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London terrorist attack

Security in Britain tightened since London attack, UK’s top diplomat in Hong Kong reassures travellers

British Consul General Andrew Heyn also denounced ‘barbaric’ terror attack

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 June, 2017, 12:59am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 June, 2017, 1:03am

The UK’s top diplomat in Hong Kong reassured travellers on Tuesday the British authorities had already stepped up security measures after last weekend’s deadly terror attack in London, saying he was not aware of anyone who has decided to avoid visiting his country.

British Consul General Andrew Heyn also denounced the “cowardly but barbaric” attack in London, stressing that the UK people and friends around the world remained united in rejecting the terrorists’ message of hate.

“In terms of travelling to the UK, you will see on television, and people who are in the UK right now will see extra security in place. There will be a more visible security presence in the UK, and that’s designed to protect citizens of the UK and all of our visitors,” he said on Tuesday.

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“I am not aware of anyone who has decided not to travel to the UK as a result of what has happened. I think probably because people realise that, as I imagine you all do, these things can happen anywhere. It’s tragic when it happens.”

On Monday, the British consulate opened a book of condolences to members of the public, who can pen down their messages until Wednesday. About 20 people, including diplomatic representatives from France, the US, Australia and the European Union, have already written their messages in the book.

Last Saturday, three knife-wielding men killed seven people and injured nearly 50 in London before they were shot dead in a barrage of police gunfire. It was the third deadly attack in Britain in less than three months.

Hong Kong’s Security Bureau recently issued an amber travel alert, the lowest of a three-level scale, following the attacks in Britain. This means Hongkongers are advised to exercise caution and avoid travelling to areas where there are large gatherings.

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“We are in close touch with the authorities ... the authorities here must do whatever they think is right as we will do in the same circumstances. As I said, what we are doing in the UK is making sure that everything possible is done to prevent attacks like this from happening again,” the top diplomat said, when asked about the amber alert.

He applauded the British police and paramedics for their speedy response to the “incredibly dangerous situation”.

He said that at the consulate in Hong Kong, all staff members were being “extra vigilant” but “you won’t see anything special here”.