Cambridge observes one minute silence following London Bridge attack


02-12-2019

A vigil and one minute silence will take place today at 11am outside the Guildhall, Cambridge, in honour of Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones, who died in the incident near London Bridge on Friday.

Professor Loraine R Gelsthorpe, Director of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge, said:

It is with great sadness that the Institute of Criminology acknowledges the deaths of both Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt who were killed in the course of events on and near London Bridge whilst participating in a Learning Together event organised by the Institute.

Saskia’s warm disposition and extraordinary intellectual creativity was combined with a strong belief that people who have committed criminal offences should have opportunities for rehabilitation. Though she completed her MPhil  in Criminology in 2018, her determination to make an enduring and positive impact on society in everything she did led her to stay in contact with the Learning Together community. They valued her contributions enormously and were inspired by her determination to push towards the good. 

All of us at the Institute will miss Jack’s quiet humour and rigorous intellect. His determined belief in rehabilitation inspired him to join the Institute as a staff member to work in the Learning Together research team after completing his MPhil in Criminology in 2017. Jack’s passion for social and criminal justice was infectious. He was deeply creatively and courageously engaged with the world, advocating for a politics of love. He worked tirelessly in dark places to pull towards the light.

We are grateful to other members of the Learning Together community who bravely risked their own lives to hold off the attacker until the police arrived. These men included Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service staff and several people who have spent time in prison. They worked together selflessly to bring an end to this tragedy and to save further lives.

Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends, and colleagues and students at the Institute and University more widely who were at the event, as well as others who were there and who have been affected and injured.

We would like to thank everyone for their messages of support.

Professor Stephen J Toope, Vice-Chancellor of rthe University of Cambridge, said:

I am devastated to learn that among the victims of the London Bridge attack were staff and alumni of the University of Cambridge, taking part in an event to mark five years of the Learning Together programme. What should have been a joyous opportunity to celebrate the achievements of this unique and socially transformative programme, hosted by our Institute of Criminology, was instead disrupted by an unspeakable criminal act.

I am sad beyond words to report that course coordinator Jack Merritt and former student Saskia Jones were killed. Both were Cambridge graduates. Among the three people injured, whose identities have not been publicly released, is a member of University staff.

Our University condemns this abhorrent and senseless act of terror. Our condolences, our thoughts and our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families. We will be providing all the support we can to our colleagues, including counselling for staff and students who are affected by the event. We are grateful to the Metropolitan Police, to local emergency services, and to those members of the public – including students, staff, alumni and other participants at the event – who selflessly intervened to contain the incident.

 

A one minute silence with be held today (Monday 2nd December) at 11am outside the Cambridge Guildhall, Market Square, as a mark of respect for the victims of the attack on London Bridge.

Cllr Gerri Bird, Mayor of Cambridge, alongside key civic figures, members of the University and the public, will lead the minute’s silence from the front of the Guildhall, in memory of those injured and killed.

 

Daniel Zeichner, who has been MP for Cambridge for the last four years said: “This is a real tragedy for our city. Two young people from the University of Cambridge have died needlessly in horrific circumstances. It is impossible to understand this senseless violence which is having such a traumatic effect on people from in and around Cambridge.

 

"All our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives and have been injured, and our thanks go to the emergency services and those who intervened at considerable risk to themselves. We are a resilient city and we will pick ourselves up, and as we mourn together, we vow never to let terrorists destroy our way of life."

 

The University of Cambridge is acknowledged as one of the world's leading higher education and research institutions. The University was instrumental in the formation of the Cambridge Network and its Vice- Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, is also the President of the Cambridge Network.

University of Cambridge (cam.ac.uk)