Safe Places Logo
Helping people feel safe and supported when they are out and about in the community is the aim of the Safe Places scheme launched by Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and the Constabulary on Friday February 7, 2014.
Safe Places is just that. Locations such as local shops, cafes or libraries who are signed up to the scheme, provide a recognisable safe place for people to seek advice, reassurance and help.
The scheme will help people get out and about in their community but with the reassurance that there is help available should they need to deal with difficult situations. This could be anything from getting lost, losing a mobile phone or feeling harassed or bullied.
Shops, cafes and other public places/spaces can register with the scheme, which is run by the local council, police and other 3rd sector partners. They then display the Safe Place logo in their window, so they can be easily identified.
The users of the scheme carry a card which gives details of their nominated contact person and a little detail about themselves. They can give the card to the person helping them in the Safe Place. This allows the person to help them more effectively.
The user will get simple advice, reassurance or if necessary the Safe Place may contact someone else to help, for example the person named on the card, the police or the ambulance service.
Avon and Somerset Police, local councils and voluntary organisations such as North Somerset People First are working in partnership to deliver Safe Places across the area.
Details of all Safe Place locations and how to join the scheme will be shown on various websites including local authorities and our own police website. The locations will also be shown on a map which means it will possible to plan a route, journey or day out based on where Safe Places are available.
The Safe Places Scheme is already running successfully in other parts of the UK. Devon and Cornwall have been using the scheme for over three years and it has had a positive impact on the users of the scheme.
Sumita Hutchinson, who has helped set up the scheme in Avon and Somerset, said: “We want everyone to feel safe and supported when they are out and about in Avon and Somerset. Staying at home or feeling limited in the places you feel comfortable visiting, can cause isolation and depression.
“We hope this scheme, like in other areas where it is already in use, will make people feel safe and give them a greater sense of freedom and a better quality of life.
“The scheme has been and will continue to be shaped by the service users themselves, to ensure it delivers what they need and in a way that is user friendly. We would encourage more places to sign up to the scheme so we can offer a wide network of Safe Places across the area.”
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “We all have a right to be safe and feel safe in the community we live and I am delighted to be launching the Safe Place Scheme. Working together with the local community Safe Places aims to provide individuals with a learning difficulty a trusted person or place they can go to in a time of need.
“In the world we live in it is all too easy to become consumed in our own issues, paying little consideration to others. This scheme allows communities to come together to help others.”
For more information about the scheme, you can visit our website
You can also follow us on Twitter @ASPolice using the #tag SafePlace.
Posted on Monday 10th February 2014