We’ve teamed up with The University of Hull to help us prepare our Specialist Operations Unit to respond to future incidents, with The Lawns in Cottingham soon to be used as a training space for our teams.
The university has agreed to our teams using Ferens Hall for training, whilst the long term future of the site is considered.
From training our firearms officers, to practising handling large scale public order incidents, to helping our police dogs prepare for their work to track suspects and conduct specialist searches, the site will soon be busy with teams from our Specialist Operations Unit taking on exercises.
Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for officers and staff from Humberside Police to train and further develop the skills that they need to help us keep our communities safe.
“We’re really pleased to be using a local venue for this and want to thank the University for its support in making this happen.
“I know how important The Lawns is for those living in Cottingham and I am aware of concerns shared locally about safety and security now that the site is not used for accommodation.
“I hope that having our teams regularly on site it will offer some reassurance to the community. We will be working closely with the security team at The Lawns to help keep it safe and to prevent any crime or antisocial behaviour in the area.
“There will be a whole range of different scenarios and exercises that we will be doing at the hall, these will all be carefully planned, with all the necessary considerations taken into account and steps taken to ensure the safety of everyone in the area.
“On some occasions you may hear shouting, bangs, barking or other loud noises but please don’t be alarmed. We will never use live ammunition, and the scenarios that are being played out are set up often using volunteers to play members of the public involved.
“It is important that people do not go onto the site without the permission of a security guard or police officer.
“As well as our firearms training, and public order training we will also regularly have our police dogs there completing training. There will be occasions where the dogs will be running around and carrying out searches outside as well as in the hall itself.
“I know that our dogs are incredibly popular with the public but for safety reasons it is imperative that people stay away when they are on site.
“We will be regularly maintaining the fence to make sure that the area is secure and there will be clear signs around warning people of the danger, but I am asking people to please be aware that we are training for dangerous situations and it is not safe for unauthorised people to be on site.
“We feel very lucky to be able to use this facility for training, with many of our officers and staff having studied at the University of Hull, some of which even lived at the Lawns as students.
“This is a really exciting venture for us and I hope to host an opportunity to showcase the work our specialist operations unit do once we are settled in.”
Stephen Dale, Director of Estates at the University of Hull, said: “We are pleased to be working with Humberside Police to offer the use of Ferens Hall for the incredibly important work they do with the Specialist Operations teams, helping officers train for potentially life-saving incidents.
“Since the site was last used, our priority has been to ensure safety and security. We will be working with a number of organisations, including schools, the police and fire services to take a holistic approach to this. Our security team at the Lawns will now work with Humberside Police, who will regularly be on site training. We are delighted to be able to offer a local venue for officers to be able to train for future incidents.”
The training is set to begin taking place from today, Monday 4 November.