New £15m Armed Police Training Center for Staffordshire Police
Plans for a new Armed Police Training Center for Staffordshire Police have come closer.
Sep 2, 2022
By Paul Jacques
The proposed new indoor facility will be built at Force Headquarters in Stafford at an estimated cost of £14.8m, subject to further scoping activities, replacing existing blocks which are old, in poor condition and not are more suitable for use.
The training center will provide specialist officers with a purpose-built soundproof facility that meets national standards and their current and future needs, offering state-of-the-art facilities including a 50m indoor firing range and training rooms.
Staffordshire Police currently lease an outdoor firing range, but due to issues with suitability and long-term availability of the site, a detailed review has been carried out to understand the future requirements of the force and assess a range of options alternatives to answer them. The review included practical options for sharing a facility with neighboring forces, but these proved unworkable.
The recommended option ensures training is provided at a facility under the control of Staffordshire Police, fully complies with all health and safety laws and guidelines and, because it is in the area force, allows officers to deploy more quickly to Staffordshire when needed.
Work on the new facility is expected to begin in 2024 and is expected to be completed by September 2025.
Staffordshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Ben Adams said: ‘Police firearms deployments in Staffordshire are relatively low, but when our communities need an armed response to ensure their safety, it is essential that the force has the right training and facilities in place to deliver the highest quality service.
“Police forces have a legal responsibility to meet not only the national Police Services College standards, but also local strategic threat and risk assessments. These have evolved significantly in recent years, requiring solutions that improve services, protect the public from harm and provide value for money over the long term.
“Using public money efficiently is a priority for me, and this investment is part of a wider building plan for Staffordshire Police to ensure buildings are sustainable and future-proof. The initial budget for The installation has been set at £18 million, and these revised proposals represent a significant saving on that figure while fully meeting the operational requirements of the force.
Deputy Chief Constable Emma Barnett said: ‘Public safety is our top priority. To achieve this, it is sometimes necessary to deploy armed agents.
“Although firearms deployments remain relatively low and Staffordshire remains one of the safest places to live, work and visit, it is essential that our Authorized Firearms Officers (AFOs) are properly trained and equipped to respond to the most serious incidents in order to protect the public.
“This investment in a bespoke firearms training center meets those requirements – protecting our response to firearms-related activities in the community, now and in the future.”