Safe Booth used on police operation at Lakeside shopping centre


In partnership with National Business Crime Solutions, Essex Police and the management of Intu Lakeside the Safe Booth was used at a combined retail and violent crime operation at the Lakeside shopping centre in Essex.

4 Safe Booths were deployed to support the operation. They were used to hold suspects in the short term while crimes could investigate and the decisions to arrest were made. A number of suspects were processed on site in the ligature free Safe Booth. This saved police time, police vehicle support and reduced the demand on Essex Custody Suites.

The Safe Booth was also used by officers to conduct drugs searches. 2 youths had entered the centre and were causing a disturbance. One was aggressive and violent. Both were detained under the Misuse of Drugs Act for a search. Because of the potential escalation of violence, the 2 suspects were brought to the Safe Booth centre.

The suspects were searched, and drugs recovered. Both were arrested. The searches were conducted safely and recorded by the internal CCTV cameras. Officer's then questioned the suspects and conducted criminal record enquiries. One suspect had a history of violence and drugs and was taken into custody. However, the 2nd prisoner was dealt with 'on the spot' and issued with a community resolution. This saved police 16 hours, the time it would have taken to take the suspect to a custody suite and process them there.

The Safe Booth is a short term holding solution for private and police use. It protects staff and suspects. In addition, it can significantly reduce the time taken by police to deal with prisoners. If dealt with on site officers return immediately to patrol.