A national training exercise to test the emergency response to a major incident has taken place in Hampshire
Officers and staff from Counter Terrorism Policing South East and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary worked alongside colleagues from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, South Central Ambulance Service and local authority partners as part of the two-day exercise.
Assistant Chief Constable Tim Metcalfe from Counter Terrorism Policing South East, said:
“We are always focused on ensuring we are match-fit to respond to any major incident or terrorism incident.
“These sorts of incidents can often present a complex and confusing picture in the initial stages. We use exercises such as this to ensure that across policing, our ability to respond to these incidents is tried and tested.
“It is also an opportunity for us to strengthen our existing partnerships other emergency services such as the fire service and ambulance service, not forgetting our local authority partners, who are a crucial part of any response to such incidents.”
The exercise – which is not in response to or based on any specific threat or intelligence – included live-play elements to test a number of specialist capabilities across policing.
Facilities at St Mary’s Stadium and The Ageas Bowl, both in Southampton, and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary’s training headquarters, were used for the scenarios to create realistic challenges for those involved and also to minimise any potential disruption to the public.
Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Akehurst, from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, said:
“This exercise was a great opportunity to test our plans and make sure we are as prepared as possible in the event of a large scale emergency.
“We take these exercises very seriously and I’m grateful for the hours of hard work our officers and staff have put in, alongside our colleagues at CTPSE and other partners, to get to this point.”
Exercises like this take place throughout the year across the country to ensure Counter Terrorism Policing and the wider policing family is prepared for major incidents, should the worst happen.
We are committed to ensuring that our response is continually evolving, in order to keep the public safe.
Communities defeat terrorism, and information from the public is vital to counter terrorism investigations.
If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious and think someone may be engaging in terrorist activity, trust your instincts and act by reporting it in confidence at gov.uk/ACT or the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, dial 999.