Counter-terror training exercise held in Merseyside
A counter-terror training exercise has been held in Merseyside, with over 400 participants from agencies including Counter Terrorism Policing North West (CTPNW), Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire & Rescue, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and the Coast Guard.
The exercise which was coordinated by CTPNW and took place at Cammell-Laird shipyard.
The exercise tested the emergency response to a no-notice maritime terrorist incident. Participants had no prior knowledge of the scenario so they could respond as they would in the event of a real incident.
The exercise began with a staged road-traffic collision, after which the 'suspect' fled the scene and took 'hostages' on board a Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship.
Detective Superintendent Will Chatterton, CTPNW deputy head and lead for Protect & Prepare, said: “This exercise was a carefully planned opportunity for agencies across the North West to rigorously test their emergency response plans in a controlled, but realistic, environment.
“We hope to never be in a position where these plans need to be utilised in response to a real incident but it’s extremely important that we are prepared to respond should the moment arise so exercises like the one held over the weekend are a crucial part of rehearsing emergency plans.
“Therefore, it’s been great to see the support given to the exercise by colleagues from across multiple services and the different roles that have been tested.
“We had an excellent turnout on the day and I know that those involved found it to be hugely beneficial and will use the experience to build on their existing plans to ensure they are as effective as they possibly can be.”
Assistant Chief Constable Paul White from Merseyside Police said: “Multi-agency exercises such this are absolutely vital for us to demonstrate how successfully the emergency services work together in the event of a major incident.
“Merseyside Police has a comprehensive plan in place and a highly skilled and prepared workforce of officers and staff across the Force ready to respond should it ever be required.
“Regularly testing our planning is essential to allow us to adapt, learn and constantly improve our plan so that we have the most effective staff and resources in place at all times.”
Image: El Pollock / Construction Hall, Cammell Laird shipyard, Birkenhead