Counter terror exercise begins in Edinburgh

A three-day counter terrorism exercise outside of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s HQ is being simulated in Edinburgh to test the city's emergency response.

The simulation, which involves a vehicle attack on the bank’s HQ, is the result of a year of planning and will continue at sites across Edinburgh, Angus and across the border in north-east England.

The exercise will test armed response teams, paramedics and firefighters as well as police control room and organisational staff.

Bernard Higgins, assistant chief constable of Police Scotland, said: “This is an exercise – it’s not because we know something is going to happen or we believe something is going to happen. There is absolutely no intelligence to suggest that Scotland is going to be a specific target of terrorism at any point in the future.

“People in the Edinburgh area today and over the next few days, please don’t be alarmed if you see lots of blue lights and sirens or if you hear gunshots. It is blank cartridges we’re using, but it’s trying to recreate the pressure and the tension that the first responders will be feeling at the scene and the senior officers and staff will be feeling back in the operations room.”

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