THE response of members of the public to Friday's terror attack at London Bridge was remarkable and encouraging.

Instead of fleeing the knife-wielding maniac, ordinary people grabbed whatever was at hand - including a fire extinguisher and, of all things, a narwhal tusk - to try and stop him.

And they succeeded. At least two passers-by pinned the murderous thug to the ground, allowing police to shoot him.

All this is a far cry from the pusillanimous advice, issued by a senior police officer in the wake of the earlier London Bridge attack to "Run, Hide, Tell", an injunction that sounds like it was issued to schoolchildren, not to mature, independent-thinking citizens.

It's a good thing that the people on the scene on Friday were made of tougher stuff than that fool of a police officer seems to think they should be.

Naturally, there were complaints on Twitter, that playground for the hard-of-thinking, that the police should have detained the thug, not shot him.

But he was wearing what appeared to be a suicide bomber-style explosive belt, which in this day and age is a deeply stupid thing to do for anyone not wanting a nine-millimetre bullet in the head.

And police can hardly be expected to have been trained in the niceties of telling apart real from fake suicide belts.

Under the circumstances, those who criticise the police for their "brutality", deserve about as much public hearing as the obsessives who say that the Moon landings were a hoax, or that Elvis is still alive.

The murderer had clearly set himself apart from any notion of common decency the moment he started stabbing people.

Speaking of common decency, or the lack of it, it was dismaying how quickly politicians of all persuasions on the campaign trail started using the attacks as part of their electioneering, with attempts to pin the blame on an opponents actions, or lack of action.

There are legitimate questions to be asked about how and why the perpetrator had been released from jail half way through a 16-year sentence for terrorism offences.

But making such concerns the subject of party political bickering will do no-one any favours, least of all the members of the public, who have genuine reasons to expect the state to protect them against terrorist attacks.