Metropolitan Police and other emergency services step up terrorism response strategy with live-play scenario

The Metropolitan Police have stepped up their terrorist response exercises.
The Metropolitan Police have stepped up their terrorist response exercises.

The Metropolitan Police, other emergency services and statutory partners have tested their resolve against a potential major terrorist incident

Published

The Metropolitan Police, other emergency services and statutory partners have tested their resolve against a potential major terrorist incident with a live-play exercise.

The activity, called Exercise Crystal Peak, took place over two days and involved more than 200 people including emergency responders from blue-light services.

The multi-agency exercise also included specialist counter terrorism officers, partners from the London Resilience Forum and volunteers taking on the role of casualties.

The exercise was not carried out in response to any specific threat or intelligence, instead being used as part of a regular CT testing and exercising programme.

The exercise scenario involved an improvised explosive device detonated and injured large numbers of people at a fictional music concert in a stadium venue.

Commander Ade Adelekan said: “Whilst the exercise was not designed with any specific threat in mind, sadly, previous attacks such as those we’ve seen in Manchester and Paris show that this kind of scenario at a busy entertainment venue is a real possibility.

“Exercises like this test how our blue-light services respond to this type of incident, ensure the plans we have in place are fit for purpose, and identify where we might improve.

“They also give our officers and staff invaluable experience to respond in a live-play scenario under pressure with real sights, sounds and smells, so that they are in the best position to respond effectively should the worst ever happen for real.”

The exercise scenario began on Saturday, 26 November and took place at a disused terminal building at Heathrow airport.

The scenario itself was not related to the aviation setting, but the venue had been used for previous counter terrorism exercises and using it for this particular exercise allowed the emergency services the space and control to respond in as realistic a way as possible, without causing disruption to the public.