Keeping our MPs safe: security is reviewed in the wake of the death of Sir David Amess

  • Click above to watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson

Heidi Allen knows what it's like to routinely receive threats, including death threats.

The former Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire, has attracted the unwanted attention of some of those who lurk in the shadows online.

In 2019 one of her constituents was jailed after sending her threatening messages.

Sir Bob Russell has cautioned against any knee jerk reaction Credit: ITV News Anglia

Former Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell was close friends with Sir David Amess.

During his political career Sir Bob says he became increasingly aware of the need for increased security.

He had his front door set alight and gun pellets and traffic cones thrown through windows during his surgeries- but he is still advising against a knee-jerk reaction

Former North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt has been colleagues with Sir David for decades

Alistair Burt, former MP for North East Bedfordshire, came into Parliament with Sir David in 1983.

They had been friends and colleagues for more than three decades.

All our region's police forces have been in touch with their county's MPs in light of the attack, including Essex Police who told ITV News Anglia.

"We already have an existing operation called Operation Bridger, which is the national response to the safety and security of MPs. Any concerns or threats are highlighted as a priority into our Control Room. Further to this we have been in direct contact with all Essex MPs to discuss their individual safety and any concerns they may have."

Bedfordshire Police told us that:"We have reached out to each of the MPs in our region to offer additional safeguarding and risk assessments for their upcoming engagements. We are conducting dedicated patrols in the areas of MP constituency addresses as well as their own residences in order to provide visible reassurance."

Meanwhile faith leaders from across Essex issued a joint statement in relation to the death of Sir David Amess. It said:

“The tragic killing of Sir David Amess MP on Friday has left the communities of Leigh-on-Sea, Southend, and across Essex with a sense of disbelief that such a shocking event could happen in our midst.

 “Sir David had a strong Roman Catholic faith, and faith Leaders across Southend and Essex led prayers on Friday and over the weekend for him, his family and the community.

 “We were also shocked by this terrible event, but as faith leaders we are here to help people come to terms with this terrible tragedy.

 “Sir David died doing something he loved and which was so integral to how he went about the businesses of being an MP – listening to and helping his constituents at a constituency surgery.

 “One of the key tenets of our democracy is accessibility of our elected representatives and we must do all we can to protect this and protect the safety of those who are elected to represent us. Southend and Essex will be united this week in our grief, but also united in our resolve that we stand against violence and those who act against the values we share across our communities.

“We echo the words of Sir David’s family, who asked people to set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all. This is the only way forward. Set aside hatred and work towards togetherness. Whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand."