Terrorist attack response tested in West Yorkshire

A training exercise to test the response of the emergency services to a terrorist attack has taken place at a number of locations in West Yorkshire.

Led by Counter Terrorism Policing North East, the exercise involved participants from regional forces, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Yorkshire Ambulance Service and  saw first responders deal with a marauding terrorist firearms attack and resolve a siege situation involving a large number of hostages.

Participating agencies were tasked with detaining the suspects, managing the scene, protecting the public and rescuing the wounded. The exercise is a routine national counter terrorism initiative as part of the government’s rolling exercise programme.

Detective Superintendent Matt Davison, from Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “Exercises such as this are an important opportunity for us to test our skills and tactics and ensure that our multi-agency plans are as effective as they can be in managing incidents and keeping the public safe. It’s vital we train together for incidents of this nature and learn as much as possible from the range of challenges they present. All partners are fully committed to ensuring we are thoroughly prepared should the worst happen in our area.

“The noise from small pockets of exercise activity may have been heard locally. The exercise involved locations in Calderdale and Wakefield. However, we made every effort to keep disruption to a minimum and there was absolutely no risk to the public at any time. Neither was there any impact on the front line services of the police or our regional emergency partners, which continued as normal. We’re grateful for the patience and cooperation of local people and for the support we’ve received from our partners who assisted us in hosting this exercise (SSE and Together Housing). We’re really pleased with the dedicated and professional response to the incident by those taking part. Alongside our partners, we will now look to carry out a full debrief of the exercise to ensure we capture any additional learning and incorporate it into our major incident plans.”

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