Chatteris armed policing museum open to public in 2019

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image captionThe museum includes a look at current issues with gun and knife crime

A new museum dedicated to the history of armed policing will open to the public in the new year.

Exhibitions will detail the use of firearms by officers going back to the 1600s.

The Museum of Armed Policing also has a virtual firing range to show how police are tested in real-life situations.

The site in Chatteris, next to the UK headquarters of the Police Firearms Officers Association (PFOA), is open to visitors from January.

Its "core objective" will be to warn young people about the consequences of carrying weapons, a spokesman said.

A large cache of seized weapons and firearms will be on show, and the tragedies at Hungerford and Dunblane will feature as case studies.

Mark Williams, chief executive of the PFOA, said he wanted young people to be aware of the consequences of carrying weapons.

"We are keen to deliver a powerful message and tell people, especially young people, that carrying a weapon isn't worth it," he said.

"These are not toys. We have very strict gun laws here and we feel this is a great way to deliver the message - the issue is not just in America."

Head of UK Armed Policing, Simon Chesterman, said the museum will "celebrate the quality of the training and the quality of the men and women who are involved in armed policing."

image captionIt also includes an electronic firing range

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