A MAJOR terror training exercise is to take place today.

Police, ambulance and fire crews from across the country will join an English police force to take on the training in various locations across Scotland.

The training, dubbed Exercise Border Reiver has been in planning for more than a year, and will run over three days until October 5.

It comes after the Evening Times told of how the Scottish Ambulance service are using city shopping centres and other real-life venues to practice their responses to terror attacks and other multi-casualty events.

Jim Dickie, head of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) explained the training is to ensure ambulance crews working across Glasgow and the West of Scotland are prepared in the event of an attack.

He explained that while there is no current threat, the training is vital to ensure the public is protected.

The latest operation today will see Scottish blue light crews work in conjunction with Northumbria police in Edinburgh, and at smaller sites across Scotland and North East England.

Organisers say it will not affect day-to-day emergency service operations, but have warned the public they may see "live play scenarios".

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins of Police Scotland said: "Exercise Border Reiver is the culmination of months of planning with partner agencies from across the UK and the scenario that will unfold over the three days is a realistic, challenging and complex set of circumstances that could arise during a terrorist incident.

“In addition to uniformed officers, a range of specialist Police Scotland resources will be in play for the exercise and this will result in some significant activity within the public domain.

"Please rest assured this all forms part of the live-play scenario and there is no risk to the public.

“The public should be reassured that we are constantly testing and exercising our plans along with our partners. Police Scotland is committed to ensuring that Scotland is capable of responding to the terror threat that faces the UK.”