Avon and Somerset Police is relaunching the Safe Places service, with a new 24/7 number to help people with communication difficulties stay safe when they are out and about. The improved service is being rolled out from 10th
People with a communication difficulty can register for the scheme and tell the police how they like to be communicated with, alongside information about their health and who should be contacted if they need help.
Once registered, an individual can call the Safe Places number if they find themselves in a crisis situation, such as if they are lost, feel scared or upset, and don’t know what to do, or if they have been a victim of crime.
They will be given a unique Safe Places reference number and direct access to police support 24 hours a day, via the Safe Places telephone number, which has a direct link into the Police Control Room.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “We all have a right to be safe and feel safe in the community we live. I am delighted the Constabulary are providing this dedicated phone service to help those individuals who need it most.
“People who have any communication difficulties can now contact a trusted person immediately by picking up the phone, as well as visiting police stations as a Safe Place location. This is a valuable extension to the scheme, bringing people together to help others.
“I hope the service will not only support the independence of those individuals living with a communication difficulty, but also give reassurance to their loved ones that help is available should the situation arise where they need someone to turn to.”
Becky Tipper, Communications Centre Manager said: “South Wales Police has been running a ‘Keep Safe Scheme’ for a few years and the simplicity and effectiveness of it really appealed to us. A call to a dedicated telephone line with a unique reference number ensures call handlers can help quickly and efficiently. The Safe Place member’s information is available so that we can quickly and efficiently help them in their time of need.
“Sometimes when a caller is in crisis, they are not thinking logically and, on occasions, it can be difficult to get the information we need to help. Sometimes their needs can be mistaken. If we already have information about someone, it will help us to do what’s best for the caller ensuring we can provide them with the best service possible.
“Often callers might just need a carer or relative to help. If we have their details to hand, it’s easy for us to make contact whilst reassuring the caller and dealing with the situation.
“This scheme will help many people; it will help give those with a communication need the confidence to go out and about, knowing that if they find themselves in a crisis situation, they can call the Safe Places line where support is on offer 24/7. It also gives reassurance to relatives and carers that their loved ones are ok.”
Jack Bailey, Service Manager for Curo’s Building Independence Service, said: “At Curo we support people of all ages to become more independent and less isolated and lonely across the region. Very often, worries about feeling safe outside can pose a real barrier for people who may be vulnerable.
“Safe Places is a fantastic scheme that will benefit a lot of people by helping them feel safer and more confident to get out and about and really engage in what’s going in their community.”
Safe Place locations are now restricted to police stations, and in the near future council offices could also be included.
Register on our website at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/safeplaces or by filling in a form at a police enquiry office.
Posted on Wednesday 10th May 2017