Man crashes car into Downing Street gates in London

A man has crashed his car into the gate closing off access to Downing Street, the British Prime Minister’s residence and office in London.

The man has been arrested on charges of “criminal damage” and “dangerous driving”.

According to a statement from the London Metropolitan Police, the vehicle crashed, without causing any injuries, at around 16:20 local time into the fence on Downing Street.

The car was a white utility vehicle

The BBC broadcast footage of the car, a white SUV, as it crosses the road towards Downing Street at a slow speed, which slows further before it hits the gate.

Television also showed a picture of the suspect handcuffed and escorted by police officers, a middle-aged white man in a coloured t-shirt. According to EFE, security forces searched the boot of the vehicle.

Dozens of onlookers crowded behind the police cordon that had been set up around Downing Street, although the atmosphere was generally calm and the security situation appeared to be under control.

The incident took place at a time of heavy movement of people in the area, especially civil servants who had completed their working day.

The Downing Street gate is closed to the unauthorised public and guarded by armed police, who carry out airport-style security checks on those who have permission to enter.