Second weapons detector for Southend after business community donation

Mick Ferris
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There is now a second OpenGate weapons detector on the streets of Southend after the local business community donated one to Essex Police.

Southend Community Policing Team (CPT) were the first in the country to use the £15,000 system, which is specifically designed to detect dense metal objects.

The OpenGate is more mobile and less conspicuous than a conventional knife arch and has popped up at locations across Southend including Marine Parade, the High Street, outside Southend Victoria and Southend Central train stations and by Adventure Island.

Stars Amusements’ operations director Nick Singer, Chinnerys’ Simon Patterson, Joan Tiney of the Borough Hotel and Suzanne Gloyne from the Southend Business Improvement District (BID) presented the OpenGate to Insp Paul Hogben and Sgt James Mint of Southend CPT at Circus Circus arcade.

Insp Hogben said: “The OpenGate has been a big success, so having an extra one gives us a far greater capability.

“Not only can we detect weapons, but by using our Project Servator tactics we’ve also recovered knives from people who’ve tried to avoid the OpenGate.

“We want to get those weapons off the streets and this is another tool to help us do that. If you come to Southend carrying weapons, you will be identified, searched and arrested.

“Our partnership with the local traders is crucial and we’re grateful for their generosity. We’re working together to prevent disorder and make it a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone who comes here.

“We are tackling knife crime, being innovative in the way we work, and our officers will continue to be highly visible across the city.”

Nick Singer, who’s organisation runs many of Southend’s arcades and Kingpins bowling alley, added:

“Everyone has been very generous and put their hands in their pockets to make this happen. It’s a really good team effort from local businesses and Southend BID.

“This is a massive deterrent for anyone who thinks they can come to Southend carrying a weapon. It’s in everyone’s interest to have a safe city.

“There are lots of security teams along the seafront who are working together with the Community Safety Team and the police to keep people safe.

“We hope the teamwork between the local authorities, the police and the local traders continues.”

The following businesses and organisations funded the new OpenGate: Star Amusements, Genting Casino, Pebbles One and Pebbles Two, Adventure Island, Southend BID, Southend Pubwatch, Southend Seafront Traders Association, the Hope Hotel, and the Roslin Beach Hotel.

Mick Ferris

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