Public thanked for response to terrorism exercise

An armed police officer during an exercise at the Trafford Centre

An armed police officer during an exercise at the Trafford Centre

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The public have been thanked for their understanding during a regional police terrorism exercise.

Exercise Winchester, a multi-agency exercise to test the emergency response to a major incident in the North West, has now finished and Merseyside Police has thanked the public for its co-operation.

Thousands of people from both regional and national agencies took part in the simulated terrorist attack across three days designed to test the response to scenarios based on recent events.

The exercise took place across several locations including around the Redbank Community Home site in Newton-le-Willows and at the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

Superintendent Dave Charnock, in charge of the activity in the Merseyside area said: “This three-day exercise was the culmination of months of planning and I think was vital in allowing us to test our officers and staff from other agencies, in a controlled environment to ensure we’re in the best possible place and fully prepared, should an attack occur.

“This was one of the largest counter terrorism training exercise ever undertaken in the country and I hope Merseyside residents feel reassured that we have tested our officers and partners robustly.

“I know there was some traffic and noise around the Redbank Community Home site and I would like to thank all of those residents for their understanding and support, while this exercise was carried out.

“I would also like to thank all of the officers and everyone who took part. It is important that we remain vigilant so that we stand together to combat terrorism both in Merseyside and the UK.”