Multi-agency exercise in Norwich
More than 200 people were involved in an emergency exercise overnight in Norwich.
Emergency services including Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service and the East of England Ambulance Service were involved in the exercise at Castle Mall shopping centre which started at about 10pm and went on into the early hours.
About 200 role players took part in the event which involved a scenario testing the emergency services response to a terrorist style incident and formed part of a routine training programme. A helicopter was also used as part of the exercise.
Chief Inspector Nick Russell, from Norfolk and Suffolk’s firearms training unit, underlined the necessity for such exercises.
He said: "It is important staff from all emergency services regularly test their capabilities using a range of scenarios. Details were strictly embargoed until the night to ensure the situation was kept as authentic as possible for those taking part in the exercise.
"In order to minimise disruption to the public and yet achieve this in a realistic manner, these exercises are often held late at night and into the early hours.
"A helicopter was used as part of this exercise and I accept this would have disturbed some residents but I hope those people can understand the need for such training to take place.”
Police hand delivered a number of letters to residents living in the immediate vicinity, advising them of potential activity and officers were also on patrol outside Castle Mall to offer reassurance to passers-by.