Homeless Frenchman charged with possession of a knife and air rifle at Gatwick Airport

A policeman helps two travellers at Gatwick
A policeman helps two travellers at Gatwick

A homeless Frenchman has been charged with possessing a knife and air rifle at Gatwick Airport in London yesterday.

Sussex Police said Jerome Chauris, unemployed and of no fixed address from Vendome, in central France, had been carrying the rifle and a lock knife – a type of folding blade.

Chauris, 41, was seen acting suspiciously and discarding an item in a bin at the busy transport hub, said police, who evacuated an airport terminal and brought in bomb disposal experts to carry out a small controlled explosion.

He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear in court on Monday.

The charge comes as Britain ups security at its transport hubs. The country has been at its second-highest level of alertness for a terror attack since last August.

Home Secretary Theresa May told Sky News that there was no intelligence suggesting an imminent attack in the UK, but there would be extra police on the streets.

“Since the attacks took place on Friday, there has been an increase police presence on some streets and at some events, our border forces have increased the checks they have been making at the border, doing more screening of freight vehicles, or checks of other vehicles as well.

“People going through our ports will see a greater police presence.”

She said she could not comment on whether or not SAS troops were patrolling British streets.