th bombings, and that seven Britons went on trial last month charged with plotting to carry out bomb attacks.

But what of the future? As Londoners will know, there have been trial runs of airport-style security at a number of London stations, and there seems to be a more visible police presence, along with more sniffer dogs on the tube these days, but is it all really practical? The point of the tube is that you can get to where you are going reasonably quickly compared to driving on the capital's congested roads. If, however, you have to go through a metal detector every time you travel on the tube, your journey will inevitably take longer.

So let's open this one up to the readers - what do you feel is the way forward for the security of London's transport system? Do you feel safe on the tube or on a bus? Should we have an all-out airport-style security system, or should it stay as it is? Do you think Peter Clarke is right - that the threat is still the same, or do you think the more visible police presence is a deterrent? Is it possible to find a happy medium between security and accessibility? Your thoughts on the comments page please!

Photo used with kind permission from Applejacked's Flickr site

Last Updated 05 April 2006

el muchachos

What do I feel is the way forward for the security of London's transport system?

Well how about reassessing the government's foreign policy, particularly with relation to the war in Iraq, the continuing neutrality over the Israeli occupied territories in Palestine and unwillingness to enforce adequate arms trade directives to Asian, Arab and African nations. How about the government makes clear and coherent efforts on an international scale to avoid terrorism in Britain, be it homegrown or international. Perhaps then we won't have to suffer the increasing amount of infringment on civil liberties and we, as law abiding (whilst the law is in my favour) citizens won't have to endure this increasingly police state.

The metal detectors that have been trialled are part of a crackdown on knife crime. They wouldn't do much to stop some crazy nutter with a bag load of homemade boomjuiceâ„¢.


More visible policing isn't going to stop some lone nutter with a backpack full of semtex intent on making Spam out of a carriage full of Londoners. Neither is full airport style security.

I've not been to Israel where this type of security is commonplace - but hey, it doesn't seem to work there particularly well.

More visible policing is at least one way of minimising anti-social behaviour on the tube, anyway, so is to be welcomed. It's just not the cure all - as el muchachos says above, sorting out our foreign policy might be a teensy bit more effective.


I couldn't agree more! Our foreign policy does need a major overhaul, but unfortunately, that's not a short-term solution. If, for instance, we pulled out of Iraq now, I think the risk of us being blown to pieces on the tube would still be the same.

I just think that Peter Clarke was over-exaggerating somewhat - I don't think airport-style security is feasible on the tube. The only way to deter potential bombers is for Londoners to be more vigilant, I guess.

Unfortunately, it's one of those situations where there is no perfect solution.

David Cantrell

I feel as safe on the bus or tube today as I did six years ago before the government started their terror campaign - that is, their campaign to make us all terrified of terrorism.


Bah, mere bagatelles. The real questions, Nick, are why do you and your friends all have little ginger beards; and what's that stange triangle on the reflection of the back of your head? Are you a band of pagan leprechauns or something?


Shhh, you'll blow our cover!