Police firearms range

(Photograph omitted)

A police officer firing live ammunition at a 'bank robber' who has been chased into an office block in the cyclorama audio-visual firing range at the West Mercia Police firearms school.

The 1950s film technique uses a three-sided screen to train marksmen and women to face realistic emergencies.

An innocent caretaker and two office workers walk into the scene as a distraction before the robber enters with a gun.

The range, which was officially opened yesterday, is part of a new pounds 2m firearms school at the force's Hindlip Hall headquarters near Worcester. It also features computers which record when officers fire, and whether they made the right decision.

A number of different scenes have been recorded so that firearms officers can be confronted with various emergencies.

The school also includes a 25-metre indoor firing range where different street scenes are recreated with theatrical scenery, and a 40- metre outdoor range where police can create mock car chases.

The school was built after Ministry of Defence spending cuts meant military firing ranges, formerly used for police training, were no longer available.

The National Association of Chief Police Officers will decide later this year whether to use the school as one of the new national police firearms schools.