Liverpool residents praised for ‘standing shoulder to shoulder’ after hospital bombing

Police leaders and mayors pay tribute to local residents

Peter Stubley
Sunday 21 November 2021 00:04
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CCTV shows moment of explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital

Residents of Liverpool have been praised for "standing shoulder to shoulder" in the wake of the hospital bombing.

City leaders have said they are grateful for the patience and understanding shown by local residents as police continue to investigate the explosion a week ago.

Tributes were also paid to emergency responders and staff at the Liverpool Women's Hospital, where more than 150 babies have been delivered over the last seven days.

The comments were made in open letter issued on behalf of Merseyside Police chief constable Serena Kennedy, Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson, police and crime commissioner Emily Spurrell and metro mayor Steve Rotheram.

Appealing for the public's help, the authors wrote: “Communities defeat terrorism, which is why we all need to work together.

“The police depend on information from the public, who at times like this are their eyes and ears, to keep us all safe.

“There’s more work still to be done, and already the five local authorities and Merseyside Police are working together to bolster existing plans to support businesses and visitors to the area in the run-up to Christmas.”

They pledged to “make sure that people feel confident to come out and enjoy the city knowing that they will be safe”.

The bomb went off as a taxi carrying Emad al-Swealmeen, 32, arrived at the hospital shortly before 11am on 14 November. Taxi driver David Perry managed to escape the car as it burst into flames and is said to have told rescuers: "Someone has blown me up".

Police said the homemade device used ball bearings for shrapnel and could have caused “significant injury or death” if it had detonated properly.

The letter adds: “The ultimate goal of terrorism is to create discord, distrust and fear in our communities, and whilst we know some people may be anxious and concerned we have seen people across Liverpool standing shoulder to shoulder.

“And that’s because Liverpool, which has a proud heritage as a multi-cultural city, and the wider Merseyside region always pull together at times like this and the pride of all our communities is there for all to see.

“This is an area defined by its friendliness, kindness and spirit of togetherness and we are immensely grateful for the patience and understanding shown by residents (whilst police investigations continue) but not at all surprised.”

The authors also thanked locals who brought hot drinks to police officers stationed outside the hospital and handed messages of support and gifts to staff.

“We pull together in the face of hardship and tragedy. We support each other at times of difficulty. We stand together as one,” the letter adds.

“We have seen it before, and we have seen it again this week. In the words of Liverpool Women’s Hospital: continue to ‘Be Kind’, but also ‘Be Vigilant’ and ‘Be Safe’.”

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