Cllr Sarah Courtney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Tourism and Voluntary Sector

Calderdale District Police have introduced a mobile safety pod in Halifax Town Centre with the aim of providing a secure haven in the nighttime economy.

This forward-thinking initiative grants those partaking in the nighttime activities access to services and assistance from police officers and collaborative partners.

The ‘safety pod’ takes the form of a Neighbourhood Policing van, manned by Police Officers, Community Support Officers, and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) upon request.

You can locate it on Crown Street, positioned in the pedestrian zone at the summit. This week, it will be available between 7pm and 2am on Friday, 22nd, and Saturday, 23rd September.

The pod is equipped with safety provisions and staffed by professionals who offer a secure refuge for those feeling uneasy, in need of aid, or wishing to report transgressions like sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct during a night out.

Even though Calderdale maintains its Purple Flag Status as a secure locale for nocturnal pursuits, it is crucial to establish a sanctuary where individuals can seek assistance or counsel within the town centre, if necessary.

The Calderdale Community Safety Partnership successfully obtained funding for this venture through the Home Office and Safer Streets Fund.

Leading the initiative, Police Sergeant Samantha Walton of the 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.”