Training Exercise In Essex Goes Wrong

16 January 2019, 16:10 | Updated: 16 January 2019, 17:07

Police helicopter

A kidnapping training exercise in Waltham Abbey has gone a bit wrong.

Essex Police responded to a 999 call yesterday from a member of the public who said they'd seen a woman being pulled from a vehicle at gunpoint.

All available officers in the area were called to respond, along with five double-crewed armed response vehicles and a police helicopter.

It turned out to be a training exercise by a private company, but they hadn't let police know beforehand.

On the Brentwood and Epping Forest Community Policing Team's Twitter account, Essex Polcie said "After some time the persons involved were located and it turned out to be a private training company carrying out a kidnapping training scenario in a public place.

"Police had been given no notification that this would be occurring and the persons involved did not believe this may have been necessary."

The force said the incident has been recorded as a public order offence due to the "alarm and distress that this caused to the members of the public who believed that they were witnessing an incident of violence involving the use of a firearm".