Press release

PM announces major counter-terrorism training exercise in Scotland

Prime Minister Theresa May announced a counter-terrorism training exercise in Scotland to strengthen the UK’s response to a terrorist attack.

Prime Minister Theresa May meeting with Police Scotland

The Prime Minister has today announced a major counter-terrorism training exercise will take place in Scotland later this year to test multi-agency response that would come into force in the event of a terror attack.

During a visit today to Police Scotland, which will act as the lead force throughout the operation, she met a range of officers involved in counter-terrorism, including some who were involved in Police Scotland’s response to last week’s attacks in Westminster.

The training is part of the UK government’s National Counter-Terrorism Exercise Programme and brings together partners from policing and security, the armed forces, UK government departments and the devolved administrations to test responses to a major terrorist attack.

The Prime Minister Theresa May said:

The UK government considers national security across the whole of the UK as a top priority.

Training operations such as this one play a significant part in making sure police forces and other response agencies are able to fully draw on the latest intelligence and resources from the UK’s security forces to protect against terrorism anywhere on our soil.

As the second largest force in the country, Police Scotland are a key player in our fight against terrorism. I’m grateful to them for the exceptional work they have been delivering so far to prepare for this very important counter-terrorism exercise.

Lessons learnt from these operations are fed back to the full range of operational partners, government departments and devolved administrations to further strengthen the UK’s response to a terrorist attack on UK soil.

Only second in size to the Metropolitan Police Service, Police Scotland works closely with other forces across the UK and has an important role to play in the development of UK-wide policing practices.

This system of agencies allows an effective joint response to tackle terrorism and serious and organised crime throughout the UK.

Police Scotland has automatic access to the UK’s National Crime Agency and its international networks, as well as the UK security agencies’ resources and their interception and surveillance abilities.

Equally, it can draw on intelligence from the National Cyber Security Centre, which does crucial work in protecting the UK’s infrastructure and keeping us safe online.

The training exercise, which will take place in October, will also involve areas in the north of England.

Cross-agency counter-terrorism responses take place regularly, with exercises ranging from low capability testing to full scale national operations, and this latest event is part of a routine run.

Published 27 March 2017