A shopping centre in the Glasgow area was the scene for a training exercise to test the response of the emergency services to a major firearms attack.

The action, started on Tuesday, had been planned since early last year, Police Scotland said.

Police Scotland staged the mock terror attack. Two masked and hooded men “opened fire” in a packed bus stop at Intu Braehead on Tuesday evening. A number of actors were lined up against a wall, seemingly staging a mock execution.

Assistant chief constable Bernard Higgins said the exercise was not in response to any recent incident or specific threat.

“The emergency services and partners plan extensively for a wide number of challenging situations from naturally occurring events caused by the weather to significant industrial accidents or criminal acts.

This exercise has been in the planning for a year and specifically focuses on a major firearms incident and will test how our specially-trained armed officers respond alongside other emergency services at a crowded place, which for the purposes of this scenario, is a major shopping venue.

I must reiterate that this exercise is not in response to recent events in Paris or any threat to any specific location. Whilst everyone in Scotland hopes we never have to activate any major incident plan, it is important that we are ready to do so should the need develop. This proactive approach to preparedness helps to protect Scotland’s status as a safe and secure country.”

Police have previously used Longannet Power Station in Fife to train for the kidnapping of a government minister.

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