Safer St Austell – Litter Pick

October 13th, 2017 by

Local agencies within Safer St Austell, came together this week to litter pick Truro Road park, Priory car park, Holy Trinity Church and Cemetery Park St Austell.

In total 16 sacks of rubbish were collected, helping to improve the St Austell’s environment. Cosgarne Hall provided some well needed refreshments once the work was completed.

 

Agencies taking part included Cosgarne Hall, Addaction, Freshstart and Cornwall Council.

St Austell Town Councillors Tim Styles and Anita Cohen came along too.

As part of Safer Cornwall, Safer St Austell aims to improve community safety locally.

For concerns about rubbish such as glass and needles on the street, call Cornwall Council Refuse and Recycling on 0300 1234 141 or email refuseandrecycling@cornwall.gov.uk

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Active Plus

October 9th, 2017 by

The East Cornwall CPO has attended the Active Plus Communities Project with Police Training Staff and local police community support officers (PCSO) delivering to interactive information sessions to groups of older people in St Blazey, Launceston, Bodmin, Newquay, Liskeard and St Austell delivering Crime Prevention, Cold Caller and Scams awareness. These sessions have reached more than 55 people, all aged over 50, who have been brought together through the Big Lottery funded Active Plus Communities Project. In addition to becoming more informed, many participants have made practical changes to improve their home security.  One 93 year-old was helped to make those changes by the Poppy Calls Handy Man service.  The aim of Active Plus Communities is to reduce loneliness and isolation amongst older people through greater connections and involvement in their communities. Helping them to feel informed and safe is a key part of achieving those aims.  The Active Plus Communities Team also works with the Fire and Rescue Service and delivers First Aid awareness and CPR as part of the activities for the groups.

Quotes from Participants:

‘I now feel safer in my own home after the presentation’

‘Crime Prevention-Excellent day’

‘Very informative and thoroughly enjoyed’

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Quit smoking rates in Cornwall highest ever

October 1st, 2017 by

New Stoptober campaign urges even more to take the plunge

Fewer people in Cornwall are smoking with new data published today by the University College of London (UCL) showing a drop of almost 7% in smoking prevalence.

Ten years ago 21% of people in Cornwall smoked, but this has now fallen to 15.7%. In the last year alone, smoking prevalence fell by 2.5% and whilst still slightly higher than the national average, it has fallen by a greater percentage. In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly approximately 80,000 people are smokers.

The report has been released as Cornwall Council and Public Health England launch the Stoptober quit smoking campaign which aims to encourage even more people to quit.

Robert West, Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies at University College London, said:

“Quitting success rates this year are soaring. The advances and wider choice in effective quitting options, and stronger anti-smoking culture are fuelling this acceleration.

“Thinking about giving up may be daunting, but all the evidence shows there has never been an easier to time to stop. Quitting needn’t be the painful journey it used to be and the support you’ll get from Stoptober will increase your chances of succeeding.

“And for the first time, any smoker – no matter their sex, age, where they live, their background or type of job they do – has virtually the same chance of quitting successfully as the next person.”

The Stoptober quit smoking challenge has inspired over one and a half million quit attempts across England since 2012. The campaign is based on research that if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stop for good.

With Stoptober now in its sixth year, the UCL report reinforces that there has never been a better time to quit with:

  • better and more quitting aid options, with e-cigarettes now the most popular
  • more restrictions on smoking
  • the introduction of plain tobacco packaging
  • a stronger anti-smoking culture in England
  • supportive stop smoking campaigns such as Stoptober.

To support more people to quit, Cornwall Stop Smoking Service is offering anyone wishing to use vaping as a method of quitting support from a stop smoking adviser. Although the service cannot provide e-cigarettes, they can provide additional support to help people change their behaviours and habits.

Last year over half (53%) of all those taking part in the Stoptober campaign opted to use e-cigarettes as a quitting aid. This year the campaign will feature e-cigarettes in the TV ad and will do more to encourage and support smokers who are keen to try e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking.

Miriam Brenton, Stop Smoking team lead for Cornwall’s Health Promotion Service said: “With more and more people choosing vaping as a means to quitting we are really excited to extend our service to meet their needs by offering behavioural support alongside their use. We know that people are up to four times more likely to successfully quit with specialist help and support from services like ours. We want our service to be accessible for everyone wishing to make the change to improve their health.”

Russ Moody, Tobacco Control lead for PHE South West said:

“E-cigarettes are now the most popular way to quit in the country with half of all those taking part in Stoptober last year using an e-cigarette. The evidence is clear – vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking – a fraction of the risk. So if you’ve struggled with quitting before, an e-cigarette may be the best option for you.

“Don’t be put off if you’ve already made several attempts. Join up with Stoptober and benefit from free support direct to your phone, laptop or tablet via the Stoptober app, a daily email giving support or Facebook Message, free face-to-face support plus a raft of advice and information on the website. Search ‘Stoptober’ online and join the thousands of others who go smokefree once and for all this year.”

The Stoptober campaign starts on 1 October. Search ‘Stoptober’ online for all the support you need to quit.

 

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The Acorn Service 2017

October 1st, 2017 by

Saturday 23 September 2017 saw the fourth consecutive service with this year being the third to be held at Truro Cathedral. The service seeks to celebrate the lives of those who have died from substance misuse and those who live with it.

Last year in Cornwall there were 32 drug related deaths and many more when alcohol and prescription drugs are considered. The stigma often attached to drug-related deaths can leave those mourning feeling different from other mourners, with the special Acorn service providing a way to bring people together.

The service is organised in partnership between Cornwall Council, Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), Boscence Farm Community Ltd, Addaction and Truro Cathedral.

The service included personal reflections, music and readings from service users and drug treatment workers, a tailored service of remembrance and a tree of remembrance where messages were written on paper shaped oak leaves. We now have 4 years worth of oak leaves that have been personalised. The cruel irony here is that at this time of year the oak loses its’ leaves- the tree in our service always gains leaves.

The tree of remembrance from 2015- it now bears many more leaves representing lives lost

This years’ service was well attended and the emotion of the occasion was very much in evidence with one mother saying ‘I haven’t been able to cry like this since my 20 year old daughter died earlier this year’.

This brave mother came to the service after hearing another mother speaking on Radio Cornwall the previous day when Laurence Reed held his live talk show. Laurence has been very supportive of this service over the last 4 years and Sid Willett from Cornwall DAAT was able to go into the studio with Kirsty to speak about the loss of her daughter Victoria aged just 21 when she died last year.

Victoria died aged just 21

Victoria is just one example of a life tragically cut short when she naively combined internet sourced drugs with GP prescribed medicines. Both of these mothers want to help others and raise awareness of the complexities of drug related deaths.

Gary Hales used heroin for six years and is now celebrating his 5th-year of not using Heroin. In that 5 years he’s completed a diploma and a degree as well as working with Addaction as a volunteer and now a full employee. Gary gave a reading during the service.

He said “I’ve made some bad decisions in my life however, I am very fortunate to be in a position where I can share my experiences. My curiosity and naivety to drugs is what started my addiction – two deadly behaviours when combined and there are drugs around.

“I lost six years of my life to a heroin addiction. I am the lucky one as others I’ve witnessed lost their lives. I spent years chasing the dragon when I could have been chasing my dreams and aspirations. Eventually, I became a lost soul and on many occasions wished I would never wake up however, chasing death, led me to life.

Sid Willett, Drug Related Death Prevention Co-ordinator, Cornwall Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) said “I am proud to work in Cornwall with so many people that care about these issues and our communication between Police, drug treatment, pharmacy, HM Coroner and her staff, RCHT, SWAST and many others is second to none. The DAAT now being part of Community Safety within Cornwall Council allows us an even wider platform to prevent future deaths.

This is a different approach to what is usually expected, as we seek to remember and to raise awareness at the same time. Our work is all about partnership working often with marginalised groups. Although sadly too late for some, the Acorn service seeks to remember, reflect and use the legacy of those who have died to change processes or whatever needs to be done to prevent future deaths.”

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Recent raid prompts warning on illegal tobacco sale

September 8th, 2017 by

More than 13,000 illegal cigarettes and 1,500 packets of illegal tobacco have been seized over the past 12 months in Cornwall, prompting authorities to issue a warning to the community that illegal trade will not be tolerated.

The latest warning follows a joint raid between the Council and police in North Country, near Illogan last month which saw another 1,000 pouches of hand rolling tobacco and a large sum of cash seized.

Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards said the products were either counterfeit, posing a public health risk as people don’t know what’s inside, or they had not had tax paid on them, robbing the public purse of thousands of pounds in tax.

Trading Standards has received an increasing number of calls and reports from the public over the last year, and as a result ten search warrants have been executed and seven people prosecuted through the criminal courts.

Cllr Sue James, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said: cigarettes 2

“Illegal tobacco trade harms everyone. All tobacco is harmful, but when it is cheap and easy to get hold of, it makes it harder for people to quit and more accessible to children and young people.

“The loss of tax revenue reduces money available for local schools and health care.

“The illegal tobacco trade also has strong links to crime including drug dealing.

“Our message is clear – selling illegal tobacco is a crime which can carry fines, community orders or prison. The number of reports we are seeing shows more people have had enough and are providing us with information to stop local criminals selling and trading tobacco. Whether you are a shopkeeper or an individual, chances are you will be reported. Our crackdown will continue.”

Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco or alcohol can make a report in confidence by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by emailing report-it@cornwall.gov.uk

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Prison sentence for car sales fraudster

September 8th, 2017 by

A two year investigation by Cornwall Council Trading Standards finished last week when second-hand car dealer, Mark Tomkins, pleaded guilty to six charges at Bodmin Magistrates Court on 3 August.

car-salesThe Court heard that Tomkins (40) of Chard in Somerset had been using his girlfriend’s address in Camelford and a variety of telephone phone numbers to advertise cars for sale via the Autotrader and Gumtree websites. Over a two year period he sold 25 cars to people on low incomes or first time buyers. But the cars were often unsafe and in need of serious repairs so Tomkins posed as a private seller or used false names to avoid his liabilities and to evade consumer complaints.

Tomkins admitted all charges under Consumer Protection Regulations and the Fraud Act. He offered no excuse but said “I feel ashamed, when it’s all read out like that.”

He was told by the Court: “Your trading put buyers safety at risk. It was clearly fraudulent and undermined public confidence in other motor traders.”

Tompkins was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, to pay £720 in compensation and £1,000 towards the cost of the investigation.

Cllr Sue James, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection welcomed the verdict. “This was the result of a lengthy investigation by the Council’s Trading Standards team. The offences here reflected a deliberate attempt to defraud members of the public, including those who could least afford to lose money. The use of false names and a variety of telephone numbers and e-mail addresses demonstrates the calculated and scheming nature of the crime.

“The Court has recognised the potential harm done to the motor trade in Cornwall, and this sends a clear warning to people considering illegal activity that they will be caught.

“More and more motor dealers across the county are joining the Trading Standards approval scheme, ‘Buy with Confidence’ to help them stand out as business who can be trusted. A case like this demonstrates the value of the scheme in giving buyer’s confidence in who they buy from.”

The Buy with Confidence Scheme provides people in Cornwall with a list of local businesses which have given their commitment to trading fairly. Every business listed has undergone a series of detailed checks by Trading Standards officers before being approved as a member of the scheme to ensure that they operate in a legal, honest and fair way. You can find more information on the Buy with Confidence Scheme page which includes a list of businesses registered under the scheme.

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Police Volunteer plays key role in public safety

September 8th, 2017 by

A Chief Constable’s Public Service Award is to be given to a police volunteer who has played a key role in making Liskeard’s roads safer.

Mick ChorltonMick Chorlton has volunteered with Devon and Cornwall Police since 2009 originally founding the Community Speed Watch (CSW) team in Liskeard where he is now the lead volunteer. The dedication that Mick has shown to his role has led the team to becoming one of the most proactive CSW groups in the force area. The data gathered from these watches reveals the impact that CSW has with a significant reduction of traffic speed in and around the Liskeard area. Mick is an active ambassador for this role and volunteers at community groups and local events, including the Royal Cornwall Show, promoting CSW and helping to develop community relations and understanding of the CSW programme, which in turn has built trust towards the police service.

Since 2011 Mick has also volunteered with the Liskeard Police Cadets becoming one of the senior and valuable volunteer leaders. As a former Naval Commander, Mick has taken on the responsibility of teaching cadets drill and the importance in the standards of their appearance. He helped to organise and part-fund humanitarian aid trips for the cadets to volunteer in Croatia in partnership with Rotary International. They helped to rebuild an orphanage for severely disabled children who were casualties from the recent war. Mick also helped the cadets with their ‘Cop Car’ project, building and racing an electrically powered kit car as part of a Greenpower initiative. They qualified for the national finals finishing as the highest placed police project.

Mick also helped set up and run the youth club in St Cleer which led to a dramatic reduction in anti-social behaviour. He also volunteers his time litter picker and is in regular attendance at the Liskeard Have Your Say Panel, a community meeting where police, partner agencies and council members meet to discuss and problem-solve local issues.

To arrange an interview with Mr Chorlton please contact PC Garth Hatt, Neighbourhood Beat Manager for Liskeard South on 01579 325454.

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Police Constable takes to her skates to win youngsters over

September 4th, 2017 by

A Police Constable (PC) is ready to get on her roller skates in West Cornwall with the aim of working with youngsters and discouraging them from getting involved in antisocial behaviour.

PC Jodie Fellows, a youth intervention officer, will be patrolling skate parks in the Truro, Camborne and Penzance areas on her roller skates. Armed with support service leaflets, police contact details, stickers and fingerprinting sheets for younger children.

PC-Jodie-FellowsPC Fellows said:

“As youth intervention officer, most young people will have seen me in their schools and will recognise me. Historically we experience increases in crime during the summer months from the 13 to 18-year-old age group. There has been some criminal damage to the Council’s skate parks (mostly by those who don’t use the equipment) and graffiti with unsavoury words. It is not pleasant for dog walkers and families with children to see. I am aiming to break down barriers and engage with the park users to make them aware of the consequences criminal damage has.”

PC Fellow’s initiative will link into a longer-term project between the police and Cornwall Council to get young people to help decorate the parks and get them to take some responsibility for their environment.

This is not the first time PC Fellows has taken to her skates. Last year she started a Sk8Wise campaign and worked with a group of young women who were on the cusp of being involved in antisocial behaviour.

PC Fellows said:

“The project was very successful and resulted in two of the girls being hate crime ambassadors in their school; two joined the police cadets and there have been no recorded incidents with the school or police involving this group.”

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Don’t stand for Domestic Abuse

September 1st, 2017 by

DA Help

The Safer Cornwall Partnership has launched a campaign in partnership with the South West based charity First Light and Pirate FM urging people to stand up to domestic abuse.

A series of adverts on Pirate FM is reinforcing the message that domestic abuse is not acceptable. Further information is now available on a special web page on Pirate FM’s site https://www.piratefm.co.uk/advice-from-devon-and-cornwall-police.php showing a video of how domestic abuse can impact on the victim and providing information about where victims and survivors can seek help.

Domestic abuse is the misuse of power and control by one person over another.

It can begin at any time, can be obvious or subtle and can happen suddenly or gradually.

It is not just about physical violence – it can be emotional, psychological, sexual or even financial. We know it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or sex and as a police force we would encourage people to come forward and seek help. It is extremely important we do not to tolerate violence or abuse towards women or men and the Safer Cornwall Partnership wants to be able to do something to help prevent and challenge this type of behaviour.”

Tom Dingwall, Chief Executive of First Light said: We’re really pleased to be working with Pirate FM and Safer Cornwall to raise the profile of domestic abuse in Cornwall.  Domestic abuse is an unacceptable crime, and it can often take courage to report it and seek support.  Whether you’re affected directly, are a concerned friend or relative or a professional seeking advice, First Light has trained professionals ready to support you.  We’re a registered charity and independent of other agencies.”

The following organisations can provide help and support:

First Light is an independent charity that supports thousands of people each year affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. For more information go to www.firstlight.org.uk. Domestic abuse helpline for Cornwall and IOS: 0300 777 4777.

The Safer Cornwall webpages on domestic abuse have a wealth of useful information. Go to http://safercornwall.co.uk/what-we-do/dasv-hub/

Devon and Cornwall Police website also has a lot of useful information including how to report domestic abuse https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/advice/threat-assault-abuse/domestic-abuse/

 About First Light

First Light is an award-winning* South West based charity that provides domestic abuse and sexual violence services.  Recognising a shared vision, mission and values, First Light was formed in April 2017 following the merger of Twelves Company and Skoodhya under the banner Stronger Together.

The organisation delivers:

  • Cornwall and Plymouth’s Sexual Violence Services (Sexual Assault Referral Centres and Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Services)
  • Cornwall’s Domestic Abuse Service (Independent Domestic Violence Advisory Service and the Risk Evaluation and Coordination Hub)
  • Plymouth’s Sexual Violence Counselling and Art Therapy Service
  • Education and Training courses throughout Cornwall and Devon.

Comprising of some 60 staff and volunteers, the organisation supports thousands of victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence each year and is in the process of launching its fundraising portfolio.

*GHP Social Care Awards 2017 – Best UK Domestic Abuse Victim Support.  West Briton Community Safety Awards 2014.   Reed UK & Ireland 2014 – Not For Profit Manager of the Year.  Centre for Social Justice Awards 2006

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Fostering pets to help victims escape domestic violence and abuse…

August 25th, 2017 by

Refuge4Pets is a new service here in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly who are working alongside domestic violence and abuse services to remove an important barrier that prevents many victims from escaping violent and abusive relationships. Refuge4Pets offer a pet fostering service to victims of domestic violence and abuse so that they can access refuge and other forms of emergency accommodation to start to rebuild their lives. Often individuals and families escaping violent and abusive relationships are unable to take their pets with them. In many cases this will stop people from leaving as much loved pets are frequently used as part of the pattern of coercion and control in violent and abusive relationships and pets are also often subjected to violence and abuse themselves and in some cases killed. With over half of all households in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly having pets this is a vital service in terms of helping victims to access the safety and support they need before being reunited with their pets.

Refuge4Pets2

Sir Tim Smit KBE, Executive Vice Chairman and Co-founder of the Eden Project says, ‘Domestic violence and abuse is one of the most significant public health concerns that we experience across the UK and here in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Addressing the issue is essential to creating safer, stronger and healthier communities. The social and economic cost of domestic violence and abuse in the UK has been estimated to be £15.7 billion a year.  This includes the human and emotional cost as well as costs to services such as the NHS, social care, housing and the police’.

It’s a myth that domestic abuse is just about physical violence. Domestic violence and abuse can be one incident or a pattern of incidents that include controlling, coercive and threatening behavior involving one or multiple forms of abuse, such as emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse and ‘so called’ honor based crimes.  Although, often a hidden crime which is vastly underreported to the Police, if every person subjected to domestic violence and abuse in our County were to report their experiences these cases would out number all other types of crime reported to the Police. Domestic violence and abuse is a crime that can happen to anyone regardless of their age, social group, sexuality, gender, ethnicity or religion. The latest statistics reported by the Crime Survey for England and Wales (2016) indicate that 1 in 4 women aged over 16 and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic violence and abuse at some point in their lives. 1 in 7 children and young people witness domestic violence and abuse or are directly harmed themselves.

Michelle Davies MBE, Strategy Lead for Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Serious and Organised Crime says, ‘People have always told us there are many barriers to them leaving violent and abusive relationships. Perpetrators’ threats to harm or kill a pet as a means of control is just one. Imagine having to make that heartbreaking decision to have to leave your much-loved family pet behind knowing what’s been threatened. Refuge4Pets is a fantastic local initiative and an important part in our combined response to domestic abuse. It will be a real enabler for people to leave those abusive homes and yet it is so simple for people to support and get involved by fostering a pet. Become that enabler and make a real difference to people lives!’.

If you love animals and want to keep them and their owners safe one way you can help is by becoming a pet foster carer with Refuge4Pets who are looking for volunteers to care for horses, dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, rabbits and smdogall animals such as hamsters, guinea pigs and so on. If you are over the age of 18 and feel you could offer a safe, suitable and loving home to a pet for a short period of time the team would love to hear from you. Refuge4Pets will cover the cost of vet treatment, food and bedding so all you need to do is provide the love and care. You can get in contact by calling 07497382457, emailing mary@refuge4pets.org.uk ,  by visiting the website www.refuge4pets.org.uk  or find Refuge4Pets on Facebook.

If you need support because you are experiencing domestic violence and abuse, or if you are worried about someone else you can contact REACH (Risk and Evaluation Coordination Hub) on 0300 7774777 Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm.  Or, you can contact the 24hr domestic violence and abuse helpline on 01872 225629. In an emergency situation please contact the Police on 999.

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: