Britain’s smallest police station? Shed-sized hub measuring just 8ft by 8ft with no cells to hold prisoners is launched by officers
- The station has opened in Crawley in response to a spate of recent stabbings
A new police station which has just launched in Sussex could be Britain’s smallest – measuring at just 8ft by 8ft.
The station has opened in Crawley town centre in response to a spate of recent stabbings in the area and amid a nationwide epidemic of serious knife crime and shoplifting.
Measuring the size of a garden shed, it only has room for a couple of seats and has no cells in which to hold prisoners, but it will be almost continually manned by officers.
Sussex Police secured money for the new station from a Government fund set up to deal with knife crime and violence in town centres.
Located at a busy pedestrian intersection close to the Wetherspoon’s Jubilee Oak pub, The White Hart and The Brewery Shades, the ‘engagement pod’ aims to provide a visible presence in the heart of the centre.
Inspector Steve Turner beside ‘Britain’s smallest’ manned police station in Crawley
Measuring the size of a garden shed, it only has room for a couple of seats and has no cells in which to hold prisoners
It will be manned by either uniformed police officers or PCSOs from 8am to 3am every day with volunteers and town centre marshals also available on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays.
Inspector Steve Turner, of Crawley neighbourhood policing, said: ‘Although it is only small it will allow us to have a very visible presence in the middle of the town centre which we have identified as a hotspot for violent crime and serious anti-social behaviour in the evenings.
‘We have also problems with shoplifting and other types of crime during the daytime and we hope that having officers here, ready to respond, will not only be able to tackle the problems we are facing but will act as a deterrent.’
He said it wouldn’t be just police officers who would be using the station but a host of other agencies.
‘We’re going to have PCSOs, business wardens and volunteer night marshals so there will be all sorts of people on hand.’
He said the money to fund the station which had come from central Government was particularly welcome given recent knife crime in the town.
The ‘engagement pod’ was launched today and attracted some wry observations from the public
He said: ‘It increases our access to police officers and our visibility. We take our response to knife crime very seriously.’
Insp Turner said there would be someone available almost 24 hours day to help with any problems.
The ‘engagement pod’ was launched today and attracted some wry observations from the public.
One shopper said: ‘I’ve heard there have been cut-backs but this is ridiculous. It’s tiny!’
Another said: ‘I think it’s a really good thing. This part of the town has become a nightmare at the weekend with drunkenness, shouting and violence every single weekend.
‘There has also been a lot of criminal damage to businesses as a result and I hope the fact there are police officers right here will put a stop to it.’
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