“People have been really worried” – Wendens Ambo locals react to terrorism arrest
PUBLISHED: 15:48 05 September 2019
Residents of Wendens Ambo have spoken of their concern at the continued presence of dozens of police and emergency service vehicles in the village over the last week.
The Metropolitan Police's counter terrorism command unit arrived last Friday (August 30) and has been a constant presence in the village since, with ambulance and fire crews also at the scene.
A police cordon has been put in place around Mutlow Close and came as a 42-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences on September 1 in London.
Speaking to the Reporter, Ian Manara, 28, who has been living in Wendens Ambo for three years, said: "I have seen the cars but I don't know what's going on. I'm a bit worried because I have children. I was wondering what was going on but there was no means of finding out what was happening. It is worrisome. Not knowing has put a cloud of worry. This wasn't at all expected, it's a quiet area, everyone is neighbourly."
Aaron Kaye, 27, works at nearby Audley End railway station. He said: "It's all rumours at the moment. We have heard several things."
Talking about the heightened police presence, he added: "Police have been there since Friday and they were there 24/7. When it first started on Friday there were police, ambulance and fire engines. When the police come here to use the toilet, all they say is that they are searching. The police are keeping what it is 'hush hush'".
This has been a cause of concern among Aaron's customers as well: "Everyone asks me something about it every day," he said.
Another resident, who asked not to be identified, said: "They haven't told us anything. When we first saw the activity we asked the policeman and he told us he didn't know what it was. We are waiting to see."
Earlier this week, police confirmed they had been granted extra time to question the man who was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences.
A warrant of longer detention was granted at Westminster Magistrates' Court under the Terrorism Act 2000, which means authorities have longer to interview the 42-year-old. He can be held in custody until Friday (September 6).
Another Wendens Ambo resident, who did not want to be named, said: "People have been really worried. We are still waiting to hear exactly what happened."
Speaking about the village, she said: "It is a commuter belt so people are moving in and out." However, she added: "I have never lived anywhere so friendly."
One man who works at a local business and did not want to be named, said the police were not giving any information about the incident.
"They come and use the loos and they won't divulge anything. There are a lot of people interested. We don't know what's going on own doorstop."
He went on: "We weren't worried, we are just curious. Being next to the train station people come and go and you don't know who they are."