SDU used on police operation at Lakeside shopping centre

In partnership with NBCS, Essex Police and the management of Intu Lakeside the SDU was used at a combined retail and violent crime operation at the Lakeside shooping centre in Essex.

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

The SDU was also used by officers to conduct drugs searches. 2 youths had entered the centre and were causing a disturbance. One was agressive and violent. Both were detained under the Misude of Drugs Act for a search. Because of the potential excalation of violence the 2 susopects were brought to the SDU centre.

The suspects were searched and drugs recovered. Both were arrested. The searcyhes 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 resoultion. This saved police 16 hours, the time it would have taken to take the suspect to a custody suite and process them there.

The SDU is a short term holding solkution 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.