The Case for Situational Awareness

Knife attacks are relatively rare in the United States, and are seen more frequently in Europe and Asia.  Situational Awareness, or the intentional and consistent practice of being alert to one’s surroundings, is important in quickly and properly noticing and reacting to any active assailant situation, regardless of the weapon employed or ideological motivation.

Situational Awareness can also help to reduce one’s chances of being targets of less dramatic crimes such as assault and robbery by opportunistic criminals.  This incident is a timely reminder of the unexpected nature of violent attacks, as it occurred at 2:00 p.m. local time in a bustling shopping section of south London.

[Jonathan Lacey, Principal, Security and Training Solutions]

London police shoot man dead after ‘terror-related’ stabbings

By Ivana Kottasová and Emma Reynolds, CNN

Updated 1:30 PM ET, Sun February 2, 2020

London (CNN)  A man has been shot dead by armed officers in Streatham, south London, in a terrorist-related incident, London’s Metropolitan Police said on Sunday.

Three people were treated at the scene and taken to hospital, London Ambulance said in an updated statement on Sunday.  Police said it did not believe there were other suspects and added the scene has been fully contained.

Gabriel Vigo, a 24-year-old security officer at London’s Heathrow Airport who lives in the Streatham area, told CNN he heard a few shots. From the window of his flat, he saw three bodies on the floor.

“The road was quickly closed too and there was a body next to Boots with something that looked like a device strapped to him,” he told CNN. “It was square-shaped but it looked like it was taped to his shirt.”

Another eyewitness, Gulled Bulhan, a 19-year-old student from Streatham, told PA news agency that the man had a “machete and silver canisters on his chest.”

Bulhan told PA he saw the man “being chased by what I assume was an undercover police officer — as they were in civilian clothing.”

The London Ambulance Service said it was called to the scene shortly before 2 p.m.
“We are working closely with the other emergency services and are treating a number of patients at the scene,” a spokesperson for the service told CNN.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was being briefed on the situation and was in touch with the Metropolitan Police and local representatives. “Terrorists seek to divide us and to destroy our way of life — here in London, we will never let them succeed,” Khan tweeted.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked the emergency services responding to the incident in Streatham. “My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected,” the PM tweeted.

Videos shared on social media showed a number of ambulance and police cars at the scene.
Local resident Dan Smith, who was at the scene, told CNN he saw an ambulance helicopter landing on Tooting Common outside his flat. “On the High Road there was a huge police presence and a wave of ambulances/paramedics arriving. Armed police behind the cordon and everyone was told to remove back,” he told CNN in a message.

Streatham High Road is a busy shopping street. Police have told people to stay away from the area and “use restraint in circulating pictures and videos” of the incident, including images of the officers involved.

The road remained closed even after police said the incident was contained.
The incident comes just two months after police shot and killed a man on London Bridge in central London after an attack that left two people dead and three others injured.

CNN’s Sarah Dean and Sharon Braithwaite contributed reporting