Suella Braverman stated that despite being “shaken beyond belief” by a violent rampage in the city, the citizens of Nottingham should feel protected.
When challenged by MPs to guarantee Nottinghamshire Police has all the resources it requires in the wake of the attacks, which resulted in three fatalities and three injuries, the Home Secretary provided reassurance.
Additionally, Ms. Braverman advised against making assumptions about the attacks, saying that doing so “runs the risk of being counterproductive”.
The early-morning attacks on Tuesday claimed the lives of University of Nottingham students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, as well as Ian Coates, a member of the LEAD Academy Trust.
Ms Braverman, making a statement to the Commons, said: “I can tell the House that the police are working flat out to establish the full facts and provide support to everyone affected.
“They are currently keeping an open mind as to the motives behind these attacks but I can confirm Nottinghamshire Police are being assisted in their inquiries by counter-terror police.
“Though, this does not mean that it is currently being treated as a terrorist attack.”
Ashfield’s Lee Anderson, a conservative lawmaker, requested assurances on public safety.
He said: “Nottingham is a beautiful city with wonderful people, and I doubt the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire will ever come to terms with this vile and cruel act.
“The public want answers and more importantly they need to know that they’re safe on the streets of Nottinghamshire.
“So what reassurances can the Home Secretary give to the people of Ashfield and the whole of Nottinghamshire, and Nottingham city especially, that they are safe and the police are getting all the resources that they need?”
Ms Braverman replied: “People can feel safe in Nottingham going forward.
“I know that is difficult for many people to feel in the immediate aftermath of a terrible incident of the type we have just seen, but they must know the police are working flat out to get to the bottom of this.
“Ultimately we all want justice and we’re also backing the police and all of the other professionals to ensure they can do their operational work as effectively as possible.”
Nadia Whittome, a Labour representative for Nottingham East, previously praised the “unity and resilience” of the city’s residents and hailed the emergency services for their “tireless” work in reaction to the tragedy.
She said: “Nottingham is devastated by the deaths of three residents of our city: Grace Kumar, Barnaby Webber and Ian Coates. It was incredibly moving to join the vigil yesterday at St Peter’s Church, where hundreds of people came together in grief, among them many students who lost two much loved members of their community.
“Will the Home Secretary join me in paying tribute to the people of Nottingham, to their unity and resilience at this painful time?”
Ms Braverman echoed the sentiment, adding: “The people of Nottingham will be shaken beyond belief over the events over the last few days.
“We are with them as a nation and we stand by them, with them and we will support them in all ways that they need.”
The Commons heard Ms Kumar was a “star”, a “massive talent” and an “awesome teammate”.
Conservative former leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, said: “Grace O’Malley-Kumar was in fact a resident in Woodford and I remember that she had been part of Woodford Wells cricket and hockey club. She was a star – England under-16, England under-18, all destined for a great future.”
Sir Iain said all who knew Grace need support in the aftermath of the attack, adding: “The devastation, not just of a lost life but of a lost future that may have changed other lives for the better, is the terrible devastation of this terrible act.”
Conservative MP Vicky Ford, whose Chelmsford constituency is home to Essex County Cricket Club, fought back tears as she said: “Grace O’Malley-Kumar played cricket for Essex from the age of under-11 to under-15s, she was highly talented with bat and ball, she captained the team.
“She was a massive talent, a respected captain and an awesome teammate. The club is devastated.”