Police in London have carried out a terrorism drill on the Thames on Sunday (March 19).
More than 200 Met Police officers and staff took part in the exercise, code named ‘Exercise Anchor’, between 9am and 1pm.
Police, along with other emergency services tested their response to a terrorist threat on the river .
The scenario involved a group of terrorists hijacking a passenger pleasure boat on the Thames and taking a number of hostages, to travel up the Thames to Central London to carry out a terrorist attack.
It was designed to test the response and command and control protocols of emergency services, working with maritime partners, in dealing with this kind of situation in a marine environment.
It also tested how partner agencies on the river work together in this kind of scenario, with the Port of London Authority, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RNLI, London, Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service all involved in the exercise.
Officers also used the opportunity to deploy marine-trained search dogs on board the vessel.
Commander BJ Harrington, from the Met said: “This was the first time that we’ve tested together the response of the various agencies that operate on the River Thames to a potential terror attack.
“I’d like to stress that this scenario wasn’t based on any specific intelligence, but it’s important to remember that the threat level for international terrorism in the UK remains at Severe. This kind of exercise demonstrates that should a terrible event ever happen for real, London is ready to respond in the most efficient and effective way possible.
“With the threat level as it is, we cannot afford to be complacent and the public should always be vigilant and ready to act if the worst were to happen.
“Exercises such as this one show that London is prepared and should reassure anyone who lives, works or visits London that there is an amazing team of highly dedicated, professional and skilled men and women ready to keep them safe from this kind of threat.”
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