Downing Street’s gates are manned by armed and unarmed police officers at all times.
Footage shot soon after showed the car with its trunk open up against the tall metal gates and several police officers inspecting the vehicle, pulling things out of the trunk and putting them in evidence bags.
Simon Parry, 44, told Britain’s Press Association news agency that he “heard a bang and looked up and saw loads of police with taser guns shouting at the man.”
He added that “a lot of police vehicles came very quickly and were very quick to evacuate the area.”
Large sections of the surrounding area were closed to the public as a significant police presence entered the area as many government workers were leaving their nearby offices for the day.
The gates were erected in 1989 in response to threats from Irish Republican Army militants. In 1991 the IRA fired three mortars at the street, one of which exploded in the backyard of No. 10 while Prime Minister John Major was leading a Cabinet meeting inside. Three police officers and a civil servant suffered minor injuries.
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