As Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Explosive Threats, Matthew visited the Metropolitan Police bomb disposal centre to see how the police respond to incidents involving explosives.
Incidents can range from those that are terrorist related, such as the London Bridge attack where the perpetrators carried fake suicide belts, to the discovery of Second World War ordnance like the bomb found near City Airport earlier this week.
A unit can get to any central London location in a very short timeframe. Once on site a range of options can be deployed to disable an explosive threat. Matthew tried out different robotic units which can disable explosive devices by remote operation.
One particular problem for the disposal team is ordnance that has been returned from wars as long ago as WW2. It is a common occurrence after the death of a pensioner who served in the Second World War for their family or friends to discover long forgotten weapons such as bullets and hand grenades in cupboards or drawers when they clear property.
The visit comes after the APPG on Explosive Threats launched a new inquiry into the long-term effects of improvised explosive devices on civilians and military personnel.
Matthew said: “These officers are doing a fantastic job. Given the Capital’s heightened security status at the moment, it was reassuring to learn how quickly they are able to respond to an incident and to see how they are able to deal with it effectively.”