DORSET military bases have increased security in response to the 'barbaric' murder of a soldier in London yesterday afternoon.
The afternoon attack took place in Woolwich where two men armed with various weapons including a machete and a gun brutally killed the soldier in front of stunned onlookers.
Army bases in Dorset have increased security alongside officers from Dorset Police and both are urging members of the public to report any suspiscious activity.
An army spokesman said: “Security is something the Army takes very seriously, and we have taken steps to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place for the protection of personnel and Army establishments."
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A Dorset Police spokesman said: "In light of yesterday’s tragic incident in Woolwich, London, Dorset Police is actively working with all communities in the county through Safer Neighbourhood Team officers to address any concerns about safety in Dorset.
“The key thing to remember is that if you suspect it, you should report it without delay.”
The incident, being treated as a terrorist attack, occurred some 200 yards from the Royal Artillery Barracks, adjacent to Woolwich Common, the historical home of the Royal Artillery.
The Government's emergency response committee, Cobra, will reconvene today to discuss security measures after a man was butchered in broad daylight on the streets of London.
Prime Minister David Cameron will meet his top advisers to urgently address potential security implications following yesterday's murder in Woolwich.
South Dorset MP Richard Drax, a former Coldstream Guards officer said: “This is the worst kind of attack because it is so random and so impossible to defend against. It's absolutely appalling.”
“Our thoughts are with the man's family, friends and colleagues.”
He added: “As always in the face of such attacks, it is essential that we remain cool-headed. If we panic in the face of this, the terrorists win.”
“The measures taken then effectively made them invisible and required them to not to wear uniform in public.
“One of the things I think has been particularly good in the last few years is how popular the armed forces have become; people have become much more used to seeing soldiers in uniform.
“It is a source of national pride but services are going to have to be much more vigilant.
“Back in those days soldiers developed all sorts of strategies including something called Shark Watch when soldiers in a pub together, one was not drinking, he was watching.
“I think we are going to have to be much more vigilant.
“What's been very reassuring is the way Muslims have stepped forward to say that it is nothing to do with them and it is not in their name.
“These are low level scum but we have got a long way to go towards getting any answers. These people have got to be interrogated and we have got to find out what they were planning and if they were part of a wider terrorist plot.”
Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, who spent five years as a serving soldier in the Royal Greenjackets said: “This was a barbaric attack designed to cause maximum confusion and fear with worries over reprisal copycat attacks.
“As much as we are collecting intelligence it is very difficult to prevent a lone individual from launching a surprise attack of this nature.
“But the intent of the terrorist is to cause maximum confusion and we have to react sensibly.
“There will be huge anger and this is exactly what the terrorists want.
“They want everyone to walk in fear and to show and express their rage, which falls into the objective of the terrorists if we do that.
“Britain has a very good record of remaining level headed and I hope the same will happen now.”
He added: “The role of the internet needs to be looked at.
“The footage being sent out plays into the terrorists hands.
“There are also radical sites out there and this promotes the extremist cause.
“This is domestic in the sense that the attackers could be British and the role of the internet and these radical sites does need to be looked at.
“I certainly will raise it with the Home Secretary and ask what can be done about these radical sites which have played a role in the past and no doubt will in the future.
“People will be shocked.
“Last time we saw something of this scale when a cell was discovered planning to behead a Muslim British soldier.
“We need to stand together and say we will stand up to this in a very strong way and react in a mature way.”
Referring to the activity of the EDL in Woolwich on Wednesday night, he said: “That will simply cause more confusion and more chaos.
“We need to allow our intelligence service, which is the best in the world, to carry on with their jobs.
“We need to say we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour and the public has a role in that response and reaction.”
A post on the Facebook page of the Bournemouth division of the EDL inferred that some of its members were making the trip to Woolwich yesterday.
It has so far yet to comment.
Anyone who sees any suspicious activity to immediately call, in confidence, the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or the police by dialling 999.
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