Landmark law to tackle legal highs commences 26th May

May 23rd, 2016 by

A blanket ban on so-called ‘legal highs’ and tough new enforcement powers will come into effect on 26 May 2016.


The Psychoactive Substances Act will protect young people by banning any production, supply and importation or exportation for human consumption of these potentially dangerous drugs, linked to the deaths of 144 people in the UK in 2014 alone.


The act provides a range of criminal and civil sanctions including new powers for police and tough sentences of up to 7 years for offenders.

The UK will be the first country in the world to put in place a rigorous system of testing to demonstrate that a substance is capable of having a psychoactive effect, providing evidence to support civil action and prosecutions.

Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA)

Crime and policing news update: March 2016

May 6th, 2016 by



Together for Families Board appoints a new Chair

May 6th, 2016 by

We are very pleased to welcome Cheryl Ward, as Chair of the Together for Families (TF) Board. Cheryl is the Senior European Programmes and Partnership Manager Cornwall and IoS for the Department of Works and Pensions and has been instrumental in developing the role of the Together for Families Employment Advisors (TFEA’s) who have worked so effectively alongside the Together for Families Advocates (TFA’s) to move people towards employment and training. On her appointment, Cheryl said I am delighted to have been appointed as the new Chair of the Together for Families Programme Board by the Health and Well Being Board. I see this as a great opportunity to further enhance our collaborative working, jointly deploying our resources to improve the lives of our most disadvantaged families across Cornwall”.

Engagement numbers against target

It has been agreed locally that engagement by the TF programme requires engagement by one or more of the following services: TF Advocates, TF Employment Advisors, Family Intervention Project, Social Care, Early Help, Education Welfare, Youth Offending, or the Anti-Social Behaviour Team

Cornwall achieved its first year target of phase 2 engaging with 711 families so well done everyone involved.  Cornwall has been asked by DCLG to engage with an additional 1,382 families by 1st April 2017 which is a significant increase on last year.  The graph below shows the number of families enrolled onto the programme and the number of families engaged against the DCLG target over time.

Programme feedback from families and professionals:

The Together for Families advocate roles will be finishing at the end of June and we have received some very positive feedback from families and professionals they have supported and worked with. Here are just a few quotes that we would like to share with you:

From a mother whose child had additional learning needs and who was seeking specialist educational provision for her child: – “This woman has been so pro-active and helpful. For me personally, she has changed my life”…”she picks me up” …”she has an insight into what I need help with – there’s no messing…I’m so grateful”.

From a Head teacher concerned about attendance and wider family issues.

Just a quick bit of positive feedback! I don’t often manage the time for this, however I felt you must know how pleased we are to have KR on board to support a family we were really struggling with, following her first visit she has engaged a FIP worker too, she came up to the school (escorting the child who she had found at home – attendance is a real issue) and gave me feedback straight away. We were very impressed. Hopefully she will be able to make an impact on attendance ….

From a family who were in temporary accommodation and were facing eviction: – “Thank you so much for your care and support. Thank you for all you have done for me and girls.

I don’t think would have got through the last few weeks without the support you have given me.

You have been a light in a very dark and scary place. You have fought in my corner so thank you…I will miss you very much”.

 Sincere thanks to all the Together for Families advocates who have worked so well with families and supported them achieving positive outcomes.

What Next:

Since 2012, and after successfully helping over a thousand local families, DCLG has extended the national programme for a further four years until 2020. Together for Families will continue to engage families in Cornwall and support them to achieve positive outcomes across areas of education, employment, health and wellbeing.  Evaluation of the first phase of TF has shown that the key strength of the programme is having a dedicated, named contact that families can access when they experience difficulties. This is also what families have told us they want.

As we move into 2016/17, there will be some changes to the TF delivery model so that we can engage as many families as possible. The Advocate role will cease on 30th June 2016 moving towards an integrated model, where a whole family approach is adopted within existing services.

Advocates are working with existing TF families to ensure a smooth transition. They will be unable to begin work with new families but will continue to be available to offer support and information to colleagues until the end of June. We will update you as the embedded key worker role is implemented.

Further information is available from Laurie Magowan, Together for Families Programme Officer


Nearly half of all those who drown never intended to enter the water!

May 6th, 2016 by

Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety (CFRCS) Service have joined with fire and rescue services across the UK to support the Chief Fire Officers Association’s (CFOA) Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week 2016 (25 April to 01 May).

The campaign raised awareness of water safety and the everyday dangers of being near water. 44% of people who drowned in 2014 had no intention of entering the water. Trips, falls or underestimating the risks associated with being near water meant that 302 people lost their lives. Adhering to some simple advice can reduce your risk of ending up in the water. By asking people to be ‘water aware’ fire and rescue services aim to reduce the number of fatalities.

Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service have given advice to people on what they should look out for and how to change their behaviour to minimise their risk of becoming one of these statistics. Messages were posted on social media using the hashtag #BeWaterAware and people are encouraged to share the posts to spread the message.

In the five years between 2008 and 2013 there were 88 fire deaths in the South West, in 2013 alone 53 people lost their lives in drowning accidents¹ in that same area.  During 2014 138 walkers or runners, 14 anglers and even 4 cyclists drowned in the UK and it is these largely preventable accidents that we are striving to reduce. Cornwall and other fire services around the country are collaborating with other agencies and charities working towards a goal of a reduction in drowning by 50% by 2026.

Working as part of the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF), CFOA aims to reduce the number of drownings in UK waters by 50% by 2026. This is outlined in the UK’s first Drowning Prevention Strategy, which was launched on 29 February by Robert Goodwill MP.

Be aware of the dangers

  • Cold water shock – low water temperature can numb limbs and render the strongest swimmer helpless in minutes. 2/3 of accidental drowning involve strong swimmers.
  • Sub surface hazards. There may be debris and rubbish beneath the surface or missing drain covers during floods.
  • Currents or water conditions – water does not need to be moving very fast to sweep you off your feet and there may be strong currents even n apparently still water.
  • Alcohol consumption – alcohol severely affects your hazard perception, co-ordination and resistance to the cold.
  • Swimming Competency – don’t assume because you can swim in a pool that you can deal with the challenges and temperatures of open water swimming.
  • Access – There may be steep, rocky and slippery access routes to and from fishing and swimming sites, and river banks can be eroded very quickly when rivers are running high.

For more information on staying safe around water, visit the CFRCS Service water safety web page.

See what happened to Firefighter Andy Reynolds when he volunteered to drown!


Deadly Second Hand Bargains for Sale

May 6th, 2016 by

Trading Standards Quality Standards and Animal Health team carried out a series of visits to 10 local traders selling second hand electrical goods and upholstered furniture. We tested 159 electrical items and 20 items failed for being unsafe. All unsafe electrical items were seized for destruction.

13% of electrical items PAT tested in second hand outlets by Trading Standards failed.  The majority of products seized were due to faulty wiring and plugs. This included 2-pin continental plugs attached to products that are not suitable for UK standard voltage. These types of plugs can also be easily inserted upside down in UK sockets, resulting in the live and neutral terminals connecting the wrong way, increasing the risk of electrocution. Before buying ask about the checks that have been carried out and check the plug has 3 pins, states BS1363 and the fuse carries a kite mark and BS1362 which confirms testing to the British Safety Standard. We were very concerned to find businesses selling electrical items as “spares and repairs”, for example with the plug missing. This is a worrying practice that could result in electrocution, if a plug were attached as there were electrical faults already present in the item. If the item causes injury regardless of the label applied that its spares or repairs the seller will be liable.

In the course of our visits to traders and businesses we also found 7% of upholstered furniture for sale to the public without the required Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations warning labels. This included seizing a babies Moses basket. Permanent labelling is intended to show compliance with the specific ignition requirements for covers and fillings and give us, as enforcers, the information to ensure traceability to the manufacturer’s records. Although designs vary the minimum size of letters and position and durability of the label must be followed and easy to find.

Trading Standards Quality Standards and Animal Health team will be revisiting the fail premises and including more businesses in the inspection programme this year to reduce the fail rates and carry out enforcement action if appropriate.


Community Safety Day held in Pendeen

May 6th, 2016 by

A community safety day was held in Pendeen to engage and work together with the community of Pendeen to provide support and advice regarding Fire Prevention and Road Safety. Services and information was available including free home fire safety visits, road safety advice for all ages, saving money on fuel bills and educational and fun activities for under 5’s.  Cornwall Rural Community Charity also attended the event to offer advice to the community.

Children and the accompanying adults from Children’s Ark preschool in Pendeen attended the session and received information and education regarding pedestrian safety using the first steps kit; this involves the children dressing up and using role play equipment to learn about crossing the road safely and the role of the school crossing patrol in ensuring their safety. They also learnt about the stop, look, listen, think message using a song with actions.  An LSOA was also undertaken within the local area to tie in with the event.

All attendees at the event received a variety of Road Safety and Fire Prevention advice. Residents in the local area also received Fire Prevention advice through the LSOA activities that took place on the day.


Learn 2 Live events delivered at RNAS Culdrose and Launceston

May 6th, 2016 by

Young drivers are a high risk road user, with 1 in 5 young drivers having a collision within their first year of driving, it is crucial that this age group are educated about the risks involved in being a young driver.

Students attended the two events which took place over one day. Learn 2 Live is a powerful, thought provoking initiative, designed to target young driver and passenger casualties in Cornwall. The Learn 2 Live programme is based on a short DVD showing a group of friends being involved in a collision and the emergency services arriving. As each agency arrives at the scene, the DVD is paused and a member of that particular emergency service enters the stage to give their chilling account of attending the scene of a road traffic collision. This is followed by a family member who has lost a loved one in a road traffic collision giving their account of the circumstances of their loss and the devastating affect that this has had on their life. The programme concludes with a person telling their story about how they were involved in a collision, the impact of which will stay with them for the rest of their life.

Almost 400 people attended the two events, receiving valuable messages regarding the risks they face as drivers. Initial feedback received from both events has been very positive. The event at RNAS has also led to the Base Commander recommending the event to HNS Raleigh due to his strong feelings regarding the value of personnel seeing Learn 2 Live


Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service Half Marathon

May 6th, 2016 by

Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service half marathon is an annual charity event set in the stunning grounds of the National Trust’s Lanhydrock House. The event is in its fifth year and attracts approximately 300 runners each year. The event raises the profile of the Fire Service and promotes health and wellbeing not only in Cornwall but to the wider community as entrants come from far and wide to compete in the marathon.

This year messages regarding running safely in the dark were given to runners, providing them with reusable reflective wrist bands and brightly coloured T-shirts to increase awareness of the risks posed when running in the dark. Runners were also given advice and guidance on staying safe through wearing bright colours and reflective material, being more visible to other road users ensuring they stand out when they’re running.


  • At night you become visible at up to 150 metres when a car headlight shines on you when carrying or wearing something reflective, giving drivers up to five times more distance to notice, and more importantly, avoid you
  • In the daytime, wear something brightly coloured or fluorescent as it will make you up to 15 times more visible. Remember, fluorescent clothing does not work after dark
  • Being bright is not the only way to be safer. If you are out at night, choose routes and crossing places that are well lit wherever possible.

361 reflective wrist bands to were distributed to runners taking part in the 2016 CFRCS Service Half Marathon, highlighting the dangers of running on or near roads in fading light or darkness and the importance of wearing Hi Viz clothing whilst running.

All runners were encouraged to use the reflective wrist bands after the race and whilst running on or near a road, especially in fading light or darkness in conjunction with the Hi Viz T-Shirt each runner was given as part of their entry.

Half Marathon

The idea of the reflective wrist bands was duplicated by another well-established race “The Dark” organised by Mud Crew Trail Runners.  Feedback from them was also very positive and they will continue to use the reflective bands in the future. The event raised around £4000 which will be split between two charities, the Fire Fighters Charity and local charity ‘Enable in Cornwall Ltd’, which exists to help adults with disabilities to become more independent by providing an individualised information, advice, guidance and support service.


Over 65’s event held at Hayle

May 6th, 2016 by

People aged over 65 are a Fire Prevention Priority, as well as being one of the priority road user groups due to road casualty numbers in Cornwall. Members of the community aged 65 and over were invited to attend a partnership event, at Hayle Emergency Services Community Station offering them the opportunity to access a number of agencies, who are all committed to keeping them safe and well in Cornwall. Agencies at the event included:

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service

Devon and Cornwall Police

Disability Cornwall

Trading Standards

Wiltshire Farm Foods

Neighbourhood watch

Tremorvah Industries

Age UK

Dementia Friends

People were given the opportunity to sign up for a free home fire safety check; access information regarding how to continue driving safely for longer; how they can prevent falling victim to doorstep crime; mobility aids available to those that require them, as well as how to access hot food packages that can be delivered directly to their homes.

The event was a huge success with over 60 members of the community attending. Disability Cornwall said they were delighted to be part of the event, with a great turnout and that it was extremely worthwhile.

Other members of the community also provided feedback on the day; “Well done! I attend many events throughout Cornwall. This event was well thought out; everyone who attended would have received all the information from the different agencies on the event. Thank you for inviting us along to join you.” – Julie


Motivational Interviewing Courses

May 6th, 2016 by

The Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) has commissioned Phil Harris to deliver 2 courses in Motivational Interviewing, one in April and the other in May.

Phil Harris has worked in the drug misuse field for over 20 years as a practitioner, trainer and manager. Currently he works as a researcher, treatment designer and writer in the area of evidence based practice, behavioural change and treatment policy. He is also a visiting lecturer at Bristol University.

These courses were targeted across Community Safety staff and service providers commissioned by the Communities and Organisational Development Directorate.  This included those working in drug and alcohol; domestic abuse and Restorative Justice Services. The first of these courses received very positive feedback.  Both courses were over- subscribed, exceeding our expectations of demand and there is now a waiting list of 19 people for any potential future courses.

Community Safety teams work with clients where behaviour change is being encouraged.  Motivational interviewing is a particular approach that evolved from the experience of problem drinkers. This approach is non-confrontational and supports clients to explore and resolve ambivalence by engaging the intrinsic motivation of the client.

This course explores the impact of the relationship and rapport building between the worker and the client and also many techniques such as reflective listening; resistance strategies; dealing with ambivalence; evoking change talk; developing discrepancy and goal setting. The course provided many opportunities for staff to practise the various techniques that could ultimately be used to support clients, to move away from behaviour that is negatively impacting on their lives.

The second course is due to be delivered on the 10th and 11th of May. Future courses have not yet been scheduled as budgets have yet to be finalised.  However, this will be a consideration of the DAAT when planning the future training programme.

Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: