People are being urged to stand united following the terrorist attacks in London on Saturday in which seven people died and 48 were injured.
Horsham District Council deputy leader Jonathan Chowen called on people to “stand together to defeat this horrendous wrongdoing” and Muslims in Crawley also condemned the attacks as ‘acts of evil individuals.
Councillor Chowen said: “Once again, we have been saddened and sickened by this appalling attack on innocent people who were enjoying a Saturday night out in London including innocent Londoners and overseas visitors from as far afield as Canada and Australia.
“All members of the district council wish to express their sincere condolences to those families who have lost loved ones and we send our best wishes to all those still in hospital who have injuries in the hope that they make speedy and full recoveries.
“This was another attack on ordinary people simply out enjoying themselves. Though the terrorists would want us to change our lifestyles and our way of life, we must stand together to defeat this horrendous wrongdoing.”
And the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Crawley also spoke of their ‘deep sadness and shock.’ President Najeeb Rahman said: “The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community unequivocally condemns in the strongest possible terms Saturday’s terrorist attack in London. All acts of terrorism and extremism are vile criminal acts that are completely unjustifiable.
“We express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and pray for a full and speedy recovery of those injured. We also commend the excellent work of emergency services, who responded in a matter of minutes. We are proud of them.”
And regional president Ahsan Ahmedi added: “We are once again left devastated by the actions of evil individuals using the name of Islam to carry out criminal activity and bring terror to our nation. This is unacceptable and we are united with the whole of Britain in condemning this vile act. As UK citizens every Muslim should remain vigilant and report anything they see or hear that may bring about prevention of such terror attacks and arrests of individuals who may want to commit such evil acts.”
He added: “As loyal British Muslims, we will be fully supporting the vigils for the London Bridge victims in honour of the brave individuals who lost their lives on Saturday night and pray for those in hospital still suffering from the attacks. We must all be united against all forms of terrorism and support those against injustices that are being perpetrated.”
Meanwhile, Arundel and South Downs Conservative parliamentary candidate Nick Herbert said: “The attacks in London were deeply shocking and my thoughts are with the victims and their families. I am full of admiration for the courage of the police officers and civilians who ran into danger to help those under attack.
“We have to do more to reject and root out the violent extremism which is so alien to our democracy and our way of life, and continue to give the security services the powers and resources they need to keep people safe.”
Sussex police say that policing remains under review following the attacks in which three terrorists drove a van into innocent passers-by near London Bridge and then went on to stab scores of people in nearby bars and restaurants.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said: “People will see enhanced high visibility patrols at key locations as we continue to keep all policing under review across Surrey and Sussex to ensure the most appropriate security is in place to keep our communities safe.
“Policing in the UK continues to operate at a heightened state against the backdrop of a ‘severe’ threat level, which has been in place since 2014, and means that an attack is highly likely. This threat level applies to the whole of the UK and not any specific area.
“It is important for the public to work with us and remain vigilant as we tackle the on-going terrorist threat.
“Please report any suspicious activity using the anti-terrorist hotline number 0800 789 321 or 999 in an emergency.
“This is a time for us all to work closely together and unite against those who seek, through violence and extremism, to intimidate or cause fear.