A LIGHT aircraft crashing into Chippenham’s Emery Gate Shopping Centre was the scenario Street Pastors found themselves thrown into as they took part in a training exercise in the town.

Fifteen response pastors from Chippenham and the South West took part in the pilot exercise which was held at the Central Methodist Church.

The purpose of the training exercise was to train response pastors in how to deal with emergency situations and how they can help people, whether that is a severe accident or terrorist attack.

Michael Weeks, co-ordinator of Chippenham Street Pastors, said: “The scenario was we had reports of fatalities and people were being directed to the Central Methodist Church.

“We had volunteers who were role playing certain roles, so we had a man who’d lost his daughter, a journalist trying to get quotes, people who had seen it and were traumatised, someone with Alzheimer’s and we had to try and get information from them.

“The hope is it’s something that’s done again because we got so much out of it.

“I hope I never have to use my training but at the same time it’s nice doing these things.”

The exercise, which could now be rolled out across the country after it proved successful, took place between 1-5pm on Saturday which was followed by five new recruits taking to the streets of Chippenham in the evening as they were inducted as new Street Pastors.

The charity patrol the streets of Chippenham on Saturday’s and offer help and support to people who may need it, handing out foil blankets, bottles of water and flip-flops, and ensuring that people travel home safely.

Mr Weeks added: “It was good, town was extremely busy because it was a bank holiday weekend and the nights are getting lighter.

“From my point of view it was taking a step back and letting them be a bit more involved.

“It was an amazing day, nothing could have gone better.”