National Burn Awareness Day

September 27th, 2018 by

National Burn Awareness Day 2018

17 October.

A burn injury is for life. The scars are physical as well as psychological, and can present life-long challenges for the individual and their families.  What many people don’t know is that children and the elderly are the most vulnerable, and the majority of injuries occur as a result of an accident that could so easily have been prevented.

In 2017, 7,502 children were burned or scalded. Hot drinks are the most common cause of scald injury in children – followed by contact with electric cookers, irons and hair straighteners.

First Aid

Treat burns with cold running water for 20 minutesGood first aid following a burn or scald can make an enormous difference in recovery times and the severity of scarring.

Two important things to remember are:

Cool, Call, Cover

  1. Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the wound)
  2. Call for help – 999, 111 or local GP for advice
  3. Cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm

Stop, Drop, roll

“Stop, drop and roll” is used when clothing catches fire. Children can get confused about when to stop, drop and roll. It is important to know when to do this. Children who do not have a good understanding of stop, drop and roll will sometimes do this if they burn a finger or need to get outside if the smoke alarm sounds. Only use stop, drop and roll when clothing catches fire.

Find out more how to prevent burns HERE

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Drink Spiking

September 25th, 2018 by

How to stay alert, and how to respond:

As reported widely in the local and national media, a drink spiking incident in Falmouth is now being investigated by The Police.

If you become aware of such an incident, please follow this advice given by Devon and Cornwall Police, and take these actions swiftly:

“Report it to the police as soon as you can. They will need to take blood and urine samples. Most drugs leave the body within 72 hours of being taken, but some can be gone in 12 hours so it’s important to be tested as soon as possible.

If you have been sexually assaulted, even if you are too upset to report it to the police immediately, you should try to seek medical assistance if you have been hurt or injured. Any forensic evidence obtained during tests can be stored.”

https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/advice/your-community/drugs-and-alcohol/alcohol/drink-spiking/

“If you begin to feel really drunk after only a couple of drinks, get help from a trusted friend or a member of staff from the club or pub management.

Stay away from situations that you do not feel comfortable with.

Remember that alcohol can affect your actions and reactions as well as reduce your ability to be alert – alcohol is the most common date rape drug.

https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/advice/your-personal-safety/staying-safe-while-out-for-the-night/

Please be alert, enjoy Cornwall safely, and report anything that concerns you to The Police.

Who to call for help:

Police:

Call 999

If you are in danger, please dial 999 immediately or 101 in a non-emergency.

If you ring 999 but can’t talk, make sure the Police know you are there by coughing or tapping the handset, or by dialling 55.

Cornwall Reach Hub

Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline:

0300 777 4777  

 

 

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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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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 to raise awareness of County Lines

July 4th, 2018 by

County Lines

Know the signs

Police have today, Tuesday 3 July, launched a campaign to raise awareness of County Lines and how the public can help spot the signs of such criminal activity ongoing in their community.

County Lines is a term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines. The gangs are likely to exploit children or vulnerable adults to move and store drugs and they will often use coercion.

This is a national trend and there are criminal gangs using the County Lines operating model across Devon and Cornwall.

The Force’s County Lines lead, Detective Superintendent Antony Hart, said: “This week we are launching our County Lines campaign and as part of our ongoing commitment in tackling this nationwide phenomenon, we are now appealing to the public to spot the signs within their communities.

“Our recent policing activity over the last year shows that our counties are not a safe haven for drugs supply chains and anyone coming to the area intending to be involved in drugs will face prosecution.

“We have teams across the force area who focus on disrupting these drugs supply lines and on protecting the vulnerable people who become victims of crime. We also work closely with other forces, regionally and nationally, as well as the Regional Organised Crime Unit, to share intelligence and best practice to target drug suppliers.

“Neighbourhood teams and response officers are regularly patrolling areas that are used for ‘street dealing’ creating an environment where there is no safe place left to hide.

“County Lines gangs will often target children and young people, women and vulnerable adults to deliver drugs and money between locations.

“An operating base is also an essential feature of the County Lines criminal model. Gangs will regularly exploit vulnerable people, forcing them to build up a debt or using threats of violence in order to take over a person’s home, a practice known as ‘cuckooing’.

“Police have worked to identify people who may be either susceptible to, or victims of, drugs networks who use their homes to ‘set-up shop’. Once into the address drug dealers use this as a base to run their activity for short periods of time before moving on.

“Any address that has previously been used is entered onto a database and then visited by Neighbourhood teams. This relies on good working relationships between local partners, housing providers and tenants. This process also provides opportunities for rehabilitation and rehousing to break the cycle of vulnerability and offending where relevant.

“By consistently visiting people in our community we aim to reduce the risk of people becoming repeat victims of cuckooing and to continue to build the intelligence picture to ensure that other people are not put at risk of harm from Organised Crime Groups.

“We have continued to keep up this level of activity and in 2018 have continued to visit addresses where ‘live’ cuckooing is suspected to be taking place.

“We recognise that County Lines drug supply is a problem that cannot be solved by the police alone. We will continue to work with our partner agencies and our communities to tackle the issue, sending a clear message to drug suppliers that they are not welcome in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”

Signs to look out for:

A young person’s involvement in county lines often leaves signs, below are some of the indicators of county lines involvement and exploitation:

  • A child or young person going missing from school or home or significant changes in emotional well-being
  • A person meeting unfamiliar adults or a change to their behaviour
  • The use of drugs and alcohol
  • Acquiring money or expensive gifts they can’t account for
  • Lone children from outside of the area
  • Individuals with multiple mobile phones or tablets or ‘SIM cards’
  • Young people with more money, expensive clothing, or accessories than they can account for
  • Unknown or suspicious looking characters coming and going from a neighbour’s house
  • Relationships with controlling or older individuals or associated with gangs
  • Suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries

Gangs may also target women who tend to be drug users or have engaged in a relationship with a gang member. They can become victims of sexual and domestic violence and can also be coerced into delivery drugs or money for the gang.

Vulnerable adults who are in financial difficulties or who have mental health problems are usually the most likely victim of cuckooing.

What can you do?

If you have concerns surrounding children, follow safeguarding procedures and share your concerns with local authority social care services.

If you are being affected by any of the above or know someone who is then contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by calling 101.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Further information on County Lines can be found on our website: www.dc.police.uk/countylines

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Devon: Takes Drugs Seriously

May 3rd, 2018 by

Drugs can be dangerous. But does banning them cause more harm than good? Come along to learn about the impact of drugs on Devon and how we can better protect our community.

Join the discussion about what a new approach to drugs could mean for Devon, your family and your community.

Date and Time

Thu, May 17, 2018,  7:30 PM – 9:00 PM BST

Location

Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter, EX1 1BW

Speakers include:

Esther Campbell – Esther’s brother Luke died from an accidental ecstasy overdose. She is currently studying at the University of Bristol and is a member of the Anyone’s Child campaign. Esther wants the legal regulation of drug production and distribution to reduce the harm they pose.

Suzanne Sharkey – Vice chair for LEAP UK (Law Enforcement Action Partnership). Suzanne worked as a police officer for five years working in a specialised crime unit and undercover drugs buying operations. She is in long term recovery from problematic substance use.

Danny Kushlick – Founder of Transform Drug Policy Foundation in 1996, after working widely in the drugs field. He is now an internationally recognised commentator on drug and drug policy issues.

Chris Evans – Lost her son Jake to an accidental overdose. She now regularly gives talks on the subject and campaigns with Anyone’s Child for the legal control and regulation of drugs.

Followed by a Question and Answer discussion.

This is a free charity event, but donations will be gratefully received.

Sign up here

 

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Drug and alcohol services for adults and young people

April 10th, 2018 by

Addaction to continue to deliver Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly community drug and alcohol services for adults and young people

Addaction is to continue delivery of alcohol and drug services across Cornwall for the next five years.

The national charity has been delivering the services in the county for the past five years to both adults and young people, and has been successful in retaining the contract with Cornwall Council.

The budget for alcohol and drug treatment reduces by £120,000 in 18/19 and to a total of £451,000 by March 2020, so we are pleased that we had a high quality successful bid to deliver these services to Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly.

Addaction has bases in Redruth, Penzance, St Austell, Liskeard, Bodmin and Truro – where the YZUP service is also based.

The charity provides free, confidential and non-judgmental support to anyone affected by their own or someone else’s alcohol or drug use.

Associate director James Sainsbury said: “We’re delighted to continue our work in Cornwall and I want to congratulate the whole team on our excellent work.”

During the past five years, Addaction Cornwall and Isles of Scilly has supported 6,047 different adults and is currently treating 1,899 adults in the county.

Addaction has also been successful in securing funding of £780,000 from the Government’s Life Chances Fund to set up a project in Cornwall to cut the number of people frequently attending the hospital A&E departments due to alcohol or drugs.

Known as ‘frequent attenders’, there is a group of people who take up a disproportionate amount of time, resources and finances for hospital A&E departments because of their regular attendance due to alcohol or drug use.

Addaction will be using a combination of assertive outreach, high intensity work and partnership work to get this group to address their use and attend less.

“Around 35% of A&E admissions are down to alcohol and by tackling the frequent attenders we can help the hospital free up their resources to help others. The work will involve linking in with people from housing, the police, the council and other professionals to make sure we’re addressing all their needs and issues at once,” said James Sainsbury.

The project will be launched thanks to the Life Chances grant which is used to set up a social impact bond that will continue to fund the project outcomes. To date Addaction has been awarded the largest contribution for it from Life Chances.

Addaction is the first substance misuse charity in the UK to run a social impact bond and the Cornwall project will be watched with interest by officials and researchers to see if it will work elsewhere in the country.

A pilot project has been running in Treliske A&E and it will officially launch with an extended service from April 1st.

James Sainsbury said: “No service in the UK has been able to fully address the issue of frequent attenders before. We’re hopeful this innovative approach will significantly improve the lives of this group of people and give a new way forward for other services across the country.”

Minister for sport and civil society, Tracey Crouch, said: ‘This funding will benefit some of the most vulnerable people in society and provide vital support to help them transform their lives.

‘The UK is a world leader in using social impact bonds to make a positive impact in society and these projects will achieve real results in communities across the country.’

The Government Outcomes Laboratory (GoLab) based at Oxford University will be monitoring the effectiveness of this project as a funding model for care services.

To find out more about Addaction visit www.addaction.org.uk where you can also access a free, confidential web chat facility.

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The Time Credits

April 10th, 2018 by

The Time Credits model is very simple: for every hour that an individual gives to their community or service, they earn one ‘Time Credit’. People can spend Time Credits to access events, training and leisure activities provided by public, community and private organisations, or to thank others in turn. To date, over 35,000 people have earned almost half a million Time Credits across England and Wales. The Time Credits currency is a powerful tool for encouraging more active engagement in local services and community groups, and building an individual’s social or support network.

Embedding Time Credits in substance use and recovery services has been a successful development in both England and Wales.  The Time Credits are used as the catalyst for an asset based approach to support planning and service design, and enable the development of co-produced services where clients take an active rather than passive role.

How do Time Credits work?

 

There are a huge variety of skills, experience and resources in communities that can be forgotten or go unrecognised, and Time Credits believe taking these as a starting point for any service or activity can be the most effective way of tackling community challenges. Time Credits start by mapping local assets with local people and identifying what exists in communities that can be built on, developed or brought together in new ways. Time Credits build on people’s interests, skills and experiences, combined with local physical assets and resources, to develop and improve community and public services.

There are currently over 600 spend opportunities nationwide. These spend partnerships facilitate access to opportunities that are often inaccessible to vulnerable adults with complex conditions and often low incomes. This access stimulates habitual change and helps develop personal assets further. Many positive impacts from spending Time Credits come from engaging in health or wellbeing activity, or adult education opportunities. However another key impact, particularly where we work with more vulnerable and isolated individuals, is a reduction in anxiety and increased confidence and awareness of the community assets available to them.

 

Time Credits in Cornwall

 

Time Credits Cornwall is a joint project between CC Transformation Challenge Award that is now operational within the DAAT and community partner agencies. The project is managed by Beth Ward who has a base at both DAAT in Threemilestones and Job Centre Plus in Penzance, enabling her to split her time between the two areas. The partnership managers, Helen Smith and Kelly Taylor share the role of building the spend network, identifying potential partnerships from feedback received through workshops and discussions with our local groups and members.

A key aspect of the Time Credit programmes is creating a local Time Credits identity. Co-design sessions involving DAAT, local services and service users helped create a bespoke note, reflecting the local identity of Cornwall. The back of every note is the same so that individuals are able to spend their Time Credits across the national network of partners. This aspect of Time Credits enables participants to use Time Credits outside their own area, for trips or family outings, and feel part of a wider national cohort of Time Credits members.

Time Credits are excited to already be working with Addaction, YMCA Cornwall, Bosence Farm, Who Dares Works, Trengweath, Job Centre Plus and Homegroup and will be looking to develop further relationships and spend/earn opportunities with local groups and services as the project develops. A launch event for Time Credits at Homegroup is being held on April 20th at YMCA Cornwall. We plan to host a range of earn and spend opportunities, including an asset mapping session with volunteers and residents followed by circuit training sessions organised by local social enterprise, The Ark CIC.

Time Credits are initially focusing on Drug and Alcohol and Homelessness Services in Penzance but will be moving into other substance use services in Cornwall, and eventually into other thematic settings supporting vulnerable adults.

In addition to the implementation of Time Credits, Time Credits have a range of training and supporting resources that have been tried and tested in community and health and care settings, to enable organisations to develop and embed asset based ways of working. They will be facilitating training sessions starting in the next quarter, for staff, volunteers and community members in voluntary organisations, statutory services and community groups in Cornwall and you are invited to attend. Further details will be circulated by DAAT once dates have been confirmed.

If you wish to find out more, please feel free to get in touch:

Beth Ward | 07578181277 | bethanyward@justaddspice.org

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The Government has brought the control of the new psychoactive substance methiopropamine as a class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 from 27 November 2017

December 15th, 2017 by

The 1971 Act controls drugs that are ‘dangerous or otherwise harmful’. A three tier system of classification (Class A, B and C) is adopted to provide a framework within which criminal penalties are set. This is based on an assessment of the harms associated with a drug, or its potential harms when misused, and the type of illegal activity undertaken in regards to that drug. The control of MPA has been made following the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (‘ACMD’).

The National Programme of Substance Abuse Deaths reported 46 cases where MPA was found in post mortem toxicology, between 2012 and April 2017. In all of these occurrences, MPA was found in combination with other substances, mainly NPS. MPA was implicated in the cause of death for 33 cases.

The ACMD recommended that MPA be listed as a Class B drug under the 1971 Act. This drug has also been inserted into Schedule 1 to the 2001 Regulations and designated as a drug to which section 7(4) of the 1971 Act applies since the ACMD reported no known recognised medicinal or legitimate uses beyond potential research use which will be enabled under a Home Office licence.

What is Methiopropamine and what are the risks associated with its use? See Drug Factsheet.

Circular – Changes to the MDA to include MPA – FINAL – DAU

Factsheet

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: