Free Electric Blanket Testing

April 6th, 2016 by

Electric over and under blankets should be tested every three years for safety checks on the plug, controls, flex and the integrity of the insulation on the heating wiring. For the last 2 years Trading Standards in conjunction with Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service and Age UK have offered free electric blanket testing to Cornish Residents. This year we will be testing across the County on 4 days in September with the locations to be confirmed nearer the time of the events.

If you know someone who has an electric blanket or you have one yourself register your interest by calling Trading Standards on 01208 893133.

It’s completely free and as well as the test, free advice on home safety and smoke alarms is given by the fire brigade. Last year the events found 37% of electric blankets were unsafe due to age, faulty plugs and damaged wiring.

We put the failed blankets to good use creating a sign for future events!

Electric blanket

 

Product Recall and Product Registration

April 6th, 2016 by

Every year around 3000 fires are started in the UK from electrical items that have been subject to a manufacturers recall. If you are buying ANY electrical item please ensure you complete the guarantee registration provided with genuine items to repair, replace or refund goods which do not meet the specifications. This enables manufacturers to contact owners in the event of a product recall.

We recommend that you sign up to our Cornwall Trading Standards Face book, Twitter and/or recall pages for up to date information on all aspects of product safety for household items, food, and consumer goods such as children’s toys.

Links

Cornwall Council, Trading Standards – Product recalls

Trading Standards – Product recalls

Product Recall Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda and Proline Brand Tumble Dryers

April 6th, 2016 by

Condenser and vented tumble dryer recalls under the brands Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda and recently Swan and Proline have been the subject of a recall and modification by brand owner Whirlpool. A number of models produced between April 2004 and October 2015 have the potential to cause fires due to fluff coming into contact with the machines heating element.

If you believe you have an affected appliance please stop using it immediately and visit one of these websites to confirm and arrange a free visit from an engineer: Please note that there is a long wait for an engineer appointment, the company is offering a very discounted new replacement regardless of the machines age to customers.

Brand Website Phone
Indesit http://safety.indesit.eu Freephone hotline0800 151 0905
Hotpoint http://safety.hotpoint.eu
Swan http://safety-swan.eu
Creda and Proline http://safety.hotpoint.eu

 

Example of the Location of model and Serial Numbers

Example Tumble Drier

 

Health as a Licensing Objective (HaLO)

April 6th, 2016 by

The Licensing Act 2003 currently sets out 4 Licensing Objectives:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm

There is currently an increasing call for a protection of public health licensing objective to be added to this list. In order for this to be possible there is a clear need for a process under which local health data can be gathered, analysed and communicated securely.

Public Health England specifically asked Cornwall to be one of 9 pilot areas helping to test and develop an analytical support package, recognising Amethyst’s expertise in this area. This will be used to assist public health teams with their existing role as a responsible authority and to support areas in building evidence bases which could support decisions based on a licensing objective for public health.

A robust system will provide evidence to help to prevent further damage to the health of populations, in areas where the availability of alcohol may already be having a negative impact on the health of the local population.

Initial scoping began in February 2016 with its findings and ideas being taken to a shared learning event in London on 15th April. The pilot will close at the end of May 2016.

There will be an analysis of the information currently available and the extent to which it can be shared, examples include but are not restricted to:

  • Locations and uses of licensed establishments in Cornwall
  • Alcohol-related crime
  • Prevalence of Antisocial Behaviour / Noise
  • Alcohol-related hospital admissions
  • Alcohol-related mortality
  • Binge-drinking adults
  • Dependant drinkers in treatment
  • Ambulance call-outs where alcohol is a factor
  • Levels of deprivation
  • Population density

Any barriers to obtaining the information will need to be overcome if possible by creating robust data sharing arrangements with the data owners. It is important to be clear with the data owners that the data will not be used in any way which may be able to identify an individual.

Once scoping is complete all data will be presented as an indexed value against each LSOA area individually, to provide an overview of alcohol-related impacts across a range of factors. This data can then be utilised as a comparator against similar areas in the locality or nationally. This data can also be presented using GIS to produce a map to help visualise some of the key points.

 The intended outcomes are to produce an evidence-led tool to assist the licensing process and to help facilitate the development of a fifth licensing objective nationally. To utilise this tool locally to support and inform the decision making process of the licensing committee.

Proceeds of Crime money helps local football team

April 6th, 2016 by

Saltash United FC revealed a new kit for their Youth Team on Wednesday 30th March. Sponsored by the national Illegal Money Lending Team and paid for using proceeds of crime money taken from convicted criminals the kit features the Stop Loan Sharks hotline, 0300 555 2222, to help spread the message that help is available for anyone caught in a loan shark’s trap.

The football club received the new strip at a presentation by Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Martine Barnes from Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team. Wendy Loades from England Illegal Money Lending Team was also on hand to explain the harm caused by loan sharks and the help that is available to those who fall victim.

Robin Duff of Saltash United FC said “We were very pleased to be involved with the initiative to highlight illegal money lending. We work hard to be part of the Saltash community and that means we have a responsibility to help protect our players and their families as well as the wider community.”

Cllr Geoff Brown said;

“The people of Saltash have shown that they do not want to suffer at the hands of loan sharks and I am delighted that their efforts are receiving this national funding. Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards officers worked with the national Illegal Money Lending Team earlier last year to arrest a suspected loan shark in the town and I hope that this new football kit will help to remind the public that there are agencies willing to help protect them from the misery associated with loan sharks and illegal money-lending.”

Tony Quigley Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team added; “We are delighted to be able to support this initiative and to publicise the support available to victims of loan sharks through such a positive means. The bid by Saltash United FC stood out as demonstrating the impact a local football team can have in the community.

Loan sharks cause nothing but misery in our communities, using the most callous methods to force people into paying back far and above what they have borrowed and can afford. Robin and all at Saltash United FC have shown a real commitment to highlighting this issue in the local community and with their support and that of other key agencies, we are sending a clear message that this crime will not be tolerated. If you have been the victim of a loan shark, please report them in confidence on 0300 555 2222”.

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 332 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 212 years-worth of custodial sentences. They have written off over £63 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,000 people.

Saltash FC Youth Team 1 Saltash FC Youth Team 2

National Recognition for Cornwall’s Trading Standards.

April 6th, 2016 by

Cornwall Council’s Fair Trading team (part of the Public Protection Service) has received a national award in recognition of its work to protect the most vulnerable of Cornwall’s residents from financial exploitation.

Recognising that victims of scam mail or doorstep fraud are far more likely to suffer a dramatic deterioration in health, an increase in social isolation and even a loss of independent living, the Fair Trading team has been keen to tackle these insidious crimes and intervene with suspected victims. Over 1800 potential victims have now been identified in Cornwall yet we suspect this represents the tip of the iceberg. In response, the small team has had to adopt some different ways of working. These include;

  • Establishing a small team of Trading Standards Volunteers, trained to undertake home visits to victims of scam mail.
  • Developing closer working relationships with financial institutions and community groups (our “eyes and ears” within the community).
  • Improving links and intelligence-sharing with local police and other agencies (Customs & Excise, National Illegal Money Lending Team, etc)
  • Investing Proceeds of Crime funding to provide call-blocking equipment to those most at risk.
  • Introduction of a “Trading Standards Approval” scheme for local businesses.
  • Training police officers to ensure a more effective response to doorstep fraud incidents.

One year on and as a result of the scam victim visits, work that has been predominantly undertaken by our Trading Standards Volunteers, we have seen an average saving per victim of over £475. In the first 12 months of operation 118 victims have been visited, saving a total of over £56,000. Estimates suggest that this work has taken over 1500 hrs to complete and thus saved the equivalent of around £37,000 in salaries. Reporting of doorstep crime incidents by the Police has increased by over 130% and as a result 115 victims of doorstep fraud were identified in 2015 compared with just 64 in the previous year. This reporting has meant that, for example, during the first quarter of 2015/16 early interventions by Trading Standards prevented some £10,000 from being paid to doorstep con-men – in the same quarter of 2014/15 the amount was just £450.

The award is made by the Municipal Journal, the main national magazine for local government.

Scam Mail 1

The use of naloxone (Prenoxad) is being extended across complex needs housing services

April 6th, 2016 by

The use of naloxone (Prenoxad) is being extended across complex needs housing services (supported by Community Safety Innovation and Evaluation Group) with a view to minimising drug related deaths.

Complex needs housing services accommodate clients with current and/or previous drug and alcohol issues, so there is an increased risk of overdose and potentially death in in these high risk settings.

Naloxone is a drug which rapidly reverses overdose from drugs like heroin. The naloxone ‘kit’, Prenoxad has been approved in the UK for use in opioid overdose emergencies by non-medical personnel.

In October 2015, the law changed and the supply and use of naloxone was broadened.  This means that Naloxone can be supplied, (without a prescription), by any service commissioned to do so by drug services commissioners, to any individual who requires to access naloxone to save a life in an emergency.  This includes hostel staff and managers.

This change in law will make it much easier for a wider range of supported housing projects to use naloxone. Homeless Link has also now published national guidance promoting the use of Naloxone in Homelessness Services.  This document was informed by the work of Cosgarne Hall in St Austell.

Addaction will purchase the naloxone as the commissioned treatment service and will supply the housing providers as required in line with the change in the prescription only medicines requirements.

Adult Care, who currently commission the complex needs housing contracts are supportive of this naloxone initiative being embedded into complex needs contracts.  Housing providers are also very engaged and keen to get started/continue to deliver this life saving intervention.

People using heroin are ten times more likely to die accidentally than the population as whole (ONS 2013).  Since reaching an all-time low in 2011, drug related deaths have seen a sharp increase nationally and continue to rise, particularly since 2013.

ONS 2015 Report (for deaths in 2014)

  • 3,346 drug poisoning deaths registered in England and Wales in 2014, the highest since comparable records began in 1993.
  • The mortality rate from drug misuse was the highest ever recorded at 39.9 deaths per million of the population.

In Cornwall, drug-related deaths have not increased at the same rate during this period. Hopefully, this is due to the committed prevention work undertaken locally. Nevertheless, there were 17 drug- related deaths in Cornwall in 2014.  In addition the ambulance service is called out on average to 18 overdoses per month.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) recommended in 2012 that take-home naloxone should be made more widely available. It is also a recommendation of the World Health Organisation.

Public Health England has made it a priority for local authorities and local partners to promote the wider availability of naloxone to reduce overdose deaths from heroin and similar drugs.

Naloxone has already been used very effectively in some supported housing services in Cornwall. Cosgarne Hall which accommodates very complex, high risk individuals introduced naloxone into their project in December 2009. Since then they have saved 18 lives and when previously on average at least 2 people each year died from an overdose in this project.  Coastline Housing saved 3 lives this year and FreshStart also saved a life on the New Years Day.

Some supported housing projects have successfully introduced naloxone into their projects. However, naloxone has a 3 year shelf life and needs to be replaced periodically. Additionally, with the national rise in drug related deaths we want to ensure that all complex needs housing projects have the training and opportunity to access naloxone to save lives in an emergency.

Thanks to the funding support from the Community Safety Innovation and Evaluation Group expiring stock can now be replenished and new projects can also be trained and introduced to this initiative. This includes St Petrocs day centres which will also mean that future Cold Weather Provision will have naloxone on site.

Further training is scheduled to take place on the 21st April 2016 with new projects coming on board as soon as possible after this date.

 

Bosence Farm successfully applied for a Public Health England Capital Grant

April 6th, 2016 by

The Drug and Alcohol Action Team in partnership with Bosence Farm successfully applied for a Public Health England Capital Grant to build a specialist drug and alcohol recovery unit for young people and families on the existing site. The facility when open will be the only unit in the country to offer residential assessment, stabilisation and detoxification to young people and those with families facing drug and or alcohol dependency. A Project Board chaired by Lizzie Sheridan, chair of the Bosence Board, has been meeting monthly to monitor progress.

Architects Stride Treglown who designed the award winning Boswyns facility have prepared the plans for the young people unit. After extensive consultation an application for planning permission was submitted and received approval on 15th January.

The tendering process has commenced the construction of the building is due to start in mid-April with completion in September or early October.

From the outset there has been joint work with service users and a wide variety of partners, both statutory and third sector, to co-design the service. Conversations and meetings continue to take place with commissioners, councillors, stakeholders and partners.  Careful consideration is being given to what the service will deliver and how it will engage with partners to support young people and families through treatment. Working with YZUP and partners, two very positive focus groups, planning for 16 to 18 year olds, have taken place and the next meeting focuses on mothers, babies and very young children.

In recognition of the financial challenges in launching this kind of new facility Bosence have appointed a fund raiser. She is now working hard on making bids for grants and awards.

Following a visit to the site by Councillors Rowe and Wallis Councillor Wallis commented; “This is the first time I have visited the site and was impressed with not only this excellent facility, but the dedication of the staff who go above and beyond in helping those who are receiving help at the centre. From my visit I gained a better understanding how, with the right funding, facilities like this can really help people who are dealing with their addiction.”

Boswyns

Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: