A national training exercise to test the emergency response to a major incident took place in Hampshire last week.

Officers and staff from Counter Terrorism Policing South East and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary worked with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, South Central Ambulance Service and local authority partners as part of the two-day exercise on January 18 and 19.

Counter Terrorism Policing South East Assistant Chief Constable Tim Metcalfe said: “We are always focused on ensuring we are match fit to respond to any major incident or terrorism incident.

“These often present a complex and confusing picture in the initial stages, and we use exercises like this to ensure our ability to respond to these incidents is tried and tested.

“It is also an opportunity for us to strengthen our existing partnerships other emergency services such as the fire and ambulance services and our local authority partners, who are a crucial part of any response to such incidents.”

The exercise at St Mary’s Stadium and The Ageas Bowl, both in Southampton, and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary’s training headquarters, included live-play elements to test specialist capabilities across policing.

The facilities were used to create realistic challenges and to minimise any potential disruption to the public.

Hampshire police Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Akehurst said: “This was a great opportunity to test our plans and make sure we are as prepared as possible in the event of a large scale emergency.

“We take these exercises very seriously and I’m grateful for the hours of hard work our officers and staff have put in, alongside our colleagues at CTPSE and other partners, to get to this point.

“Exercises like this take place throughout the year across the country to ensure counter-terrorism policing and the wider policing family is prepared for major incidents, should the worst happen.

“We are committed to ensuring our response is continually evolving to keep the public safe.”