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Thursday, 29 November 2012

CLOSE UP LOOK FOR COMMISSIONER

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, visited two key support functions at Cheshire Constabulary headquarters in Winsford.

The Commissioner, who took up his new post last week, spent several hours at the Tactical Training Centre and the Vehicle Maintenance Unit.

He said, "We have to optimise effectiveness and efficiency. So, I am keen to see everything the Constabulary is doing and how it is doing it. I was very impressed with what both of these facilities have achieved.

"I was pleased to discover that they generate income. Staff in the Vehicle Maintenance Unit carry out regular servicing on about fifty vehicles from other forces and other agencies.

"Other forces and organisations can hire facilities in the Tactical Training Centre. When I called in, officers from another Constabulary were on the firing range and a company specialising in pre-hospital emergency care were using one of the classrooms.

"This is particularly valuable at the present time when we are faced with finding ways to meet Government spending reductions. The Constabulary is thinking about ways of creating income that are beneficial to the people of Cheshire. I want to assist with that whenever possible.

"I have nine weeks to draw up the outline budget for 2013/14 and that needs to be a springboard for the years to come."

The purpose-built Vehicle Maintenance Unit opened in 2003 and it has developed the service it provides to the front line since then. Twenty four staff now look after a fleet of nearly 650 vehicles, which cover 11.4 million miles every year. As a comparison, twelve years ago 31 people maintained a fleet of 468 vehicles.

John Dwyer said, "The staff have also put a lot of effort into finding the most cost-effective ways of keeping the fleet on the road."

The Tactical Training Centre was opened in 2010 and provides a 100 metre indoor firing range, an indoor ‘street′ with buildings including a ‘pub′ and a ‘house′ which is used to practice entry techniques. There is also a ‘football terrace′ with seating and a suite of fully equipped classrooms.

Every year 700 officers are trained in crowd-control skills and 350 in public order techniques. Five hundred officers renew their personal safety skills and 78 specialist firearms officers spend ten days at the TTC as part of their 28 days annual training.

In addition, there is command training for senior officers in charge of major operations, plus courses on search and crime scene investigation, enhanced first aid, evidence gathering and ways to deal with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear emergencies.

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