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Firearms officers' body reveals HQ training expansion plans

The expansion would incorporate a state of the art virtual firearms and Taser training range

Plans to upgrade the firearms training hub have been announced in a bid to meet rising demand.

The Police Firearms Officers' Association is set to expand its headquarters to increase its training, counselling and education services.

If official plans are approved, their current building - a former Police station in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire - will get a new extension.

PFOA Chief Executive Mark Williams told Police Oracle: “We are currently exploring the possibility of expanding our footprint at our HQ.

"If successful the expansion would incorporate a state of the art virtual firearms and Taser training range, additional museum space, meeting rooms and a new police room to reopen Chatteris Police station for the local community.”

He added the plans will also secure the association’s long-term funding: “The improvements would enable us to future proof our HQ which will benefit our members and their families as well as the local community.”

Also as part of the work a new neighbourhood policing hub with public desk will be created and a huge radio mast will be taken down.

In 2014, the station was leased by Cambridgeshire Constabulary to the PFOA to enable development of its counselling and support services to officers and their families.

The former garages and dog kennel area were converted into the Police Firearms History Museum which was opened by Princess Anne in 2019. It now welcomes dozens of school visits every year.

One office is used for counselling and physiotherapy to help officers in their recovery and return to work.

But the association has received more exhibits and interest in the museum from community groups plus SEN schools means it needs to adapt. Among the exhibits is a former armed response vehicle recently donated by City of London Police which needs more display space.

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