Calderdale District Police have implemented a mobile safety pod in Halifax Town Centre to create a place of safety in the nighttime economy.
The proactive initiative gives those enjoying the nighttime economy access to services and support from police officers and partners.
The ‘safety pod’ is a Neighbourhood Policing van staffed by Police Officers, Community Support Officers and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA’s) can be available on request.
It can be found on Crown Street, on the pedestrian area at the top and this week, it will be there between 7pm and 2am on Friday 22nd, and Saturday 23rd September.
The pod is stocked with safety resources with staff present, providing a safe space on a night out if someone is feeling threatened, needs help or wants to report offences such as sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour.
Whilst Calderdale continues to hold the Purple Flag Status as a safe place to enjoy a night out, in the town centre it is important to ensure there is a place for people to come in the event they need support or advice.
The Calderdale Community Safety Partnership secured funding for the initiative through the Home Office and Safer Streets Fund.
Leading the initiative, Police Sergeant Samantha Walton of Halifax Neighbourhood Policing Team said:
“The safety pod has been running in Halifax since June this year and it’s already proved successful as a way of keeping women safe. We often find that people visit the safety pod to interact with the officers to ask what it is through general curiosity. Officers can be made aware of any issues or concerns and then where needed, provide support, advice or intervention.
“Our officers working in the safety pod have also thoroughly enjoyed the chance to properly interact with the public, gathering their valuable feedback and ensuring those enjoying the nighttime economy are safe.
“The overall reaction from the public has been really positive from both women and men. Our partners within the town centre, have also commented on the positive impact it has had in terms of reducing ASB, drug related activity, violent crime, intelligence building and helping people feel safer whilst out in the town centre.
“Women should feel safe when visiting Halifax Town Centre and the safety pod allows us to be present in the community in instances when this is not the case. The aim of the mobile safety pod is to continue to have a visible police presence in the town centre, to provide support and advice and to have a safe space for people within our communities going about their daily lives without the fear of harassment and violence.”
Cllr Sarah Courtney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Tourism and Voluntary Sector, added:
“This is a really positive Calderdale Community Safety Partnership initiative to help improve feelings of safety for everyone, especially women and girls whilst out at night. It’s part of the Partnership’s continued work to find ways to make our communities safe and welcoming.
“We want everyone to enjoy our thriving towns and places. Halifax has many great venues and evening attractions, so we’re making the available support more visible through the safety pod.
“As the pod is mobile, it can be located in different areas across the town centre, depending on where support is needed and in response to specific events.”
Find out more about West Yorkshire Police’s Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy at: Violence Against Women and Girls | West Yorkshire Police(external link).