'Real concerns' about terrorists getting hold of guns in London

Outgoing Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe showed journalists round the Met Police control room this morning Credit: ITV News

More needs to be done to stop weapons smuggled into the capital by organised criminals falling into the hands of terrorists intent on carrying out an attack in London.

That's according to a major review of the capital's readiness to deal with a major terrorist incident, which says there are 'real concerns' about how easy it could be for terrorists to get hold of guns.

Lord Toby Harris was asked to carry out the independent report after the atrocities in Brussels and Paris.

More than 200 firearms were recorded by the Met last year in July and August compared to 87 in same period the year before.

The report says " Much greater efforts should be made to prevent the illegal transportation of weapons and people into the country".

Lord Harris also calls for a ring of mobile security barriers to protect key buildings from a Nice-style lorry attack and that a new public alert 'app' system should be introduced to keep people up to date with a fast moving incident like the 7/7 bombings.

Controversially the report also calls for the Met Police to merge with the City of London force and take over policing the London Underground in place of BTP.

In all there are 127 recommendations but Lord Harris denied taking a scatter-gun approach in the report. The long list includes.

  • The installation of CCTV on all Underground and mainline trains

  • Strengthening of security measures on the River Thames

  • A full review of perimeter security at London City Airport

Fifty of the 73 highest risk crowded places across the country are in London.

Around 850 UK extremists have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic State, with around half estimated to have returned. The official threat level stands at severe - meaning an attack is "highly likely".