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Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “Following the events of this morning, Sunday 14th November, at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, I want to offer my reassurance.

“While I understand that today’s incident may cause concern in our communities, it should be pointed out that events of this nature are very rare.

“Officers from Counter Terrorism North West are leading the investigation supported by Merseyside Police and they will be liaising with our partners at Mersey Fire and Rescue and the Liverpool Women’s Hospital to establish what has taken place.

“Three males have today been arrested in the Kensington area under the Terrorism Act and remain in custody and enquiries remain ongoing.

“Merseyside Police will continue to liaise with community groups, community leaders, partner agencies and individuals in the coming days and weeks to make sure any concerns are addressed and ensuring that we provide the best possible service to local people.

“There will also be an increased and visible police presence on the streets of Merseyside and I would encourage people to engage with my officers and raise any concerns they may have.

“It is also important that, at this very early stage, people do not speculate about what has happened. We will endeavour to update our communities as soon as we are able.

“I would continue to advise people to be vigilant and if they have any concerns to contact police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”

Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: "Staff from Mersey Fire and Rescue Service have been working throughout the day and were at the scene within a matter of minutes.

“We will be continuing our partnership with Merseyside Police and Liverpool city council by providing visible reassurance to communities affected and will be knocking on doors to speak to people in the area and check their welfare."