Piers Morgan questions ability of police to react to Norwich terrorist attack
- Credit: ITV/Good Morning Britain
Piers Morgan has questioned how quickly police would be able to respond if a terrorist attack occurred in Norwich.
The Good Morning Britain presenter was discussing whether police cuts were to blame for the Borough Market attack in London which saw seven people killed and dozens injured.
He was joined by Lord Carlile, a former independent reviewer of terror legislation, and Peter Kirkham, the former chief inspector of Met Police, and said the country was lucky Saturday's terror attack didn't happen in one of the smaller towns or cities in the UK.
Mr Morgan said the police response would be much slower and that the blood and death toll would be 'massively higher'.
MORE: Extra security measures announced for Norwich Take That concertsIn response, Mr Carlile disagreed and said 'the armed police's availability is proportionate to the regions in which counter-terrorism units operate.'
He was then interrupted by Mr Morgan who specifically asked, 'What about a town like Norwich?'
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'Well I think in Norwich there is a very good eastern counter-terrorism unit, I've visited it and I've seen it in operation. It's phenomenally organised,' Mr Carlile replied.
It is understood that senior figures at Norfolk police were unhappy at Mr Morgan's comments.
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This publication contacted Mr Morgan and when asked to expand on his comment he said: 'To be honest, I chose Norwich at random. I have nothing against Norwich. In fact, I love Norwich.'
Mr Morgan's comments raised some concerns on social media.
MORE: Terror attack may mean 'new normality' in the UK, chief constable warns@sturcordy tweeted: '@piersmorgan Thanks for making Norwich the next target. Stop giving them ideas. Sadiq Khan did the same 'London safest city in the world...''
@AngieMitchell07 wrote: 'As if @piersmorgan just called out Norwich on @GMB let's hope we are protected up here just as well as the big cities...'
And @HisTomHow tweeted: '#GMB Talking about Norwich.. Norwich may be well prepared but I live in a town 25 miles away and our services have suffered #ToriesOut.'
The discussion comes after Norfolk Constabulary's chief constable Simon Bailey said there would be a greater visibility of officers in Norwich, particularly around crowded places, and urged everyone to remain vigilant.
MORE: This is what has been done in Norfolk to combat terrorismWe are already starting to see an increase in the number of reports of suspicious bags left lying around,' he said. 'Please don't take chances. The threat level is currently at severe, it's been reduced from critical. But we need to remain really vigilant and do our best to make sure that Norfolk and Norwich are a hostile environment for any would-be terrorist to come and operate.'
He said he did not want to comment on Mr Morgan's use of Norwich in the discussion.