Tackling the exploitation of children & young adults

August 4th, 2020 by

Tackling the exploitation of children and young adults in Cornwall is a shared priority of Our Safeguarding Children Partnership, Safer Cornwall and the Safeguarding Adults Board.

We know more needs to be done to make sure that children and young adults at risk of and experiencing exploitation receive the right support and ensure that exploitation is effectively identified, prevented and disrupted.  To help focus efforts in Cornwall we have launched a new three year Exploitation Strategy for children and young adults aged up to 25.

John Clements the Independent Chair of the Our Safeguarding Children Partnership says:

“Children and young people in our area are not immune to being exploited. Initially our efforts were directed at children who were being sexually exploited but we have learned exploitation is much wider and children are also exploited through dangerous drug networks and criminal gangs.

Our new strategy is designed to improve our response even further and to make sure we move ahead of those issues that threaten the safety and wellbeing of our children.  The new plans will see us combating exploitation through a wide range of initiatives, all of which combined will make our area much safer.

The response in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has developed and I am confident we are doing a good job when we know a child or young person is at risk of being exploited, however, we don’t always know it is happening.  We need members of the public to help us identify those situations we are not aware of”.

Cornwall Exploitation Strategy MARCH 2020

Cornwall Exploitation Strategy Supporting Evidence 2020-23

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Cornwall Drug Alert Briefing 2nd July 2020

July 2nd, 2020 by

Pills and tablets being sold as prescribed drugs – RISK OF HARM, RISK TO LIFE

There have been multiple cases of overdose across Cornwall in the last fortnight where a range of tablets of differing colours, pretending to be prescribed drugs have been involved. These drugs have been illicitly produced and sold.

The drugs are being made to look like Benzodiazepines -Valium, Lorazepam, Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) and Alprazolam (Xanax), coming as coloured tablets, or as Pregabalin (so far). They often come in blister packs or labelled plastic pharmacy pots, which look like they are pharmaceutically prepared, but they are not.

Testing of seized tablets shows that some do not contain any of the drugs they proport to be at all, instead containing dangerous chemicals for non-medical use. With others, the content of each tablet differs very widely, despite the tablet markings indicating a set dose.

If you, or anyone near you, take any of these drugs and overdose, an ambulance and hospitalisation will be required ASAP.

Naloxone will not reverse an overdose of these drugs but may assist if they have been taken in combination with opioid drugs.

  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shallow breathing
  • Impaired motor function
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fainting
  • Coma

Benzodiazepine drugs in overdose can show a range of symptoms but may include;

  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shallow breathing
  • Impaired motor function
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fainting
  • Coma

Harm Reduction Advice

➢ Buying drugs from a unknown source is a risk

➢ Try small dosing/testing unknown substances/supplies

➢ Avoid using alone

➢ Report any unusual symptoms & seek medical assistance

➢ Call 999 if urgent medical assistance is required or you think an overdose is occurring

If you witness someone experiencing these symptoms or are experiencing them yourself in suspected overdose:

  1. Call 999 for an ambulance
  2. Give immediate first aid basic life support (recovery position and monitor the airway, breathing & pulse).
  3. Do not assume that a person who is still functioning normally will not worsen later.

Further help and support can be found from

Tel: 0333 200 0325

 For further advice or to discuss this briefing further you can get in touch with The Cornwall Drug and Alcohol Action Team at DAAT@cornwall.gov.uk

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Test and Trace guidance

June 12th, 2020 by

Unfortunately, criminals will exploit every opportunity they can to defraud innocent people of their money, or steal their personal details. This could include impersonating public sector officials and taking advantage of the NHS Test and Trace system.

This service is extremely important in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public get on board with it. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.

Please see the below guidance for more information on the NHS Test and Trace service and what to expect if the service contacts you:

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

For further information about Test and Trace please see: NHS Test and Trace: How it works

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It does happen here and children need YOU to ‘Speak Out’

June 11th, 2020 by

A new campaign is being launched in Cornwall to help people recognise the signs of child sex abuse.

The ‘Speak Out’ campaign was created by Our Safeguarding Children partnership (OSCP), which includes Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, the Council of the Isles of Scilly and the NHS.

The campaign aims to take the responsibility of reporting sexual abuse away from children and young people, because they may not be able to say something for a variety of reasons, and instead ask adults to spot and understand the potential signs of CSA and speak out when they think something’s wrong. Our goal is to protect children and help them begin their recovery.

Cabinet Member for Children and Well Being, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “Child sexual abuse in the family environment is a very complex area of safeguarding and, as a society, it’s something that we can find incredibly hard to talk about.

“Within families and communities, there remains a disbelief and denial about sexual abuse, which means it is less likely to be identified and discussed.  In addition to this, children are very unlikely to tell someone that they’re being abused – particularly when the perpetrator is known to them.

The campaign focusses around a number of key messages. They are:

  • Child sexual abuse in the family environment is a hidden crime.
  • Most children and young people who are sexually abused are abused by someone they know.
  • Knowing the signs and reporting cases of child sexual abuse is everyone’s responsibility.
  • You don’t have to be certain it’s happening – If you’re concerned a child is being abused or their safety is at risk, speak to someone.
  • The OSCP and MARU are there to help protect all vulnerable children and young people at risk of abuse.

Sally added: “When a child or young person is sexually abused, they may not understand that what’s happening is abuse, or that it’s wrong. Therefore, parents, professionals and the public must understand the signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse and know how to respond.”

This campaign is particularly important at a time when social distancing rules mean that more children than ever will be staying at home, sometimes in unsafe environments. With this comes the risk that the signs of sexual abuse may go even further unnoticed and so it is vital that we start to raise awareness of the signs of CSA and clarify how people can report their concerns.

Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Partnership, John Clements, added: “All of us have a responsibility to know the signs and to speak out against child sexual abuse.  You don’t have to be completely sure; anything you tell us could help us to protect a child or young person at risk from sexual abuse.

“Together, we can help to stop child sexual abuse from happening and give children and young people in Cornwall a voice.

If you suspect something is not right, please contact the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) on: 0300 123 1116 or speak to the police. If you are located on the Isles of Scilly, please telephone the Children’s Social Care Team on 01720 424483.

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Safer Cornwall reminds communities to support each other during pandemic

May 5th, 2020 by

Safer Cornwall is calling on residents to support each other during the pandemic and avoid confrontations over social distancing.

The partnership, made up of Cornwall CouncilDevon and Cornwall Police and other agencies, has received reports of verbal abuse, abuse on social media, and criminal damage to personal property as a result of people being mistaken for breaking social distancing rules.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team have warned that they will not tolerate behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress and will take action against those responsible.

Safer Cornwall strongly discourages anyone from approaching another person to confront them about social distancing, or if they have concerns that a business is open that should not be.

Instead, the partnership is reminding residents to treat one another with respect at this difficult time and to report their concerns to the correct agencies so they can carry out the appropriate investigations.

Anyone concerned about social gathering should contact the Police by calling 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk and call 999 in an emergency.

If a business is suspected of flouting closure orders reports should be made to Cornwall Council on 0300 123 1118 or by emailing covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s Cabinet Member for environment and public protection, said: “It is with sadness that we have received reports of families being targeted online and face-to-face about not following social distancing guidelines, when the perception may be wrong.

“We have seen second homeowners and businesses put themselves forward to offer accommodation for key workers and local families, who need this vital accommodation, to maintain the work commitments that allow them to keep their families safe.

“Please do not assume that anyone in a motorhome, holiday home or driving is breaking the social distancing guidelines. Continue to be compassionate and understand that where applicable that Cornwall Council and Devon and Cornwall Police will undertake the enforcement needed.”

Simon Mould, Cornwall Council’s Head of Communities, said: “We continue to see amazing support across all of our communities where those most vulnerable are being supported by voluntary groups and individuals giving what they can to help those most in need. We ask that residents show compassion and understanding during this difficult time.”

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “We have seen over the Easter holidays that communities are following the social gathering restrictions and only in limited cases have we had to respond and enforce against large groups gathering.

“We are however seeing an increase in neighbour nuisance and reports of non-compliance. If you are experiencing any form of hate crime or harassment please report this to us so that we can take action to support you.”

If you are being targeted and experiencing any form of alarm, harassment or distress please report this to the police by calling 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk and call 999 in an emergency.


For more information on support during the pandemic see our Covid-19 and community safety page

 

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ASB Enforcement

April 9th, 2020 by

Over the past few weeks, Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team has worked with Devon & Cornwall Police and other agencies to partially close residential properties across Cornwall where persistent anti-social behaviour concerns have been reported.

A Partial Premises Closure allows only those who habitually reside at the property to continue to remain there. This provides respite to the surrounding residents who have witnessed and been subjected to anti-social behaviour from those residing in and visiting the property.

The first closure took place on 18 March 2020 where Cornwall Council, in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Police & Livewest Housing, gained a partial closure at an address in Penzance. This was following increased reports of alcohol fuelled behaviour and misuse of illegal substances. Following the order, agencies have been able to increase support for the residents to help sustain their tenancy.

On 01 April 2020, a second application was made by Cornwall Council’s ASB Team and Devon & Cornwall Police on a property in Wadebridge. The premises is now closed to everyone with the exception of those who are normally resident at the address.

These premises will now face these conditions for a period of three months and anyone found to have breached the order will be liable to arrest and prosecution.

Residents are encouraged to continue to report anti-social behaviour to the police using the 101 number of by emailing 101@dc.police.uk

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Community Day at Heartlands with Plymouth Argyle Community Trust and Safer Cornwall

February 28th, 2020 by

The Safer Camborne and Safer Redruth partnership teamed up with Plymouth Argyle and Heartlands last week to host a free community day for young people and families in the local area.

The hugely experienced coaches from Plymouth Argyle delivered a range of activities, from football, handball, dodgeball and Heartlands even hosted an ice rink.

During the event, partner agencies from Safer Camborne and Safer Redruth were on hand to meet young people and their families and showcase the work and support they provide local communities. The agencies included the Penwith Community Development Trust, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, Hideaway 77 Youth Café, Addaction YZUP, Coastline, Headstart Kernow, One Vision, Barnardo’s, First Light and Together for Families.

Provision for young people is a priority for the Safer Camborne and Safer Redruth Partnership, a partnership made up of the agencies mentioned above and many more including Redruth and Camborne Town Councils, Devon and Cornwall Police and We Are With You Cornwall (formerly Addaction).

The event was paid for with funding granted to the partnership by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Other priorities for Safer Camborne and Redruth include Anti-social Behaviour, Domestic Abuse, Alcohol and Drug Related Harm and Community Resilience and Engagement.

 

 

 

 

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Safer St Austell acts on concerns raised in Charlestown

February 26th, 2020 by

Safer St Austell has been supporting Charlestown residents who have raised concerns regarding  anti-social behaviour within the village.

Safer St Austell and wider partners from across Cornwall Council have met on several occasions with the Parish Council representatives, local Cornwall Councillor and Keep Charlestown Safe Group, to listen to their concerns and provide action. Issues have been raised about perceived increases in the number of anti-social behaviour incidents and management of some of the licensed premises.

Following an initial meeting a review of incidents and crime types has been conducted by Cornwall Council’s Amethyst Team. The review has found that despite the perceived increase in anti social behaviour, Charlestown remains a low crime area. There has been a 12% reduction in reported Crime in the area (9 crimes), which is a greater reduction than the 3% seen across Cornwall. There has also been a significant reduction (-53%) in the number of reported Anti-Social Behaviour incidents in the area.

Police Inspector Edward Gard said: “I am pleased to see that the number of reported Anti-Social Behaviour incidents have reduced for Charlestown and will continue to review this and act accordingly.

To reassure residents, the Safer St Austell partnership has provided residents with clear information on who to report concerns to and the correct contact numbers, to encourage the reporting of incidents.

Councillor Tom French said: “We understand there have been difficulties with reporting to agencies and we want to make available to the community the many ways residents are able to contact services to report incidents and concerns. Reporting ensures the right agencies are informed and we are getting the correct response needed.

Partnership officers have met with residents to let them know that additional visits have been made by the Police Licensing Officer to all licensed premises across Charlestown to highlight the issues raised and ensure all License Conditions are being met, which has been the case. License Holders have also been asked to make sure that they share information with other licensed premise in the town when an individual is barred, so that any emerging problems are dealt with  promptly and collectively.

The Licensed premises are also supporting each other by providing information on changes they are making to reduce the impact of noise nuisance after their premises close, and bringing forward closing hours where possible. Premises also continue to have CCTV and security staff available where required and attend St Austell Pubwatch, which is a license holders meeting held to encourage sharing of best practice and issues. There has been a Licensing Review conducted by Cornwall Council for one licensed premise requested by the Parish Council which was completed in November.

Rob Nolan, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods said: “It is important that we continue to work together in addressing local concerns and issues. I encourage all residents to report to the correct agency who can investigate and take action appropriately.”

The local Police Neighbourhood Team has also been involved with visits and continue to review any incidents thoroughly. Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Officer (ASB) continues to review ASB incidents and action warnings where evidence is available to enforce.

Simon Mould, Head of Communities Service, Cornwall Council said: “We continue to ensure resident concerns are listened to and acted on, by working together we can have a positive impact on communities and provide reassurance to residents by providing clear reporting routes.

Advice for residents and businesses:

  • Neighbour noise (e.g. loud music, barking dogs) can constitute a statutory nuisance

if this causes an unreasonable interference to the use and enjoyment of your home. Visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/noise for further details, including how to make a complaint to the Cornwall Council’s Community Protection team. Telephone 0300 1234 212 Email publicprotection@cornwall.gov.uk

  • To find out more about alcohol and entertainment licences or report a licensing complaint please visit: Online cornwall.gov.uk Email licensing@cornwall.gov.uk
  • If people experience anti-social behaviour, email 101@dc.police.uk or call 101 for non-emergencies and in an emergency call 999.
  • If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Safer St Austell is affiliated to Safer Cornwall the statutory community safety partnership for Cornwall and provides a local multi-agency co-ordinated response to the issues that are identified by the partnership and the communities of St Austell. The partnership works to reduce and prevent crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.
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Strength, Resilience and Happiness

February 24th, 2020 by

That first flash of a firesteel and the cotton wool becomes fire is always a magical moment for anyone attempting to master fire lighting. The Youth Offending Service and Youth & Missing officer from D&C police have been running woodland day courses in the St Austell area for a few years now.

Taking young people in to the outdoors is nothing new. We all understand the benefits of getting outdoors and away from issues in the home, work and school. Working with a selection of Young people with different backgrounds, the team have given young people the chance to step out of hectic lives and enjoy the outdoors. Build survival shelters, light fires, and cook their own healthy food over an open fire. Through these skill, we are able to get down to some serious talking around youth issue, substance abuse, Missing episodes and Online safety. Somehow, these subjects are easily discussed around the fire with a mug of stew and easy company. Discussing how young people can keep themselves safe, come up with strategies to deal with stressful situations around Domestic Violence and alternatives to running away and going missing.

The outdoors simply works! Not enough time is spent in the outdoors for all of us and for some of our young people, a woodland day may be their first.

Let’s keep using nature to build strength, resilience and happiness in our future generations.

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keeping drugs out of schools

February 6th, 2020 by

Schools around the county have been engaging with the Youth and Missing Officers and the K9 division for some time now when it comes to keeping drugs out of schools.

Both Treviglas and Fowey are no exception! Both schools welcomed the Police teams in to schools to carry out a spot check on whether drugs had infiltrated the school and the answer was,… No!

No surprises there because of the extensive joint work previously carried out educating and supporting students around this subject.

This school lead operation will continue to happen throughout the county as it really does send a clear message, “ Drugs and education do not mix”

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: