Britain will deploy attack dogs which may respond only to particular acts or commands at the gates of its Parliament as part of the latest anti-terror security drive in the country. The dogs will be stationed with police handlers at the weakest point, the gates through which Khalid Masood tried to gain entry into the Palace of Westminster during the March 22 attack in which four people, including an unarmed policeman guarding Parliament, were killed.
Sir Paul Beresford, former chairman of the House of Commons administration committee, said the dogs were being “seriously considered” in a review of perimeter security. Other steps, including stronger vehicle barriers, are likely to form part of the review, which was due to report last week but has now been delayed by the general election next month, ‘The Sunday Times’ reports.
“The gates have to be open when MPs are coming into vote, but we recognise it is a chink in the armour,” Beresford was quoted as saying by the paper.”If some idiot who is not a terrorist runs in, and there are a few of those out there, the dog will drop them and they won’t be shot,” he said. A second inquiry is examining security inside the building in central London. Dogs, typically Alsatians, are already used on gate duties at British military bases during times of threat, although they are a rare sight outside the world’s democratic parliaments.
The dogs can be trained to respond only to particular acts or commands. A spokesperson for the Commons authorities declined to comment on the two reviews’ contents before publication, but said that members’ views were being considered in detail.