Residents told not to worry as military exercise gets under way in Peterborough

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Wednesday, 1.15pm: Police officers and soldiers are taking part in a two day training operation at the former Peterborough District Hospital (PDH) site beginning today (21 January).

Letters have gone out to scores of residents near the former PDH site in Thorpe Road, urging them not to worry if they hear what sounds to be shooting and explosives.

But police and army chiefs were staying tight-lipped about the numbers of personnel taking part and the types of situations for which they are training.

A police spokeswoman said: “This is a pre-planned training exercise which is one of several locations used across the country to minimise the impact on the community.

“This training is a necessary part of our contingency planning to ensure our readiness for a number of policing scenarios.

“For operational reasons we cannot go into the details of the exercise and there will be no public access to the exercise.

She added: “It will periodically involve pyrotechnics and the sound of weapon fire which may be loud but will be of no danger to the public.

“The timings of the exercise and the equipment used are designed to simulate a ‘live’ experience for those taking part and will only be used to the extent which is deemed necessary to achieve the objectives.

She added: “The exercise is likely to create greater police activity around the exercise area during this period.

“However, people can be assured that during the exercise they will not experience any reduction in the quality of service provided by the police force.

“The force is acutely aware that our arrival at any location may cause concern and or disruption to the public and this is something that is always a priority for us to reduce.”

The exercise will be held in the grounds of the old hospital between 8am and 6pm today and Thursday, 22.