Police and military run exercise at Canary Wharf to test Anti-terrorism response
10:01 01 December 2016
An exercise to test the response of London’s emergency services to any terrorist attack was concluded last night at Canary Wharf—scene of a devastating IRA semtex bombing more than 20 years ago—and opposite the Tower of London.
Some 500 police, ambulance, fire brigade and military officers and personnel took part in ‘Exercise Treblerope’ over three days.
‘Treblerope’ took five months to plan with emergency services put through their paces from Day One on Monday, responding to a staged marauding terrorist gunfire attack at Canary Wharf’s main shopping mall between 11pm and 5am the next morning.
Their task was to “detain suspects, manage the scene, protect the public and rescue the injured”.
Specialist Scotland Yard counter-terrorism officers tested their ability on Tuesday to track down “outstanding suspects” in an undercover phase of the exercise at the Royal Mint complex at Tower Hill, opposite The Tower—scene of another IRA bombing in 1974—and at the disused St George’s Hospital site in Hornchurch.
“People may have seen police and military in some areas and heard noise from firearms used during the exercise at Canary Wharf,” Commander Dean Haydon from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command said. “But there was no risk to the public.
“We test tactical response to terrorists during ‘live play’ with firearms to make sure plans to respond to a terrorist attack are as good as they can be.
“The exercise was focused on the extreme end of scenarios, following attacks elsewhere in the world—but it was not in response to any specific intelligence.”
His officers were tested yesterday on dealing with a siege scenario played out at the Met’s Peel training centre at Hendon in north north-west London.
Exercise Treblerope was part of a series held regularly up and down the country, under the Government’s counter-terrorism programme, but was not in response to any specific threat about locations such as Canary Wharf, Scotland Yard said today.