Heatwave brings out scam gardeners

August 16th, 2018 by

Cornwall’s hot sunny weather this summer has sparked an increase in doorstep scams involving garden or outside maintenance.

Now Cornwall Council Trading Standards are urging residents to be vigilant after a surge in reported incidents over the past two weeks, especially at park home sites.

Different scams have featured gardening and tree surgery work targeted for unnecessary and over-priced repairs.

In one recent case, the cold caller started work clearing grass clippings before getting any agreement from the home owner to do it. When refused payment for the work they started to rummage around in a workshop, attempting to take tools and other items as payment.

In another case, cold callers have undertaken work to replace support jacks underneath park home properties, preying on resident’s fears about the condition of supports underneath their homes. Although some work was carried out, it appears to have been massively over-priced and unnecessary.

In the past couple of weeks there have been nine separate reported complaints from residents in Redruth, Bodmin, Helston, St Austell, and St Columb.

Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team works in partnership with Devon & Cornwall Police to investigate these issues, and where possible, bring offenders before the courts.

In order to help communities avoid the rogues, the team operates the ‘Trading Standards approved’ Buy With Confidence Scheme; offering a directory of tradespeople who have been vetted by our Service to ensure that they are reputable and trustworthy businesses

Sue James, Cabinet Portfolio holder for public protection said: “Doorstep scams take place when someone comes to your door with the aim of scamming you out of your money or trying to gain access to your property.

“Scams can happen at any time of the year, but we have noticed an increase in scams relating to home and garden maintenance, possibly linked to the beautiful weather we are experiencing and people wanting to spend time outdoors.

“While the majority of tradespeople and officials are legitimate it’s wise to be on your guard when you answer your door. Doorstep scammers can be persuasive or pushy but also polite or friendly, and it can be easy to fall victim. It’s especially important to be vigilant and aware if you live on your own.

“Many of the recent reports we’ve received have been opportunistic – they’ve seen someone out working in the garden and have been pushy in getting them agree to pay for services.

“The criminals generally focus on the elderly and vulnerable, and are very good at spotting their targets. We all need to be vigilant, and look out for our friends and neighbours. Just because someone presents a business card with some local telephone numbers on it, does not mean it’s a genuine business.”

Residents are asked to report concerns to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06; alternatively, If you see a suspected rogue trader actively working on a property in your area, please report to the police on 101.

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Police warning over substance abuse – Two girls hospitalised

August 1st, 2018 by

Police warning over substance abuse

Detectives in Bodmin are currently investigating an incident which left two teenagers needing medical assistance following suspected substance abuse in Bodmin.

Officers were notified at about 11:00pm Sunday 29 July to reports of two teenage girls who had taken an unknown substance and became very unwell as a result.

The girls, a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old, were both taken to Treliske Hospital where their condition was stabilised. The 16-year-old girl was later released from hospital, the 17-year-old girl is currently recovering in hospital.

DC Andy Petherick said: “The substance that these girls are believed to have taken came in the form of yellow tablets which were in the shape of a shield with ‘EA7’ written on them, similar to the one pictured.

“We are urging young people to stay away from substances. You do not know what is in them or how strong the drug may be or how your body will react to them.”

Anybody with information about this incident are asked to contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by calling 101 and quote log number 989 29/07/2018

 

 

 

https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?id=e5f87eac-1c6f-49ca-ba0f-f71f9de860f8

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Alprazolam (Xanax) – What are the Facts?

July 30th, 2018 by

Public Health England briefing

Over the past year, there has been increasing media coverage about alprazolam (typically referred to by the brand name Xanax), highlighting what is being seen as a rise in the number of young people using it. Most of the media reports have described individual cases or reports from treatment services, and there has been little discussion of the research evidence or the actual data.

As with all media coverage which highlights potential changes in drug trends, there is a risk that the evidence isn’t clearly presented or even available, and that raising the profile of a particular drug can inadvertently increase interest from some drug users.

What is alprazolam?

Alprazolam is a medicine in the benzodiazepine family of drugs. Benzodiazepines are most commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia, and they are also prescribed to control seizures caused by epilepsy.

The most frequently prescribed benzodiazepine in the UK is diazepam, known by the tradename Valium. In comparison, alprazolam is a faster acting drug and is about 10 times stronger, meaning that it can rapidly cause feelings of sedation.

Like other benzodiazepines, alprazolam can cause problems when taken without medical supervision. In the short term, its misuse can cause over-sedation, collapsing and overdose. Longer-term use can lead to physical dependence and severe withdrawal upon reducing or stopping use.

Furthermore, taking any benzodiazepine with alcohol and/or other drugs increases the risk of harm. This is particularly the case when benzodiazepines are mixed with other sedative drugs.

Alprazolam is not available from the NHS, but can be obtained on a private prescription in the UK. Illicit alprazolam, normally in the form of counterfeit Xanax tablets, can be bought from street level drug markets and is also available to purchase from illegal websites and social media apps.

What is being said about alprazolam (Xanax)?

There have been a growing number of personal stories reported in the media, often about young people who have developed problems with alprazolam (Xanax), as well as anecdotal reports that they are self-medicating for anxiety issues.

There have also been discussions around alprazolam in political circles. In January this year, the MP Bambos Charalambous led the first debate in the House of Commons to discuss its misuse.

Sometimes, the use of alprazolam (Xanax) is portrayed in the media as a major epidemic among young people. There is currently no evidence of this, but, as we explain further down, there is some evidence that prevalence is increasing. It is important to understand that patterns of drug use change over time. Some drugs rapidly emerge but then their use quickly declines, other drugs persist and cause significant and sustained harm. It is currently too early to know which category alprazolam will fall into.

What do we know about alprazolam use?

As the media coverage of alprazolam continues, PHE has been asked to comment, particularly on trends. There is some evidence to suggest that use is a growing problem, particularly among young people and young adults. However, the data we have does not give a clear picture of the prevalence of alprazolam use, as some of these data cover all benzodiazepines and not alprazolam specifically, making it more difficult to detect changes in use.

Preliminary hospital admission data in England for 2017 indicates that there has been an increase in the number of people aged under 20 admitted to hospital with benzodiazepine poisoning. Over the same period, enquiries to the National Poisons Information Service about the treatment of alprazolam poisoning have increased substantially. PHE has examined UK police seizures data for drugs that were submitted for forensic analysis, which showed that the number of alprazolam seizures was far greater in 2017 than in previous years, increasing from fewer than ten seizures in 2016 to over 800 in 2017.

Many of the Xanax tablets available on illicit markets are not of pharmaceutical grade, but are in fact counterfeit. This is a major concern because these counterfeit products may contain very variable amounts of alprazolam, making it hard for drug users to decide how much to take. Counterfeit Xanax has also been shown to sometimes contain other drugs and/or potentially dangerous adulterants.

Information we have received from TICTAC, a drug analysis laboratory, has confirmed that samples produced to look like real Xanax tablets actually contained other drugs such as etizolam, which is another benzodiazepine linked to a large number of deaths in Scotland. TICTAC also found that ‘fake’ tablets that did contain alprazolam varied greatly in strength, with some tablets having more than 10 times the normal dose of an authentic Xanax tablet.

The unpredictability of dose can be very dangerous to drug users who will not be able to judge how much alprazolam (or other substituted drugs) the tablets contains until after they have consumed it and are experiencing harmful effects.

What is being done and what should be done?

What PHE is doing

At PHE, we’ve been looking at all national data and other intelligence to try to get a better understanding of alprazolam use in England. We are also talking to experts and others to build a clearer picture.

Our locally based PHE Centre teams are working closely with local authorities, providing them with data, guidance and other bespoke support to help them assess local treatment need, and commission services to meet that need. This may include specific support for those misusing alprazolam depending on the size of the problem in their area.

We are piloting Report Illicit Drug Reactions (RIDR), an online reporting system for harm caused by illicit drugs, particularly new psychoactive substances (NPS). This system also captures the harms caused by misused medications, such as alprazolam.

When new drugs or patterns of use emerge, the particular health consequences associated with them may not always be fully understood at first. For example, the bladder problems caused by ketamine were not originally recognised until different treatment services began to join the dots and find the link between the two. RIDR seeks to speed up the identification of harms, so that health and treatment services can rapidly deliver the most appropriate interventions. PHE encourages frontline staff to use RIDR to report clinical harms they are seeing in their local areas. This helps build a better understanding of the emerging problems and their geographical distribution.

PHE holds a quarterly clinical network meeting with experts on new drugs and emerging drug trends, which provides the opportunity to discuss data from RIDR, the latest NPS-related research, and other sources. After each meeting, we update the RIDR dashboard to log current issues and concerns. Alprazolam has featured on the dashboard since September 2017.

What are we doing in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly?

Our treatment services have responded to this emerging pattern of use by learning more, training their staff, producing information for young people, raising awareness of the problem locally, and offering advice, support and treatment to young people having problems.

Drug Watch, an information network, put together a briefing on alprazolam for professionals and the public (see below) which we are disseminating.

We seek to ensure that staff working in services in contact with vulnerable groups are well-informed; and support the development of appropriate responses.

It is especially important that any local communications to professionals and young people are proportionate so that they raise awareness and knowledge without driving up interest and drug-seeking.

Download PDF FileAlprazolam Infosheet DrugWatch

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Cornwall Pride

July 28th, 2018 by

Our Pride 2018

This year once again Cornwall Pride will be returning to Newquay. After the pridetastic event last year, how could it not return! On Saturday 25 August why not come and join Cornwall’s celebration of diversity, you are all are welcome to attend along with colleagues, friends and family.

Themes for this year

In line with a Safer Cornwall priority to increase the reporting of hate crime, the service is joining with Devon and Cornwall Police to say “let’s shOUT” about hate crime.

As always we will be promoting recruitment and our apprentices will be there to promote the roles within the service and give their first hand experiences of what it is like to be a firefighter in Cornwall.

Flying the flag

 

This year the Council and the Service will be flying the Pride rainbow flag for the week running up to Pride and the day at New County Hall and Service HQ Tolvaddon.

There will be other rainbow additions to this year’s Pride including rainbow epaulettes. Now supported by the National Fire Chiefs Council, members of the service will be wearing their rainbow epaulettes with Pride on 25 August and the week running up to the day.

Getting involved

If you would like to come along and join the parade please be at the Beach Car Park Newquay no later than 11.30, the flag waving and parade beings at midday.

If you would like to be more involved on the day or have an idea to make our Pride attendance even better then please contact Kathryn Billing Strategic Lead for sex, sexual orientation and gender self-identity.

Kathryn Billing, Area Manager Service Delivery, Service Headquarters

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Cornwall Fire and Rescue takes delivery of new Fireboat

July 27th, 2018 by

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has operated a fire boat since 1999 when we took delivery of our first boat – Transco Phoenix, a 7.6 metre rigid inflatable boat (RIB) powered by twin 100Hp outboard engines. The Service had identified the need to provide an operational emergency fire response in and around the Falmouth harbour area due to the large and rapidly growing maritime risk. Falmouth was also becoming a popular choice as a venue for hosting large regattas such as the J Class Regatta, The Pendennis Cup, Off Shore Powerboat Racing to name a few, all of which require a large amount of safety/fire cover.

Other roles that the fire boat carries out are, to provide personnel and equipment transfer in support of Fire and Rescue Marine Response, Forms part of the King Harry reach response plan, to provide primary fire cover to the 100+ house boats in and around the Falmouth, Penryn and Helford River areas. We can also be called upon by other agencies to be used during high profile events anywhere in Cornwall throughout the summer months.

Fast forward 18 years to the start of 2017 and it was clear that Transco Phoenix had served her time and was due for replacement. A tender was put out for Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) manufacturers to bid on. After considering certain criteria, Ribcraft who are based in Yeovil, Somerset were awarded the contract. Ribcraft have a long history of building high spec’ customised RIB’s both for the leisure market and, commercial sector. What really stood out with Ribcraft is that the entire boat is built in house at their factory.

I was tasked with leading the project at a station/operational level, identifying the needs of the Service and how best these could be fulfilled on the new boat. Having had the previous boat to learn from and the luxury of having a RIB built from scratch I was keen to put our own stamp on it and make sure that it would firstly, be fit for purpose, but also easy to use in terms of the firefighting systems.

Working with Ribcraft we drew up certain criteria, namely that it would be easily trailable, would have a good working platform, carry a crew of 6 Firefighters and 2 coxswains, carry a light portable pump (LPP) which could be easily got to work and provide a fixed monitor with water.

Ribcraft have been an excellent company to work with during the build phase of this project keeping us regularly updated through video calls and myself visiting the factory at key stages of the build to ensure good progress and discuss any issues or improvements that needed to be addressed.

Early March, and after some solid and very successful sea trials in Portland Harbour “Skath an Tanlu” (Cornish for “Fire Boat” and chosen by members of the public through public voting) was delivered to the Service.

We could not be more pleased with our latest asset and Ribcraft have delivered exactly what was asked of them and their expertise and craftmanship in building RIBs is clearly evident in the new fire boat. Powered by twin Suzuki 140hp engines she has a top speed of 37 knots and a cruising speed of 30 knots, “Skath an Tanlu” is 8.5 metres long with a 3 metre beam (width), providing fire crews with an excellent and safe working platform. She carries a Godiva Powerflow 8/5 Twin LPP providing 800l/min at 5 bar.

The boat will be based at Falmouth Community Fire Station and berthed at Falmouth Haven pontoons in Falmouth Harbour during the summer months. It is hoped that “Skath an Tanlu” will be fully operational by July 2018 and it is fair to say that everyone involved is looking forward to getting out and using the RIB for many years to come.

Giles Kent, Crew Manager, Falmouth Community Fire Station

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Domestic abuse co-ordinator job opportunity

July 25th, 2018 by

Job Description

Primary Location: Cornwall-Liskeard
Other Locations: Cornwall-Truro
Job: Community safety
Organisation: Cornwall Council
Job Posting: 19-Jul-2018, 13:21:19
Hours per week: 37
Job Type/Contract type: Fixed term
Interview Date: 23-Aug-2018
Closing Date: 08-Aug-2018, 23:59:00
Salary Range: £32,641 – £39,961

About the role & About us

To support and coordinate the multi-agency response to domestic abuse and sexual violence (DASV) in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

To be a driving force in the implementation of the Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence (DASV) Strategy including:

  • Implementation of the DASV Delivery Plan
  • Commissioning and contract management of DASV services
  • Implementation of recommendations from Domestic Homicide Reviews
  • Quality Assurance and Improvement Plans
  • Performance Management across complex multi-agency systems

To supportservice development andredesign; process and policy; development and improvement. This will include influencing change within Cornwall Council and its partner agencies such as Police, Probation Services, Health, voluntary Sector and Private Sector and will include planning, performance improvement and evaluation of projects and services to ensure innovative and effective responses to DASV.

To support robust contract management for commissioned services to ensure contractual compliance for service delivery and additional aspects such as safeguarding, equality and diversity and health and safety and identify risks associated with service delivery and finance and reputational risk; escalating risk to Managers and supporting the development of plans to mitigate against those risks and implementing risk reduction plans.

This is a 12 month Maternity fixed term contract to provide cover for a member of staff who is absent because of maternity leave,until they return to work and may represent a suitable secondment opportunity for existing Cornwall Council employees. If you wish to be considered for a secondment, please obtain your manager’s permission before applying.

This position will be subject to a enhanced criminal record disclosure check.

Cornwall Council is committed to safeguarding and is an equal opportunities employer.

More information about working for Cornwall Council is available here

About you

The successful applicant will have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the complexities and dynamics of domestic abuse and sexual violence for male and female, child, young persons and adult victims and perpetrators and safeguarding children and adults.

You will also have demonstrable comprehensive knowledge and experience of problem solving, partnership working and developing and implementing innovative approaches to new or existing services to improve outcomes and manage risks.

You must have considerable experience of building effective working relationships with key partners and stakeholders in the field of DASV and in designing, leading and project/performance managing DASV initiatives in order to determine the direction of future service delivery and commissioning.

A track record of successfully working with partners and external bodies to deliver complex objectives with tangible outcomes for the benefit of customers and/or service users is required for this post.

You will require the ability to convey complex issues in both verbal and written format along with good negotiation skills to ensure partner engagement to the agenda which realises positive results.

To apply

Please view the Role Profile; your application will need to explain how you meet the stated criteria. More guidance is available on how to complete the application and your supporting statement.

Please click on the apply button to register or complete an application form.

Apply Online

 

This position will close at midnight on the closing date.

 

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New powers help Cornwall Council and Police tackle criminal private landlords

July 17th, 2018 by
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Safer Towns Delivery

July 12th, 2018 by

In April 2018 our Safer Towns Scheme successfully launched in ten towns, which expanded on the scheme originally in place in St Austell, Truro, Newquay and Penzance.

The aim of Safer Towns is to improve community safety and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour by targeting persistent problem places and people within the geographical areas and work with communities, partners and the business and voluntary sectors to develop sustainable solutions.

Applying an evidence based approach, the local partnerships have been developing their delivery plans that are focused on activity that will respond to:

o   The Safer Town Profiles (annual refresh);

o   Cornwall Residents Survey (4 yearly);

o   ‘Have Your Say’ Survey and other engagement mechanisms (6 monthly);

o   Adverse trends in crime and anti-social behaviour and other community safety issues as evidenced through the Safer Cornwall Performance Framework.

Since the launch events in April, the Safer Town partnerships have met and there have been two multi-agency operational groups implemented to deal with emerging concerns within Truro and Penzance. There has been an increase in outreach support and patrols from Devon and Cornwall Police and our Anti-Social Behaviour Team. The support and enforcement agencies meet regularly to continue to share current knowledge about individuals and ensure a joint response and support is in place for them. A multi-agency sub-group is being pulled together to focus on serious organised crime/dangerous drug networks.

The Safer Towns have also undertaken four community action days and a walkabout, which was specifically organised to reassure businesses and the public that action is being taken, to encourage people to report any concerns and explain how to report.  Several Safer Towns have also engaged with the public at various events including Cornwall County Show.  Further community action days are planned for the ten towns and we would welcome your involvement.

We have been working with services across the Council to resolve local issues and understand the best way to deal with concerns of community safety. Over the next six months we will be looking at specific concerns within our local areas whilst embedding the partnerships and delivering tangible outcomes in the towns.

 

 

If you would like to find out more please contact Community Safety on communitysafety@cornwall.gov.uk

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Suspected drug related death and hospitalisations in Camborne

July 7th, 2018 by

There’s no quality control with illegal drugs. You can never be sure what’s in a pill or powder– even if someone tells you what’s in it, they might be wrong – and you don’t know how you will react to a particular drug or particular dose. Everyone is different and drugs can affect people in different ways. Some pills are more powerful than others and could make you seriously ill, and some are lethal as Shakira’s tragic death shows.

Public Health England Advice to the public

  • If you have decided you are going to take a drug, try a small amount of it first and wait at least an hour to see what the effect is before considering taking any more. Some drugs, including those commonly found in ecstasy, have a delayed effect, so you run an even greater risk of overdose if you top up too soon because it doesn’t yet seem to be working.
  • If you have taken ecstasy, take regular breaks from activities like dancing, to cool down. Keep hydrated by sipping no more than a pint of water or non-alcoholic drink every hour.
  • The risk of overdose is much higher when substances are mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Don’t take multiple substances or mix with alcohol at the same time.
  • If you’ve taken something and start to feel unwell, take time out to look after yourself and ask for help if you need it. If the problem doesn’t improve or is getting worse, you should seek medical help. You won’t be reported to the police.
  • If you want to talk to someone in confidence, you can contact Addaction Cornwall on 0333 2000325
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Campaign aims to reduce suicides on Cornwall’s coastline

July 5th, 2018 by

Cornwall Samaritans and Cornwall Coastsafe group have teamed up to support suicidal people as part of the #Coastsafe campaign.

Representatives from a wide range of agencies including police, fire and community safety, coastguard, the RNLI and Environment Agency and the Samaritans met earlier this year at a #Coastsafe forum to discuss ideas on how to reduce fatalities around water including interventions for those suffering and thinking of self-harm.

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A large proportion of the numbers of people losing their lives around our coasts are those who suicide.  #Coastsafe is about getting partners to work together to the same aim of reducing harm on our coastlines and suicide statistics are of increasing concern.

A/PS Andy Mulhern stated; “Collaboration is key to reducing fatalities around the waters of the UK, not just with emergency services but with charities, communities, individuals and society as a whole.”

As a result Samaritans contact boards have been placed at up to 30 appropriate coastal locations to raise awareness of the charity and to hopefully provide support for people to contact in their time of need.

Samaritans can be contacted by telephone FREE 24/7 on 116 123 or e-mail jo@samaritans.org

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: