The Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was present at the Westminster terror attack in 2017, but stayed in his car with the doors locked.
Sir Craig Mackey, now Deputy Commissioner under Cressida Dick, had been on his way out of the Palace of Westminster following a meeting with Brandon Lewis MP — now Chairman of the Conservative Party, then Minister of State for Policing — when Khalid Masood mowed down pedestrians near the iconic building and then attacked police officer Keith Palmer with two carving knives.
Sir Craig told an inquest it was his “instinct” to get out and help, but that he had “no protective equipment, no radio, [and] two colleagues with me who [were] quite distressed”, according to ITV News.
“If anyone had got out, the way this Masood was looking, anyone who got in his way would have been a target,” he added.
“I think anyone who came up against that individual would have faced serious, serious injury, if not death.”
Coroner Slams Shortcomings in Metropolitan Police That Led to Terrorism Death of Police Officer https://t.co/9tQSUfPQIi
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 4, 2018
This is indeed what happened to PC Palmer, who was unarmed at the time of the attack and unable to count on armed support, with a static defence post for firearms officers at the gates of the Parliament building having been controversially scrapped in favour of roving patrols some time previously.
Sir Craig witnessed Masood murder PC Palmer from his car, seeing the radical Islamic terrorist inflict “two determined stab wounds” on the British Army veteran, who he saw “moving backwards and [then] going down”.
“The attacker had one of those looks where, if they get you in that look, they would be after you,” Sir Craig added. “He seemed absolutely focused on getting further down and attacking anyone who was in his way.”
Fortunately, Masood was shot dead by a plainclothes close protection officer who happened to be nearby.