POLICE dealt with a full-scale riot as thugs ran amok attacking officers.
But the mayhem at the former Kingswood School, Corby, wasn’t an outbreak of civil disobedience but a vital training exercise staged by the emergency services.
Organised after the riots that took place across the country last summer, the scenario was staged to test the county’s ability to deal with disorder.
It was the first time the county’s police, fire and ambulance services’ hazardous area response team had tested their ability to deal with a riot together.
Sgt Andy Labrum, from the police conflict management unit, said: “The idea was for us to have multi-agency training and to test the different services together.
“We aimed to replicate a similar scenario to ones that occurred in various locations around England in August last year.
“It was as realistic a scenario as we could make it.”
The sound of missiles thudding into riot shields started as soon as the police arrived on the scene to deal with the “rioters”. They were played by students from Tresham College who are studying a public service course.
The baying mob of teenagers, with hoods pulled over their heads, launched blocks of wood from a wheelie bin at the officers’ shields and heads and when there was no more wood to be thrown the wheelie bin was pushed into their path.
A short time later, with the night sky already glowing orange because of a fire, the police frontline came under attack from baseball bats and weapons.
The force of one blow shattered a riot shield and abuse was hurled at police officers who were determined to stand their ground.
Officers charged and were met by fire bombs, which exploded and covered the police ranks in petrol and flames, lighting up the derelict school buildings. Fire crews rescued the “victims” of an accident, handing them over to paramedics who are specially trained to work in hostile conditions.