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Wiltshire Police recognised for response to 2018's Novichok attacks

Wiltshire Police has won a prestigious World Class Policing Award in recognition of its ‘outstanding’ response to the 2018 Novichok attacks in Salisbury and Amesbury.

As the severity of the poisoning emerged, the force declared a major incident, formed the LRF Strategic Co-ordinating Group (SCG) and led a multi-agency approach in dealing with it.

The threat of the nerve agent Novichok to public health had never been encountered before and the whole operation took place under the watchful eye of the world.

The police led operation saw the force work with several agencies including Wiltshire Council, The Ministry of Defence, the NHS and other Government bodies.

The force and partners beat off competition from 54 finalists, drawn from more than 100 outstanding entries from across the globe, to win a trophy at the new event recognising outstanding police work from across the world.

Judges commented that this was a “world class, world leading, complex response to one of the significant global events of 2018.”

A spokesman added: “The collaborative partnership response in the meeting and the need to establish new processes to handle sensitive and secret communications at the highest levels of Government, UKIC and CT Policing whilst working in the glare of local, national and international publicity was extraordinary.

“As one of the smallest forces in the United Kingdom, Wiltshire’s ability to cope with the influx of policing support from 42/43 UK forces; ensuring the working conditions of staff; the management of danger that staff and members of the community were in and also ensuring outstanding stakeholder management to explain that the response was being driven effectively was frankly extraordinary.”

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