Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Police shed: Introducing PC Pod

Sussex Police’s latest initiative to tackle crime and disorder in Crawley is the shedworkingesque PC Pod. The innovative structure, which is comparable in size to a garden shed (pictured above, and with Inspector for Neighbourhood Policing in Crawley, Steve Turner), is powered by solar energy and made using 1,312 recycled plastic bottles. It will be used by police officers and staff, as well as partners including Crawley Borough Council.

The pod measures 254cm in length, 250cm in height and 185cm in width. Its panels are bonded for rigidity, impact resistance and water tightness, offering maximum durability and requiring no further maintenance, for example no further painting. 

Working together, their aim is to increase engagement and community reassurance, and provide a safe space for people to talk about any concerns they may have.

The hub has been funded by Operation Safety, the force’s response to knife crime and serious violence, and will be regularly used by Op Safety officers, too. It will support the ongoing work and operation activity of the team.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Yates, the force lead for knife crime and serious violence, said: “The safety of our community is a priority for us, and this new hub provides a highly visible presence in the busy town centre to deter criminal activity and engage with members of the public."

The temporary installation follows the success of the ‘beach hut’ in Brighton in 2019 and the launch of an identical pod in Eastbourne in August. It will be manned by PCSOs, and officers from the local Neighbourhood Policing Team and Response Team as often as possible, particularly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

Chief Inspector Ben Starns, District Commander for Crawley and Mid Sussex, said: “It is important to reiterate that the engagement hub is not replacing police stations; it is in addition to, and an enhancement of, our opportunities to engage with our community."

The engagement hub will remain on Crawley High Street for six months, when it will be removed for further evaluation into its effectiveness.


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