• Thursday, July 21, 2022
Trinity’s Custom House Used for Specialist ‘Close Protection’ Police Training

Trinity Chambers’ historic Custom House on Newcastle’s Quayside was recently used as a venue for specialist ‘Close Protection’ firearms training.

Following various meetings and surveys of Chambers, The Custom House’s size, numerous rooms, corridors and external space, were an ideal location to test officers training to become close protection firearms specialists.

The highly developed training programme was delivered by instructors from North East based Cleveland & Durham Firearms Training. Their training programmes are nationally recognised and approved by the College of Policing. The specialist instructors are constantly evolving their programmes to test candidates and reflect real life situations delivering creativity, consistency and quality to every client. The team adopt an innovative approach to tactical training and can accommodate both police and non-police organisations aiming to develop firearms, leadership and decision making skills.

Three teams were involved in the intensive training sessions that took place in Chambers, including specialist officers from Cleveland and Durham Police, as well from London’s Metropolitan Police. They were each taking part in assessments for the Close Protection Officer Course. The exercise that each of the officers undertook involved attending Chambers with a ‘dignitary’ and their entourage who were then shown around the building. During the innocuous tour, an ‘incident’ took place where the officers had to safely extricate the VIP and neutralise an unexpected armed assailant.

The assessment of the exercise was the penultimate stage of each officer’s extensive programme of close protection training.

Commenting on the Custom House as a venue for the training one of the instructors said:
“With its many rooms, corridors, different levels, stairways and sheer scale, combined with the outside space, including the large car park, alleyways, access to the busy main road and numerous exit routes, it was a perfect place to carry out what is a highly charged and challenging training exercise. There were so many different options to create different real life scenarios to fully test the officers. We are very grateful to the Trinity team for allowing us to use this fantastic space. We deliver training and ‘real life’ exercises like this to specialist officers from across the country, so we will definitely be back for further sessions and refreshers.

Tim Harris, Trinity Chambers’ Director added:
“The elegant Georgian star listed Custom House is clearly a diverse and versatile space – as well as accommodating nearly 100 barristers and staff, together with its conference and seminar facilities, we have now been able to make a small contribution to national security. The members and staff at Trinity were delighted to be of assistance in developing the vital skills of these specialist officers. We look forward to facilitating further similar sessions in the future.”

The training sessions were arranged thanks to the input of Trinity barrister, Glenn Gatland.