Ben Adams visiting a new police training facility

Staffordshire Commissioner visits new officer training facility

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime Ben Adams visited the site of the force’s new Officer Personal Safety Training (OPST) centre in Stafford to see how work to create the bespoke £1.3 million facility is progressing.

The new centre will allow Staffordshire Police to meet the requirements of the College of Policing’s new national standards, which state that every officer must now spend two days a year in OPST training instead of one.

The College’s new curriculum also focuses on practical scenarios rather than techniques and requires a much larger training area, with safe, life-size sets creating scenarios including stop and search, street fights, drunk and disorderly, custody, vulnerable people and domestic settings.

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime Ben Adams said: “Police forces have a legal responsibility to meet not only national College of Policing standards but also local needs. These have evolved significantly in recent years, requiring carefully considered solutions that improve services, protect the public from harm and deliver value for money for the long term.

“I welcome this new facility, which will allow officers to receive scenario-based training including a range of techniques such as how to de-escalate situations and deal appropriately with people who are aggressive.

“The right training is essential in preventing injuries to officers as well as ensuring the safety of members of the public who may be involved in altercations with officers.

“Using public money efficiently is a priority for me, and this investment is part of a wider estates plan for Staffordshire Police to ensure buildings are fit for purpose, sustainable and future proof.”

In addition to the scenario spaces, the force’s new OPST facility will include space for a beep track, classrooms and equipment, and general judo matted training area. A space large enough to meet all these requirements is not currently available anywhere on the Police and Fire service estate.

Chief Superintendent Paul Talbot said: “We welcome the investment in the new Officer Personal Safety Training facility. The centre reinforces our commitment to delivering an excellent service and keeping our communities safe.

“As the public would rightly expect, our officers are trained to high standards and it is vital we are able to continue to do this with facilities that are fit for purpose.”

Training in the new OPST facility is expected to start in April.

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