POLICE forces have been granted only the second licence of its kind to jointly train officers in the use of firearms.
Cleveland Police and Durham Constabulary joined forces to operate the Firearms Tactical Training Centre in Urlay Nook, off the A66, near Stockton.
After a rigorous process of inspection and validation by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), it has been awarded a joint full licence that provides a remit to train armed police.
It is only the second time that a joint four-year licence has been awarded to any police firearms training centre in England and Wales.
Assistant Chief Constable Sean White, who oversees firearms operations for Cleveland Police, said: “While this is good news for both police forces and both police authorities who support the centre, it also provides reassurance to communities of both force areas that police officers who are deployed day and night, and asked to deal with incidents that may necessitate them using firearms have been trained, accredited and licensed to the highest of standards.
“The use of such weapons to protect the public thankfully occurs on an infrequent basis but on the occasions that such weapons that are used, I am satisfied that officers are in the position of being the best trained, equipped and ready to protect the public, their colleagues and themselves.”