Princess Anne opens police training centre named after VC officer in Somerset

Princess Anne officially opened the new Constabulary Specialist Regional Operations Centre at Clevedon in Somerset on Friday, getting to see riot police demonstrations and meet with the animal team members too.

Upon her arrival to the base for Somerset and Avon police, the Grenadier Guards band and mace escort welcomed The Princess Royal to the training facility and led her to the Wilfred Fuller V.C. Centre, where she met a group of police order instructors – the instructors of Avon and Somerset police officers.

Anne was visiting to unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of The Wilfred Fuller V.C. Operational Training Centre and commemorate the man who worked as a beat policeman in Somerset in the 1920s and 30s. Wilfred Fuller won a Victoria Cross in 1915, after he pursued an enemy group along the trenches during battle, defeated them and captured 50 people single-handed.

The Princess was treated to a display of police training operations, was introduced to police horses, and was treated to a selection of songs played by the band of the Grenadier Guards.

She was then shown a simulated display by riot police, training with full padding and shields, demonstrating their response to a public order incident.

Operational support and training officer, Dan Forster, tweeted that it was a ‘huge privilege’ to meet the Royal.

The part of the day that we all know the Princess was particularly looking forward to, was her introduction to the police horses in their new stables at the operations centre.

Anne met one horse, of a brown and white colour named Hank, which the Princess named Wilfred VC, after a PC of the local area. The Royal was given a copy of the policeman-turned-soldier’s biography.

Anne’s meeting with the animals continued when she was introduced to Roxy, a trainee explosives dog, and her trainer Lee Webb.

Anne also met representatives of Key4Life, a social organisation committed to supporting men aged between 18 and 25 who are in prison or at risk of going to prison. This is an initiative that the Princess is also passionate about.

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