Over 850 volunteers, including police officers, other members of the South Yorkshire’s emergency services and members of the public, responded to a mock terrorist attack at Meadowhall shopping centre in the early hours of this morning.
South Yorkshire Police say 856 people took part in the exercise which was intended to test the preparedness of the area’s blue light services.
This was a “civil emergencies exercise” and forms part of the national programme of practice drills that are required under the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act.
The force’s Deputy Chief Constable, Mark Roberts, said: “This was an extremely positive and useful exercise which tests our collective ability to respond to an emergency on a large scale. In this particular case, we chose to focus on a terrorism incident but this is not in response to a specific threat.
“The threat level to the UK remains at ‘severe’ as it has been since August 2014.”
Deputy Chief Constable Roberts said everything learned from the exercise would be used to improve future plans and procedures.
He also thanked those involved, saying that they had played an essential role in keeping South Yorkshire safe.
“Although this was an exercise, the environment created is as realistic as possible. We saw officers and staff from each of the agencies, and members of the public carry out brave acts to secure the safety of others. It reminded us all why we do the job we do.”
The Meadowhall Centre have not made any comment.