Swoop on house of cou­ple who got MBEs

Sunday Mail (UK) - - News - Craig McDon­ald

Armed po­lice in­ves­ti­gat­ing the Par­sons Green sta­tion bomb­ing yes­ter­day raided the home of an el­derly cou­ple who have fos­tered hun­dreds of chil­dren.

They swooped on the house in Sun­bury-on-Thames in Sur­rey, where Ron­ald and Pene­lope Jones raised 268 young­sters over nearly 40 years.

It hap­pened at 2pm, hours af­ter they ar­rested an 18-year- old man wanted in con­nec­tion with Fri­day’s failed bucket bomb at­tack on a Tube train as it pulled into the sta­tion in south-west Lon­don at 8.20am.

He was stopped in the port area in Dover as he tried to buy a ferry ticket cket to France.

It is un­der­stood that at least eight of the Jones’s foster chil­dren have been refugees. They have taken in young­sters ters from Iraq, Eritrea, Syria, Al­ba­nia and Afghanistan.

Ron­ald, 88, and Pene­lope, 71, were both awarded MBEs by the Queenn in 2009 for their ser­vices to chil­dren and fam­i­lies.

Pene­lope be­came a foster moth­er­her af­ter giv­ing up work­ing in a ju­ve­nile le prison and the cou­ple fos­tered up p to seven chil­dren at a time.

A res­i­dent claimed about 60 peo­ple in the sur­round­ing area were evac­u­ated from their homes while po­lice seized the prop­erty.

Home Sec­re­tary Amber Rudd de­scribed the ar­rest of the sus­pectt in Dover as “very sig­nif­i­cant”.

In Sun­bury, about 200 peo­ple were evac­u­ated to Staines Rugby Club while the po­lice car­ried out searches.

The UK ter­ror threat re­mained at crit­i­cal, the high­est level, mean­ing a fur­ther at­tack may be im­mi­nent.

Po­lice Scot­land said armed pa­trol­sols are be­ing in­creased fol­low­ing thehe at­tack, which left 30 peo­ple in­jured.

Most were treated for mi­nor or in­juries and three peo­ple were be­ing treated at Chelsea and West­min­ster hos­pi­tal in cen­tral Lon­don last night. Is­lamic State claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tempted a at­tack. It is un­der­stood the de­vice had a timer but the bucket bomb on the District line train did not go off prop­erly. An­a­lysts said there would have been be many deaths if the en­tire de­vice, which is be­lieved to have con­tained TATP, an ex­plo­sive dubbed the Mother of Satan, had ex­ploded.

Po­lice prob­ing the at­tack have spo­ken to 45 wit­nesses and re­ceived 77 images and videos from the pub­lic.

It’s un­der­stood CCTV images were in­stru­men­tal in aid­ing the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion as they nar­rowed their search for the bomber.

The sus­pect held in Dover yes­ter­day was taken to a Kent po­lice sta­tion and was ex­pected to be moved to Lon­don later.

Po­lice said they were “keep­ing an open mind” about whether more than one per­son was re­spon­si­ble for the at­tack.

Rudd said it was “too early” to say if those in­volved were known to au­thor­i­ties.

She added: “We have one ar­rest and we have an on­go­ing op­er­a­tion. When we have more in­for­ma­tion, we will be shar­ing it.”

Metropoli­tan Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Cres­sida Dick de­scribed the at­tack as “cow­ardly and in­dis­crim­i­nate”.

She added: “Lon­don has not stopped

af­ter other ter­ri­ble at­tacks and it will not stop af­ter this one.”

Op­er­a­tion Tem­perer, which in­volves the use of mil­i­tary per­son­nel to aid se­cu­rity, was put in place af­ter the threat level was raised.

Trans­port po­lice chiefs said more armed of­fi­cers would be de­ployed at sta­tions across Bri­tain.

Po­lice Scot­land said in­creased se­cu­rity north of the bor­der was part of “well­re­hearsed plans to re­spond to ma­jor in­ci­dents”.

They added there was no in­tel­li­gence to sug­gest any cur­rent spe­cific threat to Scot­land.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s so- called “re­silience room” was ac­ti­vated af­ter the at­tack.

First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon and key cab­i­net col­leagues had been “fully briefed” in con­nec­tion with the in­creased threat level.

Stur­geon said: “Our thoughts re­main with those who sus­tained in­juries in the at­tack in Lon­don.

“I re­ceived a full brief­ing re­gard­ing the Joint Ter­ror­ism Anal­y­sis Cen­tre’s de­ci­sion to in­crease the threat level from se­vere to crit­i­cal and to in­voke Op­er­a­tion Tem­perer.

“The re­silience room has been ac­ti­vated and will re­main in close con­tact with Po­lice Scot­land and the UK Gov­ern­ment.

“While it is nat­u­ral that any in­crease in the threat level is of con­cern, the pub­lic should be re­as­sured that all ap­pro­pri­ate pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures are be­ing im­ple­mented.

“My ad­vice to the pub­lic is to re­main vig­i­lant and re­port any con­cerns to the po­lice but oth­er­wise to go about daily life as nor­mal.”

It’s the fourth time the UK ter­ror threat level has been raised to “crit­i­cal” since the sys­tem was in­tro­duced in 2006.

The most re­cent in­stance was in May fol­low­ing the Manch­ester Arena bomb­ing, which killed 22 as well as the bomber.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment said “all sig­nif­i­cant events” tak­ing place over the next few days would be re­viewed with the “se­cu­rity foot­print in­creased where that is deemed ap­pro­pri­ate”.

They added: “Armed of­fi­cers will be de­ployed as ap­pro­pri­ate on foot pa­trol and at key lo­ca­tions as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure.

“As in May, when the threat level was raised to crit­i­cal fol­low­ing the at­tack at Manch­ester Arena, Op­er­a­tion Tem­perer is also be­ing in­voked.

“This will not in­volve mil­i­tary per­son­nel be­ing de­ployed in pub­lic places in Scot­land.”

Pol ice Scot land said re­sponse pro­ce­dures in place are sim­i­lar to those for re­cent ter­ror- re­lated in­ci­dents. As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Bernard Hig­gins said: “With the threat level at crit­i­cal, we will in­crease our oper­a­tions to pro­tect peo­ple, busi­nesses and pub­lic places. This will in­clude in­creas­ing the num­ber of armed po­lice on pa­trol across the coun­try.

“The pub­lic should ex­pect to see armed of­fi­cers on foot pa­trol at key lo­ca­tions and crowded places across the coun­try.

“Do not be alarmed by the pres­ence of these armed of­fi­cers. These mea­sures are be­ing taken to in­crease se­cu­rity at these sites, and to re­as­sure res­i­dents, busi­nesses, work­ers and visi­tors so they can go about their daily lives as nor­mally as pos­si­ble.

“There is no in­tel­li­gence to sug­gest there is any spe­cific threat to Scot­land but I would ask the pub­lic to re­main alert and re­port any­thing sus­pi­cious.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion or footage that could aid po­lice can pass it on via www.ukpo­li­ceim­ageap­ or by call­ing the Anti-Ter­ror­ist Hot­line on 0800 789 321.

LUCKY ES­CAPE Burn­ing bomb on the Tube train on Fri­day VIG­I­LANCE Po­lice at a Tube sta­tion

METIC­U­LOUS Foren­sics of­fi­cers search the sealed-off house SE­CU­RITY Po­lice out­side Queen Street sta­tion in Glas­gow KEEP­ING WATCH Armed of­fi­cers at Celtic Park

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