"A matter of time" - Ipswich lad caught up in London terror
FORMER Ipswich man Matthew Price says Londoners are staying true to the "keep calm and carry on" spirit following this week's attacks.
Mr Price, a former Redbank Plains State High student, has lived in London for the last nine years, and is a civil servant working in quarantine just a short distance from the Houses of Parliament, where one of the attacks occurred on Wednesday local time.
With the official government threat level set at "heightened", Mr Price said it was true that people living in London were quietly fearing an attack might be imminent.
In fact Mr Price was so concerned about the terror threat that he says he thought about his own plan to escape from a possible attack on Westminster Bridge just a few weeks ago.
"I guess having lived in the city for almost nine years and seeing the atrocities that occur round the world, you do sort of think, it's just a matter of time," he said.
"I often walk past the HoP and there are armed police everywhere.
"As a rule, most police are not armed here. You generally feel pretty safe."
Mr Price's building was placed into lock-down within 10 minutes of the attack.
He said he had to offer counselling to employees, then have them leave the building in pairs and send him a text message when they were safely home.
Mr Price contacted his own worried family members, who still live in Ipswich, a short time after the incident to let them know he was fine.
"The 'keep calm and carry on' spirit is alive and well here," he said.
"Most activities will go on being done.
"If there are other nuts out there, this could inspire them to take action.
"Be alert, not alarmed, be aware of your surroundings, think in your head, 'what would I do in this situation'.
"The security services do their best to foil coordinated attacks, but it's these rogue nut bags that are the hardest to foil.
"A few weeks ago, I did my own terror threat assessment as I trudged along the Westminster Bridge with hundreds of other tourists taking selfies and group shots with Big Ben and the Eye.
"I thought of the French and German attacks and decided it was prudent to take some small actions that reduce the risk. The pavements are 8-10m wide. I decided to walk against the hand rail, buffering me with about 15 people between me and the road. In my mind I was out of harms way and would be able to jump in the river."