Firearms officers in Glasgow have staged a mock attack to test how emergency services would deal with a terrorist threat in the city.
The action saw officers posing as masked gunmen who had ‘opened fire’ on a crowded bus stop, while others played the role of hostages and injured bystanders.
According to the Daily Mail, Police Scotland said the exercise – at the Intu Braehead centre – had been planned since early last year, and was not held in response to a specific threat.
Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said:
The emergency services and partners plan extensively for a wide number of challenging situations.
This exercise has been in the planning for a year and specifically focuses on a major firearms incident and will test how our specially-trained armed officers respond alongside other emergency services at a crowded place, which for the purposes of this scenario, is a major shopping venue.
He said training exercises allowed authorities to ensure the response to a genuine incident could be run as ‘efficiently and effectively as possible’.
“Everyone in Scotland hopes we never have to activate any major incident plan,” said Higgins. “But it is important that we are ready to do so should the need develop.”
It is hoped that the proactive approach will help keep Scotland safe should an event similar to the Paris terror attacks of last year occur.
Gary Turnbull, general manager for the shopping centre where the exercise took place said:
This training, planning and preparation to deal with all eventualities is essential and we had no hesitation allowing them to use our facilities for their exercise while the centre was closed.