SOUTH WALES and Dyfed Powys Police are jointly hosting a Terrorist response exercise to test the blue light emergency services response to a major terrorist incident.
This multi-agency exercise will be an extensive test and has been in the planning for over 12 months.
The two-day exercise is taking place today (June 28) and tomorrow (June 29) at several locations across south and west Wales and involves South Wales Police, Dyfed Powys Police, Gwent Police, Gloucester Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Home Office and Welsh Government.
It has been scheduled for a year and represents a major element within the National Counter-Terrorism Exercise Programme.
South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Jon Stratford said: “This exercise will test and develop the response of the emergency services and other partners to a major terrorist attack.”
“I want to make it clear that this exercise has been in the planning for over 12 months and is not linked to any specific terror threat. It provides an opportunity to make sure we are in the best position possible, should a terrorist attack happen in southern Wales.”
Residents living near Ffos Las Racecourse, Carmarthen and Llantrisant Common , Llantrisant, will become aware of a large number of Emergency Service Vehicles and are likely to hear loud noises, simulated explosions and “blank” gunfire during exercise on Tuesday 28th June.
The exercise will not affect the day-to-day policing of South Wales and Dyfed Powys and the emergency service response of the other agencies. These will continue as normal.
Dyfed-Powys Police T/Assistant Chief Constable Pam Kelly said: “This is a large-scale safety and security exercise, involving a number of Government agencies, emergency services and others who would be involved in responding to a major incident.”
“I would urge people not to be alarmed by the increased volume of emergency service activity they may see during this period. We have a legal obligation under the Civil Contingencies Act to prepare and practice for a major incident and this enables us to safely test how our processes and structures work together.”
South Wales Fire & Rescue Service Group Manager Brian Thompson said: “This exercise is the culmination of over 12 months planning and build up training that has seen significant investment on developing and operationalising this capability within South Wales Fire & Rescue Service. It will allow us, along with key partners, to test an integrated emergency management response to a major terrorist incident. “
He added: “The exercise will not affect any of our proactive community engagement risk reduction activities or our ability to respond to emergency calls during the exercise.”
Chris Sims, Welsh Ambulance Service Head of Operations – Resilience and Specialist Operations (EPRR)/ National Interagency Liaison Officer (NILO) said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity of taking part in these exercises and be able to test the resilience of the Welsh Ambulance Service should such events occur in reality in Wales.
“It is important that we use the exercises to enhance our preparedness in case of any eventuality, and I’m confident that our staff will be able to respond appropriately to the challenges set before us.
“We would like to reassure the public that the exercises will have no adverse effect on our daily operations.”