I spent a hugely interesting morning (with some MPA colleagues) visiting the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit of the Metropolitan Police – the unit that contains the Explosive Officers whose task is to dismantle or make safe any bombs or explosives found in London, such as those in the car bomb outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub in the Haymarket.
All the Explosives Officers are ex-military with many years of experience in the field and they are trained to handle a full range of threats from unexploded World War II bombs through to bombs potentially laced with chemical, biological or radiological agents. They are able to provide a response 24 hours a day throughout the year and because of their location are able to reach to reach central London locations within minutes and have ready access to the rest of the capital. Their equipment – some of it robotic – was fascinating and the dedication of all of those involved (and their acceptance of the personal risks to which they might be subject) was hugely impressive.
London is well-served by them.