Woolwich attack will not stop soldiers wearing uniforms
- 23 May 2013
- From the section UK
The victim of the attack in Woolwich was targeted because he was a soldier, wearing a T-shirt from the military charity Help For Heroes.
Members of the armed forces have been advised to take greater care over their own personal security in the aftermath of this attack.
Last night military chiefs ordered security be tightened at the 10 main military barracks or bases in and around London.
But early advice to conceal their uniform in public places, especially if alone, has since been relaxed.
In London on Thursday, the chief of the defence staff, Gen Sir David Richards, said: "Our first thoughts inevitably are with the soldier's family and close friends.
"It's always a tragedy, and it's particularly poignant that it happened on the streets of this capital city of ours, but there is where our first thoughts lie.
"At the same time... we are absolutely determined not to be intimidated into not doing the right thing.
"Whether that is here or in Afghanistan, or wherever we seek seek to serve the nation.
"So it has, if anything, reinforced our determination to do the right thing."
Higher public profile
He emphasised the armed forces would not retreat from public view as a result of the tragedy.
"This was outside the base and I am confident that security is as tight as it has ever been.
"It is a very difficult balancing act.
"We are very proud of the uniform we wear, and there is no reason we should not use wear our uniforms with pride - but on a common-sense basis."
Armed forces personnel based in London and elsewhere are being more vigilant today.
In recent years, the Royal Navy, the Army and the RAF have been encouraged to take a higher public profile.
That included allowing their personnel to wear uniform outside their bases, as they did at the London Olympics last year.
That had been strongly discouraged in the 1970s and 80s in particular, when IRA attacks on the mainland were a real threat.
However, since British forces intervened in Iraq and Afghanistan, service personnel and their families have been well aware they might be targets at home.
In recent years two groups in the UK have been jailed after considering targeting soldiers.