There has been a simulated terror incident at intu Trafford Centre, codenamed Exercise Winchester Accord, it has been revealed.
The test of emergency services will last three days, having started on Monday 9 May; including Merseyside Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service.
Assistant Chief Constable Rebekah Sutcliffe said: “Residents in the area may hear loud noises and see emergency services activity around intu Trafford Centre during the exercise and I can reassure people that there is no cause for concern.”
“However, I would still urge people to contact police if they do have any concerns or want to report anything and are not sure if it is linked to the exercise.”
The test has been in planning for five months as part of a nationwide initiative, which Police say is not linked to any specific threat.
Constable Sutcliffe added: “Our priority is to stop terrorists from planning and orchestrating attacks and with exercises like this, we can put our response to the test in a safe environment, so we are fully prepared for a time when it may be critical.”
intu Trafford Centre will be closed during the operation, and General Manager Richard Paxton spoke of the exercise’s importance.
He said: “This training, planning and preparation to deal with all eventualities is essential and we had no hesitation allowing them to use our facilities for their exercise while the centre is closed.”
Exact details of the scenario have not been released, but it is reported that 800 volunteers will take part.