A new scheme heralded as a step in the right direction towards protecting the area’s most vulnerable people is being showcased on Teesside.
The Safe Place Scheme sees community venues such as shops, libraries or sports centres being nominated as a safe place for vulnerable people to go if they feel unsafe and need help and support.
The scheme has been successful in other parts of the country, particularly for those with learning disabilities or the older generation.
Those venues designated as a safe place will display a sticker in their window and staff will be given training on what to do if someone visits to say they feel unsafe and they need help.
Not-for-profit organisation, Inclusion North, is working alongside the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner in Cleveland and Cleveland Fire Brigade to get organisations and the public on board at a launch event on 17th October at The Arc, Stockton.
It is hoped that the scheme will help to boost the confidence of those with learning disabilities and strengthen links between emergency services, businesses and the local community.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “This is a truly fantastic initiative and one that I’m extremely happy to support.
“It must be an extremely daunting prospect to be vulnerable, unaware of your surroundings and afraid. By showing the Safe Place stickers, people can be confident that help is very near should they need it – it’s a step in the right direction to support vulnerable people.
“This initiative will assist the emergency services in providing links within communities and I hope that it gives people the confidence to reach out for help, particularly if they have been a victim of hate crime.”
Scott Cunningham, Project Manager for Inclusion North, said: “Safe Place Schemes enable people who might need some extra support to go about their daily lives feeling safe and secure in the knowledge that help is there if needed.
“Venues who offer themselves up to the scheme are asked to do nothing more than provide good customer service and practice social responsibility. “
Les Jones, Head of Community Safety at Cleveland Fire Brigade said, “This initiative will greatly benefit vulnerable people across our communities and we are delighted to be able to support this important initiative and offer our full-time Fire Stations as designated safe places.”
Anyone who wants more information on the Safe Place Scheme, or who wants to get involved is asked to call Scott Cunningham on 07767776125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2013