In solidarity: French and British flags lowered over town hall

The flags of France and the United Kingdom were lowered to half-mast over Hammersmith Town Hall following the atrocious terror attacks in Paris on Friday night.

As a result of the attacks, the police in Hammersmith & Fulham increased its uniformed armed and unarmed patrols over the weekend as an extra 24 officers were immediately placed on the streets in the borough.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s Leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan, responded to the shocking events in Paris stating: “It is deeply saddening that for the second time this year the Tricolour and the Union Flag fly together at half-mast over Hammersmith Town Hall.

“We send a message of heart-felt sympathy and solidarity to the family and friends of all those lost or injured and to France.

"In Hammersmith & Fulham we are fortunate to have over 5,400 French citizens as part of our diverse local community. I know that people of all nationalities, of all faiths and of no faith stand together in condemning last night's terrorism. The objective of the terrorists behind the atrocities is clear but where they seek to divide us we will remain united.”

Police response

The Met Police have stressed that the visible increase in police patrols across London was not in response to any ‘specific intelligence relating to the city or any specific community,’ but a concern about how communities ‘may be feeling’.

“The ambition of terrorists is to sow discord, sow distrust and create fear,” said Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for counter terrorism.

“But at the heart of success in countering terrorism is the relationship between the public and the police. It needs to be stronger than ever. We have been strengthening our policing, but we can’t let the terrorists defeat us by becoming fearful and withdrawing from the streets.

“Be alert, not alarmed. People should recognise that we have been talking publicly about our efforts to counter terrorism and we have seen a positive response from the public over the last year.

“It comes down to trust between communities and that ability for the public to trust the police, work with us and supply us with the sort of information that they have been doing.”

The public is asked if they see or hear anything suspicious to contact the police or call the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.