A large scale training exercise took place in Swindon town centre last night to test emergency services response to a major incident.
The exercise was designed to enhance the skills of emergency responders when managing a major incident and was not in relation to any specific threat.
The scenario saw a firearms incident develop at the Brunel Shopping Centre with police and other blue light services responding to defuse the threat. Ambulance and fire and rescue services responded to deal with casualties from the incident. Around 200 role players took part in the exercise.
This was just one of a number of exercises held regularly across the country and provides invaluable training and experience for officers and staff. Preparation and testing is integral in helping partners to ensure the South West and the UK is resilient.
Details of the exercise were not shared publicly to allow partner agencies to respond spontaneously as they would in a real incident. The area was tightly controlled and the public were not involved.
Officers and security staff were on patrol to reassure any local residents who may have heard or seen the increased activity, noise and presence of the emergency services. However, it was business as usual for the force and officers.
Superintendent Dave Minty said: “Routine exercises like this are important as they enable us to test out our ability to deal with large scale incidents. I would like to thank The Brunel Shopping Centre and the local community for their support.
“The exercise was not based on any threat or intelligence. Although it is unlikely that an incident like this would occur, recent national and international events have once again highlighted the importance of public organisations testing their emergency response procedures to assure the safety of the communities we serve.”