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Public’s response to terror attack was ‘first class’ says borough commander of Southwark Police

The borough commander of Southwark police has praised his officers, including three local bobbies injured in Saturday night’s terror attack, and called the public’s response “first class”.

Taken to hospital from the night of violence were one British Transport Police officer, and three Southwark Police officers, including one who was off-duty.

Speaking exclusively to the News, detective chief superintendent Simon Messinger said: “The off-duty officer is still in hospital and has undergone surgery. He is very much in our thoughts and is still being looked after.

“The two on-duty officers: one has been discharged after having stitches to his head wound. The other [who was plain-clothed] was discharged on the night.

Police on duty in Borough High Street

“These events affect people in different ways. We’re going to make sure everyone gets a chance to rest and [be] looked after.”

Mr Messinger called the response from local people “outstanding”.

“A couple of ladies came into Peckham Police Station and delivered the largest delivery of doughnuts I have ever seen in my life. It was very touching and it was appreciated by everybody,” he said.

“I’ve heard stories of businesses taking them and letting them use their facilities, offering refreshments and offering them food. I can’t thank the public enough. They have been really supportive. The public have been absolutely first class.”

He added: “In and around Borough Market there is a large police presence while the investigation continues. At the crime scene you will notice there are a lot of officers. Some are officers who don’t normally work in the borough. But our officers will be out and about and doing as much as possible and speaking to the local community about what’s going on. We will make ourselves as visible as possible – to reassure people and to answer people’s questions.”

Forensic officers on Borough High Street following the attack (Credit: Chiara Giordano)

Mr Messinger also complimented his officers who streamed in to help during the borough’s time of need.

“The good thing about police officers,” he said, “is that when events like this happen, they want to get out and protect the public. We have plenty of extra staff calling in and offering to help. Our people want to come in.

“But we understand there needs to be enough staff afterwards as well. There’s now been a period of time where we’ve extended officers’ shifts – but that was only so that officers who were working on the night could have time to rest, and we’re back to normal shifts already. We will make sure that support is there for them all and they get what they need individually. There is and has been sufficient police all the time.”

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