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London Counter Terrorism Training: What It Means For Us

The last few weeks have been somewhat devastating for some nations of the World, with three major terrorist attacks taking place in quick succession. In Kuwait, 27 people died and hundreds wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a Mosque. One the same day, a French national with links to IS, decapitated his boss before going on a rampage in a chemical factory in central France. There was also a major incident involving holidaymakers in Tunisia. A lone gunman was responsible for killing 38 innocent people on an idyllic beach, 30 were British citizens.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of recent months, including the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, the emergency services are taking part in a staged counter terrorism exercise, the biggest ever to take place in the UK.

The counter terrorism training took place over 30th June and the 1st July in Central London, was designed to mimic a potential terror scenario in a built up area which attracts a large number of people; a prime target for a terrorist attack. It was also designed to test the response of Scotland Yard in the event of an attack, which had over 1000 police officers taking part in the exercise. Training alongside the police were the ambulance service, fire crews, military and actors, who are there to act as citizens caught up in the mock incidents. The Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Maxine de Brunner spoke on why it was essential to carry out the training, she said “When the very worst happens, we are prepared to be the very best. It’s based on what we think a terrorist could throw at us.”

The training is happening is because there is an ever increasing threat from terrorist groups, both overseas and home-grown. Currently, the terror threat level is set to “Severe”, so anti-terror exercises are a no brainer for the Met who need to train and prepare for every eventuality. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan Howe said the exercise “will test our people in how to respond to a terrorist threat and we will learn from the mistakes that we are bound to make today.”

Britain is no stranger to terror attacks and with the 10th anniversary of the London 7/7 bombings coming up, the Met is looking to help reassure the public that if something similar were to happen again, they can quickly gain control of the situation and prevent a huge loss to life.

 

Did you know that the Met are arresting an average of one person every day suspected of terrorist behaviour?

 

As it stands, the UK faces an uncertain future in the fight and prevention against terrorism. With the influx of people travelling to war torn areas to be radicalised and trained by terrorist groups, the time for training and preparation for an attack cannot come sooner. Have a look at the Future of Counter-Terrorism Conference, which will be focusing on the latest strategies and developments on counter-terrorism in the UK.

The training given to the emergency services will enable them to prepare themselves for any eventuality a terrorist group or “lone Wolf” may throw at them, dealing with the situation as quickly as possible. It gives the public reassurance too, knowing that the people responsible for keeping us safe are continuously adapting to new threats. This means that the streets in our major towns and cities will become safer for UK citizens going about their daily lives.

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