Police dogs might be used to protect Parliament after Westminster terror attack

Spokesman confirmed two reviews have been commissioned to look into ‘perimeter security’

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The Independent Online

Police dogs may be used to defend Parliament as part of a new plan to amp up security following the deadly knife attack on Westminster in March.

The animals would be handled by police at the gates outside Westminster, at the point where Khalid Masood tried to enter the building, stabbed office Keith Palmer and was shot dead.

According to Sir Paul Beresford, the former chairman of the Commons administration committee, attack dogs were being “seriously considered” as part of the security review. 

He said he believed dogs could have saved officer Palmer, as reported by the Sunday Times, and could help to save the lives of pranksters.

“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 added.

The gates which Masood tried to run through are routinely left open when MPs come to vote.

Other measures to be considered are enforced vehicle barriers and keeping pedestrians further away from the building. A second report is also looking at ways to strengthen security inside Westminster.

The findings were due in early May but have been delayed due to the General election on 8 June.

A Parliamentary spokesman said: "Two reviews have now been commissioned into the perimeter security at Parliament and into the Houses’ response following the incident on March 22.

"Both reviews have encouraged and sought the views of those on the estate on that day and from the public.

"This feedback will be considered in detail along with other evidence."

The news comes almost two months after Masood drove his car along the pavement on Westminster bridge, crashed the car into railings and attacked police.

The attack killed six people, including Masood, and injured about 50.

During the incident, armed police dressed in civilian clothes stormed Parliament, believing MPs were being held hostage, causing panic and confusion. There was reported chaos as some people were herded into the Westminster Hall, while others were told to hide or “lock down” in different rooms.

Westminster is not completely covered by CCTV and it was reportedly difficult during the attack to communicate with all staff.

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