Metropolitan Police officers smashed in the windows of the Nissan parked in central London (Pictures: Nigel Howard)
Police smashed in the windows of a ‘suspicious’-looking car parked minutes away from Big Ben which later turned out to be one of their own.
Specialist Met Police officers raced to Matthew Parker Street, behind the Methodist Central Hall where the Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely was due to attend an event, after the unattended vehicle caused a bomb scare, The Guardian reported.
With the driver nowhere in sight, they were forced to smash its side and back windows – only to find out later it was a rental believed to be used by their colleagues in Bedfordshire.
Pictures from the scene taken just after midday on Tuesday show the cracked up vehicle surrounded by police, who had cordoned off the area outside the Methodist Central Hall.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police confirmed there was no controlled explosion and that the incident has now been stood down.
They added: ‘The window had been smashed by officers, there was no controlled explosion.
Officers were called to the ‘suspicious’ vehicle behind the Methodist Central Hall (Picture: Nigel Howard)
The force cordoned off the area on Matthew Parker Street where the car was parked (Picture: Nigel Howard)
‘The car was a rental vehicle, it did not belong to the Metropolitan Police. Believe it was Bedfordshire Police.’
However, this was not the only bomb scare in the capital on Tuesday.
Just hours later, at around 3pm, police rushed to a bus and train station in West Croydon, south London, where another ‘suspicious’ vehicle was reported.
Some buildings and shops in the vicinity were evacuated, while officers blocked roads in the area.
The force later confirmed that officers had conducted a controlled explosion of the vehicle as a precaution.
The incident comes as the threat level for the UK from international terrorism set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre was raised from ‘substantia’ to ‘severe’ after a fatal blast outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital, in which one person died.
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