BBC News At Five 2017-11-24 Fri

BBC News At Five 2017-11-24 Fri


for many Eastern central and southern areas it is actually going to be a crisp sunny day temperatures of 5-7 degrees but it’ll feel colder than that in fact for most of us it’ll feel like it’s below freezing or thereabouts so that was Saturday Sunday I think there’ll be fewer showers around there will be lots of fine weather particularly in the east and the south but this where the front is approaching and I think by the end of the day things will turn just that little bit milder but not an awful lot but a little bit milder in the northwest and it’ll start raining there so overall cold but maybe less cold by the end of the weekend coming up next on the BBC News Channel it’s the news at five later this evening outside source covers all the latest global stories at 9:00 followed by another chance to see tonight’s news night at 11:15 [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] tonight at five at least 230 people are killed in a bomb and gun attack in Egypt gunmen stormed a crowded mosque in the Sinai Peninsula in the deadliest attack of its kind in the region for years hospitals are struggling to cope with the number of people injured no group has so far claimed responsibility we’ll have the latest from Cairo the other main stories on BBC News at 5:00 a new president and a fresh start for Zimbabwe as Emerson Managua promises elections and vows to serve all citizens I’ll be reporting live from Harare on the new president’s inauguration where even some of his critics say his speech today was statesmen like powerful and inspirational trying to move the brexit talks forward to resume mate meets the President of the European Council Donald Tusk in Brussels as the Black Friday sales bonanza kicks off shoppers are expected to spend a whopping 8 billion pounds this beautiful lollipop for Billie Jean’s I figure she’s gonna be a sucker for my love and coming up the 1973 match that redefined women’s tennis find out what Mark Kermode thinks of battle of the sexes in the film review a quarter to 6 [Music] hello very good evening welcome to the BBC News at five we’re gonna have the very latest on that horrendous attack in Egypt just in the next few moments but before we go to Cairo just to tell you some news for anyone in and around the capital here tonight because there is an incident ongoing right in central London at Oxford Circus tube station if you know anything about the capital you know that is right in the heart of a major shopping district and would be very very busy at this time now British Transport Police is telling us that they’re responding to reports of an incident at the tube station there now the only word they are using is incident the station has been shut and the police Transport Police are asking people to leave the area the station shut of course beginning of the Friday night rush hour they are saying please please do not go to Oxford Circus tube station the station itself has been closed since 20 to 5 so it was it’s been shut for 20 minutes now and as you see there from that tweet by British Transport Police police officers are at the scene so if you don’t know the capital it’s worth reiterating that two major tube lines run through Oxford Circus the Victoria Line and the central line and perhaps also worth reflecting our stress we don’t know exactly what’s happened at the moment but it’s worth reminding ourselves as we said just there in the headlines it is of course Black Friday so one would expect that police will be people rather will be coming into the area or staying on in this part of central London if they work in the area perhaps because of the Black Friday sales we will have a report later in the hour in fact as to how those sales have been going so far and certainly we know that Barclaycard have been talking about a huge number of sales exchanges today that’s from their statistics so far so you would assume it would be a fair assumption that it’s a part of the capital that would be busy anyway on a Friday night beginning of the rush hour but possibly even busier because of the beginning of the Black Friday sales a lot of the sales continue all weekend and one would imagine that Friday night is going to be a very popular time for people to stay in at the area or to come into the area so just to report what we know crucially of course if you live or work in the capital the British Transport Police saying please please avoid the area do not try to come to Oxford Circus you won’t be able to get on the tube there and trains that would travel through that very very busy station are not stopping so you won’t be able to get on or off at Oxford Circus let’s talk to Helen Bushby who joins me on the phone in fact you’re Helen is a BBC producer I should explain who I guess is in the region explain where you are what you’re seeing what seems to be happening Helen hi James yes I was just walking down from the BBC towards the tube and there was a mass spam feed of people running away from the tube as quickly as Baker’s they were crying they were screaming they were dropping shopping bags it was a scene it was a very chaotic scene I stopped a couple and tried to find out from them what was going on many people didn’t know they were just running because everybody else was I found a group of girls who had thought they crowded in through a nearby restaurant and they were all in tears and we said they’d heard that either there had been a shooting on the tube come on it heard what they thought was a gunshot or they thought it was a fire another group of onlookers said that they’ve been shopping in Topshop and they heard that they’d been an instant everybody dropped their shopping of course the shops are so full because it’s Black Friday they dropped their shopping and ran out as quickly as they could and I’m stood here now and all I can see is rows of busses traffic isn’t moving there’s been police sirens people are a little calmer now they’re standing and watching and people are now walking away rather than running but the fact that you saw so many people in distress Helen is indicative of I that the panic that was that was going round or perhaps indicative of people who’d actually seen something and it’s it’s striking that you mentioned people in Topshop having heard something potentially because again for people who don’t know the area there’s a very big Topshop and it is right by one of the entrances to Oxford Circus tube so they would have been if something has happened across dress we don’t know at this stage but if something has happened you could I guess the fact that they they you could potentially hear it from that area yes that’s right and as I said people who did appear to know what may happen said they thought they heard a gunshot and I think you could just see it was it’s panic was just spreading and I think everybody was frightened obviously because of recently terror incident fresh in people’s minds everybody wanted to just get away as quickly as they could if people were sprinting and crying and running as I said it was very distressing to watch I didn’t join in because I actually wanted to know what happened before I was going to do that but yeah you know it was it was you know very worrying to watch and so just to remind people Helen British Transport Police are saying of course the station is shut please don’t go to the area just again for us for anyone joining us paint a picture of the emergency services are there lots of police at the scene explain what they’re doing in terms of how they’re marshalling the public yeah I can’t see that far ahead I can’t get down that far because people are now starting to gather on the streets I can see lots of blue lights flashing I’ve seen a mixture of police and fire engines I haven’t seen any ambulances and everybody is now as I say they look far more orderly and people are walking so I can assume from that but further up the street near the tube police are just telling people to move away slowly the panic appears to be over people are calmer people are now not crying or distress they are just walking away from the tube alright thank you well Helen perhaps you can if you’re able to stay on the line it’s probably worth what it is just explaining exactly what British British Transport Police are saying to us because it is important to get the very latest information from them on the Twitter feed as you can see we continue to respond to an incident at Oxford Circus the station is currently closed please avoid the area at this time officers are on the scene and those few still images that we’ve been able to get from the scene they paint their own picture there’s a few images circulating now like this with a lot of police police vehicles in evidence now our producer Helen Bush we who we were just talking to you there who works for the BBC she painted quite upsetting picture in the early stages of people lots of people in tears she said lots of people in tears she saw lots of people running from the scene very distressed some of them dropping bags as they go the police in London we hear on the Reuters news HDC the police in London are advising people in Oxford Street to get inside a building so get inside a building is what they are saying and inevitably of course people are tweeting about this similarly to our producer Helen that we were just talking to there I’m seeing other tweets let’s say for example someone saying I’ve just been caught up in loads of people screaming and running away from Oxford Circus station police there are telling people to get inside and that we take to mean get inside a building because the tube station is shut and evacuated do not the police tell us do not try to get anywhere near the area our correspondent John donneson has been finding out a little bit more and he tells us that the area around that tube station is sealed off now John is reporting dozens of police vehicles he says he has seen dozens of police vehicles in that area buildings being evacuated and again similarly to what our producer was just telling us shoppers talking of panic and people running in all directions now this is if you don’t know the area this is an area that would ordinarily be extremely busy on a Friday night anyway it would be busy in the immediate aftermath of the of the working day it is a tube stration that is actually very commonly very very overcrowded so it’s not unusual to see large numbers of people gathered around that tube station but it would appear that there is a lot more going on besides and as I say the Reuters news agency telling us that the Metropolitan Police are advising people to get inside a building you may know Oxford Street’s reputation even if you don’t know the Capitol a long very busy very popular shopping street and it’s Black Friday and it’s the run-up to Christmas and you could not pick a much busier time than a Friday night or a Saturday for shoppers our home affairs correspondent Tom Simon’s has joined me we’re just getting initial reports Tom what have you been able to ascertain from the met well Jane you’ve heard these two official statements there’s a lot of rumor but there’s two pieces of official information and I think we need to focus on initially firstly this line from the truck from Transport for London describing what’s going on as a customer incident now these organizations choose their words very carefully in situations like this they plan what to do and that is interesting that it’s described as a customer incident however the station has been closed it was closed at about twenty to five trains aren’t stopping so clearly it is a serious incident that they’re dealing with the second key piece of information I think we have at the moment is from the Metropolitan Police as you said people being told to go into a building officers are on the scene and dealing with it and that suggests there is something going on in the streets around the shopping area Oxford Circus that crossroads are those two busy shopping streets we can see from pictures that people are sending that there are a lot of police almost cordoning off various roads getting people off the streets into into shops we have spoken to a BBC reporter who is in a shop in Carnegie Street and closed opposed by part of me streets about at five minutes no more than that walk from Oxford Circus tube station she has told us that she’s locked in the shop she’s not allowed to go out and that she heard too she described them as pops so small bangs of some sorts that may be completely unrelated to what’s going on often here any kind of noise that happens at an incident like this described as explosions or gunshots we can’t assume that’s what it is at this stage our reporter has described that as two pops another piece of information I’m just getting the fire brigade say they’re in it in attendance at a British Transport Police incident so the British Transport Police doesn’t police the streets of London Italy it police’s the stations the tube stations and the over ground stations clear that from that that this is a btp led investigation at the moment or incident at the moment so that’s what’s officially being said but we are hearing people describing a lot of panic in the area which is understandable when anything like this happens people do run they do shout they do panic they call their friends and tell them something’s going on they tweet and so all that is happening as we speak but the the official information is what we should focus on at this stage absolutely and to that end in fact on worth just for Londoners in particular worth just saying that British Transport Police who you of course keep mentioning BTP are saying that Oxford Circus station is closed and also Bond Street station is closed and that is the next station along on the central line from Oxford Circus and again Oxford Circus station and Bond Street station are two key stations on that long long stretch that makes up Oxford Street a mass of shops and cafes so two stations now shut our offices this is the Metropolitan Police our officers are on the scene and please avoid the Oxford Circus area while we deal with the incident again the official channels tom using the word incident so by definition then is it’s it’s hard for us to gain this Jane I mean I work in the team of the BBC that looks at all of these incidents when they happen and a lot of them we don’t report because they turn out viii there was one fairly recently for example which was a battery pack that had exploded in a bag on the tube it was just a battery pack that is all that had happened but it did spark a lot of speculation on Twitter this does seem to be slightly bigger at the police clearly confirming that they are turning out in fairly large numbers now to to deal with this incident and getting people off the streets is is an important change in the sort of status of what’s going on closing the station well that happens fairly regularly on the London Underground because all sorts of things go on in a city the size of London and those pictures you can see there and we’ve seen that sort of thing happening in the past this year given what have happened this year on a number of different occasions people do get very worried when this sort of thing happens they don’t quite know what to do and of course the official government police advise is to leave the area as – it is to run tell and hide if necessary and so they are doing just that they’re doing the right thing but of course people are going to be a little bit worried by what is going on until we get a better idea of what the official line is yes that’s looking away from Oxford Circus tube station down Oxford Street towards Bond Street which is the other tube station which is now shut yes and exactly as you suggest Tom it’s it’s very very difficult because rumors take hold very very quickly and people are panicked understandably when one person starts panicking it spreads and and again it’s worth saying that for people who don’t know this part of London I mean it is so extraordinarily busy at commuter time anyway any any tiny innocence incident can spark problems because of the sheer volume of people trying to get in particular into that tube station as a few crunch points across the capital and Oxford Circus is one of them let’s be clear James the station we will use here here we’re broadcasting houses close by and often that station is closed because they need to manage the flow of passengers onto the platform it’s one of those stations that’s always been very congested and they say you know you have to wait outside while we while we clear the platforms now another BBC colleague is telling us that she also we remember we heard just a few minutes ago a BBC reporter saying to pops we have another reporter now saying that there were two bangs and we also have a slightly longer metropolitan police statement police called it 1638 so 438 on Friday to reports of a number of reports of a lot of people calling 999 shots fired at Oxford Circus tube station they are responding to the incident they’ve responded as if the incident is terrorist related armed and unarmed officers on the scene dealing with this if you’re in Oxford Street go into a station and stay inside and avoid travelling to the Oxford Street area now the mention of armed officers tells us that they are going to treat this as though somebody has fired shots I mean the police have a number of armed response units who are circling the busy bits of London who are ready to go at a moment’s notice people will remember the incident at London Bridge where armed officers were on that scene within eight minutes so it’s clearly something they’re capable of getting to very quickly getting across what’s happening and making sure that they control the situation but as you say we are our own reporters of reporting hearing small bangs something like that so you can see why people would report in that and you know via the 999 system that this may be gun shots fired the latest Metropolitan Police statement worth reiterating that this statement says at this stage police have not located any casualties police have not located any casualties but the Met statement again reminding us that Oxford Circus station has been shut since 20 to 5 also Bond Street station is closed and crucially people being asked to avoid the area you would think that goes without saying but of course that is that is vital information people perhaps trying to go shopping just leaving work meeting friends in a very very busy area please please avoid the area say the Metropolitan Police and say British Transport Police and if you happen to be on Oxford Street itself go inside a building and stay inside until further direction though we’ll add to that Jane that one of our reporters who was in that Carnaby Street shop you know about five minutes away from Oxford Circus said she was actually being allowed out just as we were speaking to her about ten minutes ago so perhaps the area’s not quite as closed down as as we might think also worth pointing out I’m not going to get into speculation here but it is Friday it’s a time when there is a kind of slightly higher chance I think because the busyness of city centres for this kind of incident to be terrorism-related and it’s also Black Friday when of course shops are very busy and if somebody was going to time something for for for this sort of time then you could see that as an as an issue it’s also worth saying that some of these incidents that look like they might be terrorist incidents actually a completely something different there was an incident I remember at Leytonstone station where a man attacked passengers with a knife turned out that he was a passenger with a mental condition and he was quite quickly detained he was fired at by taser by the police and so you know what looks like terrorism can often not be and so we all need to bear that in mind at this stage and we’re getting information in you know as we speak that just the BTP they’re confirming called at 1637 reports of shots fired armed officers on the scene the British Transport Police which looks after the stations if you are just joining us you are watching BBC News it is 20 past five and just to bring you right up to date with what we know so far these still images are coming in to us tonight from central London a very busy Friday night in central London and several tube stations right in the heart of the capital are shut tonight and people are asked to avoid the area Oxford Circus tube and Bond Street tube are both closed and as you see there the latest tweet from British Transport Police this is all following reports of shots being fired officers are there our correspondent who is down in the area has said he’s counted about a dozen police vehicles in that area and people being asked to avoid it people being moved away and as you see Metropolitan Police the London Police Force working together with British Transport Police to try to establish exactly what has happened and our home affairs correspondent Tom Symons is with me monitoring all his information as well and and that is what is so difficult at this stage Tom the word incident is still being used reports of shot being fired but crucially worth reiterating what the Met is saying that there is no sign of casualties so far that’s all really remember I mean I’ve covered all of the incidents this year London Bridge the the explosion at Parsons Green station the stabbings at Westminster and very quickly we heard about casualties in those cases we’re not yet hearing reports of casualties and if there were people injured on the streets I think we probably would have done by now now again I’m trying not to speculate but perhaps that’s an encouraging sign that we haven’t heard that yet but clearly the police trying to get control if if there are if there is anything that sounds like a gunshot in central London given the current security climate then the police are obviously going to respond by telling people to stay inside by putting armed officers on the streets and making sure that they completely understand what is going on and responding as they say as if this is terrorism related or some sort of an attack all right Tom well I know you’re going to stay with us and talk to your sources and find out a little bit more I’ll just talk to our correspondent John Thomason who joins me from Regent Street and again if you’re not familiar with the area Regent Street bisects Oxford Street and again another very very busy shopping street on what is of course Black Friday John just explain what you’re seeing what you’ve been witnessing in the last hour well I’m it’s about a hundred yards north of Oxford Circus q police have set up a trail cordon here and there’s a lot of confusion obviously very busy as you suggest Black Friday and pretty tens actually about two minutes ago we just had a huge surge of people sprinting across Oxford Street in a state of panic I don’t know what they were reacting to but certainly people are very much on edge the police have set up a cordon stretching one two or three hundred meters I’d say around Oxford Circus and there are dozens of police vehicles here and more arriving all the time they’ve evacuated a lot of the buildings and the shops around Oxford Circus but obviously on rush hour on Black Friday it was absolutely packed round there and people really just trying to find out what’s going on of course and and and so much confusion and so much uncertainty how how would you assess people’s responses of people sheltering what are people doing and saying it makes to be honest some people I’ve seen in tears looking really kind of traumatized and anxious just saying they want to get out of here going up to the police saying just getting me out of here other people much sort of Karma some people even kind of laughing and joking about it but as I say two or three minutes ago we did have this real moment of panic where you know I didn’t know what was going on I saw people sprinting calls me rushing into the shops to try and get shelter and he thought well is something going on on one of the streets around Regent Street it seems there wasn’t but certainly people very much on edge and John you talked about police vehicles and police vans arriving all the time is it does the primary police operation at the moment appear to be operating that maintaining that cordon and getting people out of the area there’s no nothing I can see from where I am here suggests there is anything going on at the moment I can still see vehicles which were on Oxford Street being moved away from there and we have had these two different messages really from different branches of the police as you as we heard earlier the Transport Police referring to this as a customer incident and then that statement from the Metropolitan Police saying that they were responding to report and just reports of shots fired we don’t of course know whether any shots were actually fired they were just responding to reports yes we don’t know that yet thank you very much that’s our correspondent John donneson on Regent Street in central London thank you we’re going to stay of course with this story we simply don’t know what has happened at this stage but there is a large police operation in the middle of central London there let’s also talk to my colleague Pierre Talbot who joins me who’s a BBC producer and you’ve been out to get us as close to the area as you were allowed to appear again explain what what you saw yeah so I was just finishing finishing my shift heading down to Oxford Circus tube down Regent Street from the BBC I could tell it was busier than normal but I thought it was Black Friday you know just people out enjoying Black Friday and all of a sudden people started screaming and it seemed all of a sudden it fair to say a stampede coming towards come towards the BBC from Oxford Circus people were shouting though I didn’t see anything like this but people were saying they’d heard gunshots and they’d heard someone kind of on the main Ulster Turkish intersection and so we kind of ran up Regent Street and darted into nearby shops so I ran into the North Face shop which is just to the tube station exactly right just as they were closing the doors and then security the security for the shop just puts us on the basement floor and we hid in lifts and in the basement floor for how long were you hiding and how many people were there I say there were probably about a hundred people so a hundred people most of whom had perhaps just run into the shop got many people in there shopping yeah yeah yeah so they you know there was quite a panic to get in and a lot of the people were quite young teenagers you know I had one little girl say am I going to die yeah very panicked situation and people were of course scared because it’s the on see the unknown exactly and I must say we we certainly didn’t hear any gunshots or you know there was nothing but people kind of running in that sense of panic but yeah lots of people in tears quite inconsolable and I suppose we were held there for about it felt about 10 minutes that we were held there and then all of a sudden security said you can exit but leave turn right has intent don’t turn left towards Oxford Circus TURN RIGHT way and so was that the shops own individual security team who I’m curious that it’s striking isn’t it that we we live in a situation now where it sounds like they responded very very quickly that that very action of sending you all down into the basement of their building and and then did you get any sense that the security team had had some kind of all-clear I’m curious on what basis they said to you to leave and telling people where to go I yeah I’m not sure yet it all happened quite quickly they of course let me there were no police that I could see in the shop I it would seem to me that they were the shops private security they seemed to be in contact with some officials though I’m not sure whether they were police or or other officials and again all of a sudden they said it’s it’s safe to go but there is something ongoing and so they let out this this group of hundred or so people who’ve been sheltering and did they then shut the shop barricade what what our business is doing at the moment as far as I could tell the doors were kept open some people chose to stay in the basement a bit longer they didn’t feel safe to leave and yeah it was hard to tell there was not a cordon in place to the right of the shop so people were free to move and being marshaled on but but of course frightening and if you say they were really quite young people in your group as a lot of children I mean that that that’s yes my very scenario for them yeah I’d say that the the youngest people I saw there were about 10 10 or 11 with their families youngsters out shopping yeah course on Black Friday yeah all right Pierre thank you so much Tom Symons our Home Affairs Corey respondent is still with me what more do you have time just had a message from Daniel Sanford is one of our home of other other home affairs correspondents who is about a hundred yards up the road up Regent Street from Oxford Street Station he says he’s just seen some more heavily armed officers leaving looking quite relaxed so we often report the more dramatic happenings when these incidents take place in the in the current climate but he is saying he’s seen these these were heavily armed officers looking like they might be standing down but of course we don’t know if they’re going somewhere else where they’re needed whether you know there is a more complicated situation than we think but that is a hopeful sign if I can put it that way and just give you some idea there are really two types of armed officers that might be involved in an incident like this one is the standard armed response unit which is three people in a police car with some pretty serious firepower but there are also a second level of officers with firearms now that the Metropolitan Police are the forces employ called counterterrorism firearms officers specialist firearms officers they are specifically trained to deal with this sort of an incident if there was shooting in the street in a city for example and all sorts of other specialist types of activities that they trained to do perhaps a bit more like military activities so it may be that Daniel is talking about those sorts of officers or just some quite well armed armed response unit teams and what is one of the things that is so striking about this tom whatever this turns out to be and we still don’t know is the speed of the response that we witness now it could be any city in the UK but but it’s quite remarkable isn’t it the speed at which we see large numbers of police and also as you say armed police they get two incidents very very quickly now yeah I mean a few months ago the Metropolitan Police gave especially as correspondents a briefing on how they intend to deal with these situations and some of it they asked us not to discuss openly because of course we don’t want to give anybody planning and attack any ideas but it is clear that there are armed response teams units cars ready to respond at in a matter of minutes the London Bridge case for example the three men who attacked drinkers in the London Bridge Borough Market area in the summer the armed response that was about eight minutes in that case three officers arrived shot the terrorists dead and the incident was brought to an end so they can move very quickly I for example seen armed response units sat in various parts of London with their engines running ready to go so even turning the engine on will take a bit of time so they are clearly ready to go and that second wave if you like those more heavily armed military type training counterterrorism specialist firearms officers who are also able to to come in and deal with perhaps a more serious situation so hopefully we are not going to see anything like that today and just we are seeing the British Transport Police saying that one woman has sustained a minor injury while leaving Oxford Circus station there are other reported casualties again a hopeful sign one would imagine that if there was something very bad going on on the streets at the moment that we would start to see ambulances reports of casualties and that sort of thing and this is a live image from the scene as it will gather some of the shots the previous shots that we were seeing are from a helicopter as you will gather that shot right there that the heart of Oxford Circus and in itself a sight you never see you never see that part of London that deserted it simply doesn’t happen even in the early hours of the morning it would still be busy so that gives you a sense of the cordon that the police have put in place it is a mass of police vehicles but no members of the public that cordon right the way around there right through the heart of Oxford Circus the Christmas lights are on there it is Black Friday it has been an extremely busy shopping day busier than usual and that though now is the scene and how deserted it is Oxford Circus station and Bond Street Station both closed and people still advised to leave the area Jane I’m just monitoring some reports of we’re getting of armed officers going to Selfridges which is like all those shops closed its doors kept people inside for safety the Selfridges press office is saying that there is there has been an incident near the store now that may just be Oxford Oxford Circus simply repeating what we have been reporting now for what is it nearly an hour just under an hour but there does seem to be some activity around the Selfridges area other members of the public tweeting that a lot of confusion and depend as we’ve talked about panic around that big big landmark store or Knox mystery yeah Selfridges is at the western end of Oxford Street Selfridges at one end and Tottenham Court Road which people might be familiar with down to the eastern end we’ll stay on these pictures which are coming from our helicopter above Oxford Circus and that the shot all the way down the road with all the Christmas lights our correspondent Richard Lister is also there Richard explain for viewers where you are and what you’re seeing this evening Street at the junction of great digital Street which is actually on the other side of the street to Selfridges where we’ve been hearing that that sort has been evacuated other stores between there and where I am probably about 10 minutes walk away from services I’ve also been evacuated and police service you just come through the area where I’m standing asking people to leave this area – at the moment the street is extremely quiet looking down towards the junction of Oxford Street and Regent Street which is the location of the circuit tube station which seems to have been at least one of the focuses of this incident I can see flashing lights from police I can’t be ambulances but certainly the police are very much in evidence just looking around me I can see just at this location and five six seven offices and there are obviously many more further down many police vehicles – so as far as we know all of the approach Road to the junction of Oxford Street and Regent Street have been closed off people are being pushed back and still being pushed back even now as we came down here we encountered knots of people running and there was real panic on their faces but at the same time it wasn’t clear exactly what triggered that people we spoke to said they were running because others are running and I think the fact is it is so crowded down here on one of the busiest shopping days before Christmas that there were a lot of people here and as soon as rumors start of some kind of incident people wanted to get out and that made other people very fearful as well so we saw evidence that as we approach this area but for the moment things are calm where I am there are not a lot of police vehicles going up and down there are people standing behind another cordon that I can see watching what’s going on lots of flashing lights but things relatively quiet here as we wait to see exactly what have happened of course and forgive me Richard just to clarify as well you’re talking about calm are businesses closing up have they closed are cafes open just just give us a sense of that again outside the court ins as far as I can tell no man’s land where I am at the moment and these businesses appear to be empty the door seemed to be lot of nobody going in or out it would seem that they have been evacuated I’m looking at a shoe shop I can see some people in there they look like staff you’ve decided to stay there but certainly there are no customers there are no people here going in and out of the shops in this area that’s been cordoned off as I understand it has been evacuated and if Selfridges has been evacuated it would make you think that other shops around it have also been evacuated too and as I said Jane looking at the shops around me they are empty certainly of customers and mostly of staff – all right many thanks Richard Vista there are correspondent in that area able to see both the area that’s cordoned off and just outside it and again worth reiterating if you are just joining us here tonight on BBC News the essence is please please avoid the real central London shopping district avoid Oxford Street Regent Street Oxford Circus tube station is shut as is Bond Street tube station Oxford Circus station has been shut since 20 to 5 tonight with British Transport Police responding to reports of gunshots but that is all we have at this stage it is only reports and our home affairs correspondent Tom Symons who’s been following all of this with me I was struck there Tom that Richard made the point that he’d seen plenty of police vehicles but he hadn’t seen any ambulances that’s really important I mean you know there are all sorts of things that can create bangs in central London most of us don’t really know what a gunshot really sounds like anybody in the current security climate that hears a couple of bangs in central London is going to think that somebody’s firing a gun to be honest I mean that is generally what happens generally the police then get a lot of 999 calls and we cannot you know at this stage I think we should probably assume that a gun hasn’t been fired because we’re not seeing reports of axe injuries we’re seeing the police in one report from a correspondent who knows what he’s talking about looking like they’re standing down and we’ve seen some shots that have been reopened and the Met have just said on Twitter literally in the last seconds there is no evidence of shots being fired so if they are saying that then let’s assume that for now but clearly they have responded as though this was an incident where where shots were fired so this just that full Suites I think it’s esashi a statement now from the Met to date police have not located any trade any trace of any suspects evidence of shots fired or casualties officers continue to work with colleagues from the British Transport Police in the area of Oxford Circus if you are in a building stay in the building if you’re on the street please leave the area that is standard advice in a situation like this get out of the area it makes it easier for the police to operate if nothing else because there are fewer people to get in the way worth reiterating at one point I think Tom no evidence yet of this is a police statement so perhaps that the strongest information we can give you at this stage today – police have not located any trace of any suspects evidence of shots fired or lt’s and they’re continuing to work with their British Transport Police colleagues and also you know they’re not telling people to to hide they’re telling people to stay inside a shop for their safety so you know this is a kind of careful urgent but not panicked response I think from the emergency service and to your point allows them to get on with their job far more straightforwardly as much as they can as well let’s bring in Dominic Kashani who’s our correspondent who is there at the scene well clearly Dominic as we see right on the edge of the police cordon just again for people who don’t know the capital just a sense of where you are in relation to everything we’re talking about tonight yeah that’s right we’re right on the edge of the police cordon here so we’re about 100 metres up from the Oxford Circus entrances where this began I think what’s really interesting at the moment is first of all actually how quickly the base of emergency services arrived on the scene we are when you’re 200 metres away from our newsroom and as we dash down here to try and establish what was going on we saw armed officers also arriving at the scene for the equipped for a worst-case scenario but things as they look at the moment don’t appear to be that for me I think it’s really instructive that tonight so far the Metropolitan Police haven’t issued what they call their own hide tell alert on social media which effectively is their their highest possible warning to the public that they’re dealing with a serious incident in that particular tactic that that public communications alert was designed particularly for an incident where they where they feared someone they haven’t issued that tonight so we’re waiting to find out exactly what happens here if I just step out shot at the moment he makes going on we’ve got you know officers who are securing the scene they’re looking fairly momentum armed officers have seemed to have moved away from the center of the action actually around Oxford sir and overhead we have the chopper which is gathering effectively gathering pictures for the Metropolitan Police potential evidence if there has been a crime committed as well but effectively the tactic at the moment is to keep everything on lockdown and I think it’s perhaps useful also just to if I just come back into shot it’s useful to draw a comparison between this and previous incidents a couple of weeks back I I by coincidence I was actually on shift on the Saturday when we had the false alarm at the Natural History Museum who saw that on that Saturday may remember that there was a taxi which mounted the pavement and was involved in a number of collisions now the the response on that afternoon was quite extraordinary how quickly the police arrived at the scene and at the tide because of the nature of the incidents a car which could have been used as a weapon that’s their worst case scenario in many respects at the moment they were treating it as a potential terrorist incident so the lockdown the cordon was far greater than it currently at the moment and given that the police are stressing that there is no evidence they haven’t had any evidence fired and they haven’t issued their high level run hide and tell alerts I think that’s perhaps indicative of the uncertainty around this but also an important moments of stress it’s yeah there’s potentially no needs to actually panic at the moment about this Domenic thank you very much for now we will come back to you periodically of course our correspondent Dominic Kashi Ani at the scene and worth reiterating this latest statement from the Metropolitan Police from London’s Police Service saying we have not located any trace of suspects evidence of shots fired or casualties officers are still at the scene if you’re in a building stay there if you’re on the street in the Oxford Street area please leave that area officers are continuing to search and the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police keeping us up-to-date all at the time as is our home affairs correspondent Tom Symons who is with me let’s also just quickly get some thoughts from Giulio McFarland who is a producer here with us at the BBC because Julia you were out in the area as well I think explain where you were and what you saw so the police told me that they got there first cause of an incident on Oxford Street just before 20 to 5 I ran outside and by about 10 to 5 the police had not yet managed cordon off Oxford Circus which is the main thoroughfare of Oxford Street and Regent Street but there was already a sizable crowd gathered outside the station entrance there were lots and lots of people and the police on scene were at that stage they had just arrived on scene and they were trying to push everyone back and trying to set up a cordon there were lots of people who were running away from the centre there were people running away from the centre who had tears streaming down their face one of them I spoke to I asked her what she had seen where she was she told me that she was locked inside a shop Pandora shop which is right on the on the roundabout on the Oxford Circus roundabout and she said that she all of a sudden heard lots of shouting I asked her if she’d heard any gunshots or any bangs or anything that could tell us a bit more about what the internet might have been and she said no I just all of a sudden I just started hearing noise and a huge noise from people people shouting people getting excited and lots of people started running past the windows and she decided to stay inside the shop rather than run outside lots of people who in the shop in the shop decided to do the same thing now in the sense you were picking up on the inevitable panic because people didn’t know what was happening off groomers spread very very quickly and and it’s a extremely busy area at the best of times anyways so that adds to the panic it’s an extremely busy busy time central London it’s also Black Friday there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people just in this part of Oxford Street let alone in central London there was an off-duty police inspector who showed me her card she had a big bag from Marks and Spencers in one hand and in her other hand she is trying to ship it all people out from the center there were lots and lots of people inside the police quad and by the time they got the tape setup lots of shoppers had barricaded themselves inside the shops and the rafters had been pulled down and they were looking through the the cage of the of the shop shutters just trying to see what was happening but lots of people had chosen to sort of go inside the shops and the shopkeepers had pulled the shutters down keeping safe so lots of people who had decided to stay inside a shop rather than take their chances outside because no one knew what was happening okay Julia thank you very much a little earlier on we mentioned Selfridges of course very famous department store which is at the western end of Oxford Street at the far end so so good ten minutes walk from Oxford Circus tube but in the last half an hour or so we were reporting activity there at Selfridges as well but also worth just saying at this point I think that a spokeswoman for the shop has just said we can confirm that Selfridges London has been evacuated as a precautionary measure there has been no reported incidents inside the shop so evacuated purely as a precautionary measure says the store no reported incidents in the store you’re watching BBC news tonight with continuing coverage of an operation that’s been ongoing right in the heart of London on a very busy Friday night which began about an hour and 10 min it’s ago reports of gunfire inside the tube station but only reports and the British Transport Police saying now that they have been unable to find any evidence of gunfire unable to find any evidence of gunfire and Tom Symons or Home Affairs correspondent who stayed with me throughout this worth as well reminding people that there are in essence there are no casualties that the Metropolitan Police saying that there one woman was slightly hurt as she tried to get out of the tube station but there are no other casualties beyond that I think we’re seeking to confirm that with the health services the emergency services London Ambulance Service j-mart we’ve been talking I’ve been keeping an eye on the the BBC helicopter pictures of the area and it’s clear that there is a huge area that has been affected by this Oxford Street which is pretty long streets Regent Street which crosses Oxford Street and probably other streets around it and you know even if this is nothing it’s been incredibly disruptive and it’s a real shame isn’t it that we live in the sort of times when even a false alarm can bring a shopping district like the centre of London effectively to a halt on its potentially busiest day of the year and and it really says something about the the year we have had with the sorts of attacks that we have seen and the high state of alert that that London is that Britain is on at the moment to that end worth bringing you the very latest which would suggest tom we hope is positive news because we are just hearing that Oxford Circus tube has been reopened so Oxford Circus is open again also Bond Street station the next station along is open as well we are being told all trains are stopping at those stations normally so that has returned to normal service really tom I would say pretty swiftly in your assessment so it’s a what they were called the authorities were called about an hour and ten minutes ago a huge Swift police response a huge number of police vehicles at the scene a big cordon put in place but we are hearing Oxford Circus tube has reopened as has Bond Street one just other hopeful good bit of information here a nugget of information our source is telling us that the Mets counterterrorism commands are not involved in this at this stage and not getting involved in the incident in Oxford Street again a hopeful sign but it is being extremely disruptive and you know people clearly get very very upset and worried when this sort of thing happens and and that is perhaps one of the worst things about about all these false alarms they happen quite regularly in London we deal with them we look into them when they happen we’re constantly calling the police the transport services the under ambulance service because of things that we hear have happened that have caused panic this has been on a bigger scale than really anything we’ve had as a false alarm this year if it is as it looks and and so that is not a good thing on it on a busy Friday but obviously a good thing that it looks at this stage that there haven’t been any sort of injuries absolutely stay with us let’s return to our correspondent Kashi Ani who is at the police cordon now just in the last few moments we’re hearing that the two stations are reopening Dominick so I wonder what sense whether whether the bit of movement I mean there’s clearly still that cordon in place that’s how it would look what what’s what are you hearing well indeed indeed the reason I think if those ever a time for that poster keep calm and carry on perhaps this it the the cordon is still in place if I just pop out a shot you can see it still all these fans down the bottom a number of offices around but Transport for London just said in the last few minutes and if I can just pull up the actual quote they’ve just said Oxford Circus and Bond Street stations now both reopened and all trains are stopping normally now we understand also that the Mets counterterrorism command are not getting involved this incident oxes and that’s perhaps indicative because when we came out earlier we saw armed police arrive but what we didn’t see were a counter to stop apologies a difficult line there to Dominic who is at the scene but our home affairs correspondent Tom Symons has been watching this throughout and just a brief reflection Tom that the speed of the authorities response here the police response it is another reminder of the security situation that we currently live in in the UK this could be any big city in the UK on a Friday night this is the sort of response we can expect now is that fair to say yeah I mean when you’ve had what we’ve had this year the attack at Westminster the the bombing Manchester the awful situation on the bridge with people out for an evening being stabbed in the streets the man run over in Finsbury Park you know all of these incidents add to the the readiness that the police have to be within at all times but two different types of farms officers we talked about this quite a lot this evening Dominic mentioned it there he knows what to look for he knows what counterterrorism officers look like they wear different uniforms there have different types of weapons he hasn’t seen them on the streets now they’re not the first line of response usually actually in a situation like this the first line of response are the standard Firearms response units that deal with any kind of incident involving potential violence in London even somebody with a knife turn up very quickly trained to contain the situation very very rarely far a shot almost you know a handful of shots every year five by the police that result in people being injured they’ve come along very quickly so quite quickly my colleagues saying they were standing down so good news tom many thanks for now so to reiterate the tube stations are running and operating again normally at the after this major operation in central London tonight you’re watching BBC News we are staying with these live pictures from central London if you don’t know the capital this is very much the heart one of the key shopping districts of the capital Oxford Street which crosses Regent Street to very very busy and popular shopping the streets and it is of course we keep saying it but it’s Black Friday which means potentially these streets were even busier than they would have been ordinarily on a Friday evening the police responded to reports of gunshots reports is what they said at about 20 to 5 tonight and two major tube stations were closed and no trains were stopping at those two stations just in the last few moments we’ve heard the positive news that the stations are operating again normally trains are running normally there are no casualties in this incident and particularly Tom Symons our home affairs correspondent the police saying they have found no evidence or they are seeing no evidence of those reported gunshots just remind us what they’re saying about this because there clearly were reports and it sparked a major incident yeah no reports of any gun no sign of any gunshots no sign of any guns being fired no for example people running from the scene with with weapons visible no injuries and and therefore you know the police deciding quite quickly that they’re not dealing with the firearms incident in the center of London on Black Friday than one of the busiest shopping days of the year and I’m sure they’ll be very relieved at that and so the end this appears to be disruption and concern panic and an upset evening for a lot of people who will take this home with them and probably be thankful that nothing happened yes and the reports of people fleeing people being in tears people panicking dropping their shopping regrettably mercifully in this case it appears to be a positive outcome but that is a reminder of that the period we’re currently living in the the security level that we’re living at and and in a crowded area how panic inevitably spreads I suppose yeah we’ve seen it many times before and I’m afraid we’ll probably see it many times in the future we’re still at the second highest level of security alert in this country because of everything that’s happened this year but the police are showing they can respond quickly Tom thanks very much for being with us throughout the hour that’s our home affairs correspondent Tom Simons and it would appear mercifully as we edge up to 6 o’clock tonight that those reports that came through about an hour and 20 minutes ago mercifully there is not bad news there is certainly no evidence of gunshots no evidence of gunfire and nobody has been hurt in this incident but the reports of gunshots prompted an enormous and very Swift police response both the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police and a large cordon was put in place in a very very busy part of central London on a particularly busy Friday night but no casualties to report mercifully and all trains now running normally which suggests this incident is over about an hour and 28 minutes after it began there was panic on the streets of central London but it would appear that we end at least with positive news nobody hurt and no incident no evidence of an incident found a full summary of all the day’s news coming up now including that story much more to come now on the 6 o’clock news you’re watching the BBC murdered in a mosque in Egypt at least 235 people have been killed in a bomb Gunnar’s hackin gunmen detonated a bomb before storming inside this mosque shooting of men and children at the end of Friday prayers also tonight panic in the heart of London Oxford Circus is locked down in a major police incident after reports of gunshots thousands of people fled as officers told them to take shelter in buildings

Author:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *