On Thursday April 11, Chief Constable Simon Cole officially opened Leicestershire Police’s new Public Order Training Facility, located at its Force Headquarters base in Enderby – a move by the entrepreneurial force to reduce training costs and generate direct income from other forces.
Representatives from forces across the UK witnessed live demonstrations on site as officers fought to bring the simulated streets to order.
Before the creation of its new £138,000 Public Order Training Facility, Leicestershire Police would routinely hire training grounds at other sites across the UK for the compulsory training of 420 officers per year at a cost of £50,000 per year in site rental, mileage, abstraction, and off site catering. Return on investment is projected within five years through reduced training costs alone.
Chief Constable Simon Cole said:
“The new facility comes at a time when UK police forces are looking for opportunities to reduce overheads and become income-generating and entrepreneurial.
“Not only are we keeping our own training costs down, but we’re offering value-for -money options to forces to train at a quality facility in Enderby, Leicestershire, which is ideally situated in the centre of the UK.”
The site is constructed from re-purposed shipping containers, known to be some of the most resilient and cost effective materials for building a cityscape structure, often used in the creation of temporary inner city retail outlets.
Local street artists have painted some of the containers to resemble houses and shops at street level, to add depth and realism to scenarios.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader said:
“This innovative facility, which is in direct response to the Comprehensive Spending Review within Leicestershire, will contribute to a program of change which is working to deliver £20million in savings by 2016/2017.”
Leicestershire Police has redeveloped a derelict police sports ground, transforming it into a quality venue for the tactical training of police officers. The Force previously trained at like-for-like facilities elsewhere in the country.
The 3,000sqm training area is suitable for scenarios including, regaining control in situations of urban public disorder; hostage negotiations; and tactical firearms and dogs training.
Annual public order training is compulsory and necessary, with forces across the country bringing the training into use during the large-scale disturbances of August 2011 across the country.