Officers from the Safer Neighbourhood Team met with locals on Saturday (21 January) as The Bunker hosted its first open day.
Launched at the end of last year, The Bunker is a museum in Hatfield Police Station which celebrates the Grade II listed building’s heritage as a former aircraft factory. It includes photos, historical items, original film footage, dioramas and models that tell the story of the building from its origins in 1933 as the Headquarters of the de Havilland Aircraft Company, through to its current use.
The museum was created as a public engagement initiative to foster better relations between the police and the local community, particularly schoolchildren. There is an emphasis on hands-on learning for schools, and visitors can handle historical artefacts from the war as well as some of the modern equipment used by the police.
Last Saturday, PC Paddy Phelan and Police Support Volunteer Alistair Hodgson, who run the museum, hosted a group of 14 local residents, including two families, for The Bunker’s first open day. Attendees had expressed their interest on the museum’s website.
PCSOs Joanne Woods and Samantha Griffin, from the Safer Neighbourhood Team, also attended and were on hand to speak to anyone who wanted to chat about local policing issues.
PCSO Joanne Woods said: “We would like to say a big thank you to everybody who came along on Saturday. Everyone was really engaged and the exhibits showing the work of the police today proved to be a particular highlight.
“Since The Bunker was launched, a number of local schools have had trips to the museum. The most recent visit was from the Year 3 classes at Hatfield Community Free School who were enthralled by what they saw!”
Welwyn Hatfield Chief Inspector Kash Hussain added: “I am thrilled that The Bunker is proving to be such a success already. It’s been a particularly useful resource for officers in our Safer Neighbourhood Team whose role focuses on community engagement. We are looking forward to welcoming even more residents to the next open day which is on Sunday 19 February. If you would like to come along, please register your interest on our website.”
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