Not ter­ror – but a big test

Po­lice and mil­i­tary prac­tise emer­gency re­sponse

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Lois Swin­ner­ton lois.swin­ner­ton@trin­i­tymir­

A THREE-DAY live ex­er­cise to test re­sponses to a ter­ror­ist at­tack has been ex­e­cuted in London.

The ex­er­cise, which was five months in the planning, in­volved more than 500 Met Po­lice of­fi­cers and mem­bers from the mil­i­tary and other part­ners work­ing in Hen­don and across London.

Ex­er­cise Tre­blerope be­gan on Mon­day Novem­ber 28, where first re­spon­ders from the emer­gency ser­vices were re­quired to at­tend a shop­ping mall in Ca­nary Wharf, fol­low­ing a staged ter­ror­ist firearms at­tack with ‘ ma­raud­ers’ on the scene.

Be­tween the hours of 11pm and 5am, those on the scene de­tained the sus­pects, pro­tected the pub­lic and res­cued the wounded.

On day two, spe­cial­ist counter ter­ror­ism of­fi­cers were re­quired to track down out­stand­ing sus­pects, us­ing a dis­used site at St Ge­orge’s Hospi­tal in Hornchurch and The Royal Mint in Tower Ham­lets.

On the fi­nal day a siege sce­nario was played out at the Met’s training cen­tre in Hen­don.

“Ex­er­cises like this are a re­ally im­por­tant way to en­sure that our mul­ti­a­gency plans to re­spond to a ter­ror­ist at­tack are as good as they can be,” said com­man­der Dean Hay­don, of the Met’s Counter Ter­ror­ism Com­mand.

“Dur­ing live play we test our tac­ti­cal re­sponse to ter­ror­ists with firearms and how we work to­gether in prac­tice.”

The ex­er­cise was part of a wider op­er­a­tion of ter­ror­ism ex­er­cises held reg­u­larly across the coun­try as part of a gov­ern­ment pro­gramme.

Com­man­der Dean Hay­don stresses that it was not in re­sponse to any spe­cific threat

He said: “The ex­er­cise was fo­cused on the ex­treme end of sce­nar­ios, fol­low­ing at­tacks else­where in the world, but I’d like to stress it was not car­ried out in re­sponse to any spe­cific in­tel­li­gence.

“The pub­lic may have seen ex­tra po­lice and mil­i­tary per­son­nel in some ar­eas and may have heard some noise from firearms be­ing used dur­ing the course of the ex­er­cise at the Ca­nary Wharf Es­tate and Hen­don but there was ab­so­lutely no risk to the pub­lic.

He added: “I am re­ally happy with how the ex­er­cise went.

“I wit­nessed first-hand the pro­fes­sional re­sponse of our emer­gency ser­vices.”

Dur­ing live play we test our tac­ti­cal re­sponse to ter­ror­ists with firearms and how we work to­gether”

OP­ER­A­TION TRE­BLEROPE: Took place over three days Photo: Met Po­lice

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