Police and staff take part in terror attack training exercise at Stansted Airport

PUBLISHED: 11:20 12 March 2018

The terror training exercise took place between midnight and 3am. Picture: Essex Police

The terror training exercise took place between midnight and 3am. Picture: Essex Police


Police officers and staff from Stansted Airport simulated a terror attack in the early hours of Saturday morning (March 10) to test their response in the event of an attack.

Picture: Essex PolicePicture: Essex Police

The live exercise took place between midnight and 3am and simulated a marauding terrorist firearms attack during which police officers intercepted a number of subjects and worked closely with staff from Manchester Airport Group as well as other emergency services to protect the public and manage a large scene.

The exercise forms part of the ongoing training and exercising programme ensuring officers and airport staff are ready for any challenge and was not in response to any specific threat or intelligence regarding the airport.

Deputy Airport Commander Chief Inspector Richard Phillibrown, said: “This was a really positive exercise where we were able to test our response to a would-be terror attack.

“During the live play we tested our tactical response to terrorists with firearms and how we would deal with the challenge in practice.

Picture: Essex PolicePicture: Essex Police

“Stansted is the UK’s fourth busiest airport and more than 26 million passengers pass through there each year so it’s essential we’re prepared for any eventuality.

“There’s no specific intelligence currently to suggest there may be an attack at Stansted but as the UK terror threat level is at ‘severe’ it’s really important we carry out these exercises to make sure we’re ready should the worst happen.

“I hope these kinds of exercises also give the public confidence that they are safe when using the airport.

“I’d also like to thank Manchester Airport Group and all the staff at Stansted for their support and co-operation.”

Picture: Essex PolicePicture: Essex Police

John Farrow, London Stansted’s Security and Customer Services Director, said: “The safety and security of passengers, staff and airport infrastructure will always be our overriding priority so it’s vital we collaborate with our airport partners and the emergency services to prepare, develop and test how we protect against and respond to a wide range of operational scenarios and incidents.”

In addition to this live exercise, Essex Police employ a wide range of measures and strands of activity to deter, detect and disrupt criminal and terrorist activity including the use of Project Servator at Stansted Airport.

Project Servator involves highly visible, unpredictable deployments of officers specially trained in the latest techniques to detect criminals and identify those with criminal intent.

This is supported by other specialist resources such as police dogs, armed police and Border Force officers and an extensive network of state-of-the-art CCTV technology.

Security and retail staff work in partnership with the deployments through continuous vigilance and regular communication with police officers.

In the unlikely situation that you are caught up in a terror attack the advice is to run, hide, and tell. Run to the nearest place of safety, if you can’t run then hide as best as you can, and importantly, tell the emergency services where you are and what you can see.

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