Pioneering training centre opened by Duke of Edinburgh
West Yorkshire Police’s newest training facilities were officially opened earlier this month, with royalty on hand to officially cut the ribbon.
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, opened the new £38 million training facility at Wakefield’s Carr Gate complex, in front of officers and guests on Friday 10th July.
The new site, which includes state-of-the-art firearms, public order and driver training facilities, is located alongside Bishopgarth House – which features more technological and traditional learning environments.
The Duke was given a tour of the site before unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening.
He was also the first to sign the centre’s official visitors’ book, using a pen last used by Her Majesty The Queen when visiting the former Bishopgarth training centre on 26th November 1982.
The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “I was delighted to welcome the Duke of Edinburgh to our excellent facilities at Carr Gate.
“As West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner I have pledged to do everything I can to work with police and partners to keep our communities safe and feeling safer and Carr Gate plays a vital role in that.
“The visit was a great success; not only did it give me a chance to showcase the facilities to the Duke of Edinburgh but I also took the opportunity to invite people from across the communities of West Yorkshire to see for themselves what happens at the base.”
Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins added: “It is a real honour for our new facilities to be opened by the Duke of Edinburgh. West Yorkshire Police provide training to the highest standards and it was a real privilege to highlight this during the visit.”
The Duke observed how officers train in the use of handcuff, baton, open hand and conflict resolution tactics before gaining an insight into firearms training and visiting the Public Order Training Centre which contains replica buildings and street layouts.
The new Carr Gate complex houses police training facilities which are second to none and are among the very best, not only in the country but across the world.
Three firearms ranges allow live fire training with exercises supported by the latest technology and video imagery – some used for the very first time in the UK ensure officers are placed under pressures as near to real life operational situations as possible.
Indoor and outdoor street scenes with actual buildings bring to life public order training from front line tactics to command decision making.
A bespoke public order arena with street layouts which can be altered along with lighting and noise places officers under varied and new challenges. There is a viewing gantry providing staff with a bird’s eye view of the training below to enhance feedback and learning.
The driver training facility utilises the latest technology, replacing the old ‘skid pan’ at Crofton with a vehicle which sits upon a remote controlled frame to allow trainers to recreate a variety of road conditions.