A city still reeling from the latest acts of terrors, London has seen one attack after another in the last few months.
British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has said “enough is enough” and has vowed to conduct a sweeping review of Britain’s counterterrorism strategy after the country has seen three major terrorist attacks in the last three months.
The most recent attack saw three men in a van plough into a crowd of pedestrians on London Bridge just before 10pm on June 3 before going on a stabbing rampage injuring 48 people and killing eight people including two Australians.
A 34 year old from Australia, Candice Hedge, was one of those injured and is lucky to be alive after being stabbed in the throat missing her main arteries and windpipe by a couple of millimetres.
Hedge said that she attempted to hide from the terrorists who had stormed the cafe she was working at with her boyfriend Luke.
“No more than 15 metres away there were two guys waving around knives, one of them had a fairly big machete in his hand,” Luke said.
Luke rushed to protect the staff and customers, ushering them downstairs to the kitchen but when Candice was nowhere to be seen, he quickly realised she was still upstairs and had been stabbed.
“I saw two of them come in. I just sort of waited,” Hedge said.
“I think he was leaving. As he turned around, he spotted me there, and it was just one quick go, and that’s it.”
Although Candice came close to death, she is determined to return to a sense of normality and go back to work in London as soon as she recovers from surgery.
“We can’t let our lives be ruled by fear. We can’t be scared, what’s the point in life if we’re scared everyday. I’m not going to let them change my life,” she said.
Just two weeks earlier on May 22, a British suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured over 100 people by detonating a nail bomb after an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Then in March, a British convert to Islam killed four people when he rammed his vehicle into people on Westminster Bridge, and then fatally stabbed a police officer outside Parliament.
Ms May explains while the reviews remain in preliminary stages, it is an all hands at the pump approach, with Joint Intelligence Operations to be carried out with MI5, Scotland Yard as well as the Army’s Special Air Service (SAS).
“The points of focus include: recruiting and deploying even more counterterrorism officers, and pushing through new laws to “round up” suspected terrorists and, if convicted, stripping them of their citizenship as a deterrent,” Ms May said.
“As a country, our response must be as it has always been when we have been confronted by violence. We must come together, we must pull together, and united we will take on and defeat our enemies.”
The Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull issued a statement explaining that Australian and British agencies are working closely together in the fight against terrorism.
“This attack is yet another cruel example of the new reality with which we live – the ever present threat of murderous Islamist terrorists intent to harm our communities, our way of life and the freedoms we hold dear.”
Turnbull recognised the reality of the terror threat justifying Australia’s current terror threat level.
“…Our agencies are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we continue to provide them with a legislative force they need, the laws they need to keep us safe and the resources they need that have the capabilities to do so.”
“We will never, ever bow to terrorism. We will continue, as will [Candice and] the people of Britain to lead our lives the way we always have,” Turnbull said.
Hedge, C. Interviewee, Victim (London). 20 June, 2017. https://au.news.yahoo.com/sunday-night/features/a/35890270/we-can-t-let-our-lives-be-ruled-by-fear-terror-survivors-fearless-message-after-london-attacks/#page1
Luke. Interviewee, Candice’s Boyfriend (London). 20 June, 2017. https://au.news.yahoo.com/sunday-night/features/a/35890270/we-can-t-let-our-lives-be-ruled-by-fear-terror-survivors-fearless-message-after-london-attacks/#page1
May, T. Interviewee, British Prime Minister (London). 4 June, 2017. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-following-london-terror-attack-4-june-2017
Turnbull, M. Interviewee, Australian Prime Minister (Australia). 4 June, 2017. https://www.pm.gov.au/media/2017-06-04/statement-london-terror-attacks-0
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