Firearms PC trains soldiers

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A firearms instructor who spends his days teaching armed police how to fire a gun has revealed he uses his spare time to train soldiers.

Mick Vent joined the Royal Marine reserves when he was just 16 years old, where he was trained how to handle a weapon.

He left the military seven years later to join Northumbria Police, going on to become an Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO).

Mick was initially deployed on the streets, but has worked as a specialist instructor in the Firearms Support Unit (FSU) for the last ten years.

Now he helps to train and recruit officers to the unit and ensures they are equipped with the skills needed to keep the public safe.

He also rejoined the reserves, where he teaches soldiers.

Mick said: “People with a military background do have a better handle of a weapon so that can be an advantage, but the military and police are still very different. That is why we always stipulate that you have to be a police officer for three years before you take on a specialism such as firearms.

“It is a huge responsibility carrying a gun in public so you need to understand the police role before you take that on.

“As a Marine reservist, I have a foot in both camps so I get to see how the use of firearms is evolving in both the police and in the military.

“We have seen from the most recent terror attacks that the threat is evolving so it is really important that our use of firearms and our tactics evolve too.”

Mick’s story is the most recent instalment of Northumbria Police’s #ProudOfOurPeople campaign that looks to shine the light on officers and staff across the force. Visit www.northumbria.police.uk or search #ProudOfOurPeople on social media.