Plea to help set up UK's first Safety Pod in Rubery - The Bromsgrove Standard
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13th Aug, 2022

Plea to help set up UK's first Safety Pod in Rubery

Tristan Harris 3rd Jun, 2022 Updated: 3rd Jun, 2022

THE FUND-RAISING campaign for Rubery to get the country’s first-ever ‘Digital Safety Pod’ is being stepped up to make the life-saving venture a reality.

We reported a year ago how the red telephone kiosk on New Road had been donated by Devendra Kuma who owns the Post Office next to it.

It would provide sanctuary for victims of domestic violence or other criminality, protect young people from gangs and provide a ‘safe space’ for someone going through a mental health crisis.

It could also be used by police to hold suspects until transport arrives.

The idea is the brainchild of Farrah McNutt, who owns Catch a Thief UK – a business which helps retailers prevent shoplifting, anti-social behaviour, vandalism and other issues.

Long-term, the high-tech box would have CCTV inside and outside, a reinforced locking door – automatic and manual, a monitor, alarm, reinforced windows, power and lighting, and direct 999 call access.

Plans were mooted to have a defibrillator in there but there are already two on New Road, including one on Rubery Social Club directly across the road from the kiosk.

Instead, a Bleed Control Kit has been bought and will be kept at the back of the Post Office where it can be accessed in any emergency situation until the first stage of the Digital Safety Pod is complete.

The first stage is to get the phone box ‘looking respectable’ and the reinforced door which alone is costing £1,100; £600 for that is still needed.

The team would also like to hear from someone who can fit the reinforced door once it has been acquired.

After that, the next steps will be the automatic phone line to the police and the CCTV which it is hoped would be done at the same time.

Then the other elements would be added, including metal behind the windows and crash bollards so the phone box could not be driven into.

The whole project is estimated to cost £25,000 but once the fund-raising gets to £3,470, it will unlock a £2,000 Bromsgrove District Council community safety grant.

Farrah said: “Because of the way the economy is, the cost of materials is going up all the time so the quicker we can raise the money, the cheaper it will be.

“All the businesses in Rubery have been great and very supportive but we could do with some more funding from councils and other organisations.

“Once this one has been installed, a lot of other areas in the country have contacted me to say they want one next.”

People can donate in many businesses in Rubery village and at crowdfunder.co.uk/p/digital-safety-pods.

Other fund-raisers are planned including Cheryl Crawford, who is scared of heights, bravely undertaking a daring bungee jump on August 14. Go to facebook.com/ digitalsafetypods for updates.

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