International News

One killed, eight injured after van runs over pedestrians near two mosques in London

The police are trying to verify whether it was a deliberate act or an accident, while Prime Minister Theresa May called it a ‘potential terror attack’.

One person died and eight others were injured early on Monday after a van ran over pedestrians in the city’s Finsbury Park locality, the London Metropolitan Police said.

A local imam reportedly saved the driver of the vehicle from being assaulted by an angry mob after the incident. “Imam Mohammed Mahmoud’s bravery and courage helped calm the immediate situation after the incident and prevented further injury and loss of life,” The Guardian quoted the Muslim Welfare House representative as saying.

The driver was later arrested, and authorities are trying to ascertain whether it was a deliberate act or an accident. The police have deployed armed personnel in the area as a precaution. “There was no regret, no emotion, he was just there smiling and blowing kisses,” an eyewitness told The Guardian. “He said, ‘I’ve done what I’m supposed to do’.”

The incident took place on Seven Sisters Road near two mosques. The Muslim Council of Britain reported on Twitter that worshippers leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque were among those injured. The London Ambulance Service tweeted that it had sent “number of resources” to the site after being called in around 12.15 am.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said investigators were treating the incident “as a potential terrorist attack” and that she will hold an emergency meeting on the matter. “All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene.” Counter-terror police are now investigating the incident, The Independent reported.

An eyewitness told CNN that she “saw a lot of people injured”. Another told The Guardian that he was told “two people were stuck under the van” and that the police “were quick to the scene”.

This van collision comes on the back of two similar incidents of pedestrians being run over by vehicles in London. On March 22, a man had mowed people down on the Westminster Bridge – killing five and injuring at least 40 others – while heading to the Parliament building in his car. At least eight people died after a van drove into people near the London Bridge on June 4.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

Play
Play
Play

2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.