We were called at approx 2:40pm to reports of an incident at #Westminster Bridge. Being treated as a firearms incident - police on scene— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2017
Incident in #Westminster: We are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2017
Please use common sense and restraint in circulating pictures and videos of those that have been injured during the incident in #Westminster— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2017
Later that day, in time for the BBC news at 6pm, acting deputy commissioner Mark Rowley gave a calm and assured performance in front of the cameras as he described the ensuing police operation to the assembled media.
Updates were also provided across the Met's other social media channels:
The entire comms operation was highly praised by Guto Harri, former media strategist to Boris Johnson during his mayoralty.
He told PRWeek: "In a fluid, fast-moving, situation, the Met was very quick to project a sense of control, perspective and reassurance that was convincing and consistent. It’s a tribute to the professionalism of the team and the fierce intelligence of [Met Police director of comms] Martin Fewell."
Other public sector comms professionals added their praise to Harri’s over Twitter, including Chris Webb, former head of news for the Met.
My brilliant ex colleagues in the Met's dept of media & comms have done a fantastic job in handling today's terror incident. So proud of u.— Chris Webb (@Chriswebb_exmet) March 22, 2017
Met Police are doing an incredible job, officers and civilian staff alike. The comms has been reassuring, timely and thoughtful. Great work.— Scott Field (@scottjfield) March 23, 2017