Residents might have noticed a strong presence of emergency services around Portland last night.

A large-scale multi-agency training exercise took place on the isle to test the emergency services’ response to a major incident.

This exercise was held during yesterday afternoon and evening and was designed to enhance the skills of emergency responders when managing a major incident.

Police said it was not in relation to any specific threat.

The scenario saw a firearms incident develop at Portland Port with police and other blue light services responding to defuse the threat. Ambulance and fire and rescue services responded to deal with casualties from the incident.

It was one of a number of exercises held regularly across the country and provides important training and experience for officers and staff. Dorset Police says preparation and testing is 'integral in helping partners to ensure the South West and the UK are resilient.'

Officers and security staff were on patrol to reassure any residents who may have heard or seen the increased activity, noise and presence of the emergency services.

Chief Superintendent Mark Callaghan, of Dorset Police, said: “Routine exercises like this are important as they enable us to test out our ability to deal with large-scale incidents. I would like to thank the Royal Navy, Portland Port, the other emergency services and the local community for their support.

“The exercise was not based on any threat or intelligence. Although it is unlikely that an incident like this would occur, recent national and international events have once again highlighted the importance of public organisations testing their emergency response procedures to assure the safety of the communities we serve.

“We appreciate that residents of Portland may have seen and heard the increased activity in the area. At no time were the public at any risk, and we wish to thank them for their cooperation throughout this important exercise."