Safer Towns One Year On

March 8th, 2019 by

Our Safer Towns Scheme, developed and coordinated by our Community Safety Team, facilitates and supports a coordinated multi-agency approach to community safety issues, to improve feelings of safety and public reassurance, reduce the risk of harm to the community and protect vulnerable groups. The partnerships work to reduce and prevent crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour. The scheme was launched last April with full governance developed for each of the towns which include; Penzance, Camborne and Redruth, Falmouth, Truro, Newquay, St Austell, Bodmin, Saltash and Liskeard. The team have successfully established the new Safer Towns and broadened the remit of the three Safer Towns which were already in existence.

An enormous amount of work has taken place over the last year to establish partnership arrangements and develop delivery plans based on crime information provided by our Amethyst Team through Town Profiles and feedback from the Cornwall Council Residents Survey.  New Town Profiles have recently been provided to the Safer Towns with delivery plans for 2019/20 being developed currently to account for changes in crime trends and also emerging issues for next year.

The scheme was supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) with £5,000 allocated to each town. Partners have reviewed priorities and put forward proposals for how the funding should be spent locally. There are a number of new exciting projects, campaigns and outcomes which have been delivered in 2018/19 and will be put in place during 2019/20 through the support of the PCC.

All Safer Towns meet on a regular basis to share current intelligence, raise concerns and deal with emerging dynamic issues collectively. A key factor in the success of the scheme is the wide membership of the groups, which include; public, private and voluntary organisations; who are able to feed in local intelligence and local issues. Each town is unique with different community safety priorities, however there have also been a number of initiatives which have been rolled out through all the Safer Towns.

A shoplifting prevention briefing presented by Devon and Cornwall Police’s Crime Prevention Officer has been organised for all Safer Towns, this provides practical information to local businesses and security teams of how to protect themselves from thefts. It also included information on evidence collection and the process around this. We received positive feedback from the sessions run to date and look to run more sessions in the future.

Blue Light Training has been provided to three pilot towns across the County; Penzance, St Austell and Bodmin. Blue Light supports individuals who are change resistant, problematic drug and alcohol users not engaged with treatment, regularly presenting to emergency services. A multi-agency meeting in each of the towns will provide a mechanism to discuss individuals on a regular basis to collectively provide full support.

A large focus for a number of the towns has been concerns around street drinking and vulnerable individuals; awareness work to ensure the public and communities are aware of local support and who to report concerns to has been extremely important in ensuring the right agencies are informed. Multi-agency walkabouts has been effective in providing reassurance to the public and businesses, targeting specific areas where we have been receiving complaints/concerns raised.

Brief overview of a few of the key initiatives which have been delivered in the towns;

  • Agreement to develop and open a town centre community safety hub accessible to the public in Penzance. The lease has been secured by Cornwall Council Nov 2018. Fire Safety assessment and remedial work in progress.
  • A 12 month pilot has been jointly funded by Penzance Town Council and Cornwall Council for an ASB Caseworker specific to Penzance. This post will be recruited to in March.
  • Agreed siting of two sharps bins in the Camborne both bins will be funded from the PCC Safer Town seed funding.
  • Safer Camborne and Safer Redruth have facilitated a review of local service provision for young people in the area. It has identified the need for a youth café in the Redruth area which will provide a safe space for local young people to go. This is still in the planning process; Safer Towns funding for Redruth will contribute to the opening of Redruth Youth Café, the facility will open in September 2019
  • In Redruth, Police and Community Safety staff are piloting monthly joint surgeries for the public regarding ASB concerns
  • Safer Camborne, Safer Redruth and Safer Penzance have held awareness days in each of the towns in order to promote activity regarding anti-social behaviour and crime to reassure public and raise awareness of partnership working in the area;
  • Shop Watch has been introduced to businesses in Redruth and Camborne, which allows shop staff to communicate with each other with the aim to reduce shoplifting by identifying prolific offenders. This is still in its infancy but training from the police prevention officer will be commencing in early 2019.
  • Safer Falmouth provided information to members of the public at Gyllyngvase Beach following public safety concerns. The events were held to provide awareness of the risk to others from leaving barbeques on the beach, as well as the harmful environmental impact.
  • Following an incident of drink spiking Safer Falmouth ran an awareness campaign to local residents. The partnership provided leaflets to households throughout Falmouth outlining how to keep safe whilst drinking as well as offering safety equipment for bottles. Falmouth University and Exeter University also provided awareness to students on the What Will Your Drink Cost campaign.
  • Truro Safe have conducted two walkabouts throughout the City, providing businesses with key contact information, as well as the opportunity to raise any concerns and find out about the work of the partnership.
  • Following concerns of access for emergency services due to poorly parked vehicles blocking roads within Killigrew Gardens, St Erme, Truro Safe; led by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, implemented the Think Before You Park initiative. Partners visited households throughout the area and left leaflets highlighting the responsibility drivers have to ensure that roads are accessible and the implications, if this is not considered, on emergency service response.
  • Truro Safe continues to have donation boxes available throughout the City which supports those within the City who are homeless. The partnership was pleased to provide sleeping bags and fund two outreach worker packs using the latest donations from members of the public.
  • Safer St Austell visited residents of St Blazey in August to discuss local issues following concerns that had been made and provide information on support available. Residents reiterated their concerns; which included noise nuisance. The walkabout was successful with approximately 27 households engaged. The partnership also spoke to young people in the community to understand what concerns they have and how these may be addressed. The partnership will be looking into the feedback that was provided and potential changes that could be made, which could positively impact on the issues faced by the community.
  • Further work needed to take place regarding public perception of crime within St Austell; Safer St Austell has updated the Communications Plan to take account of this priority. The objectives continue to be to promote successes and the work of the partnership, target engagement to best address concerns of safety and ensure negative concerns are addressed swiftly and effectively. The group have increased articles for local publications and the website along with social media posts. They have also updated the Community Action Days calendar for 2018/19 to promote the work of the partnership and support services including a very successful Sleep Out Event which raised awareness of homelessness. A new scheme was also introduced following this event to support the local homeless charity and promote signposting.
  • Safer Bodmin has received a full briefing on current county lines activity in the Town from the Police Intelligence Directorate. The group has prioritised raising public awareness of this complex crime and will focus on vulnerability and building resilience.
  • Mapping the services available in Bodmin against the nine reducing reoffending pathways is underway. Once any gaps have been identified it is Safer Bodmin’s ambition to influence and potentially fund services to meet the local needs.
  • Safer Bodmin have supported the Berryfields Community Centre and agreed to contribute towards the funding of this vital youth provision in the town. Planning is also underway on a youth focused event with the Bodmin Watch; this event will be based on the Junior Life Skills events and will incorporate an art work competition with the pupils from Bodmin College.  Additionally, during March 2019 Safer Bodmin will run a survey with pupils from Bodmin College to seek their views on community safety in the town and what activities they engage with and would want to see in Bodmin.  The results of this survey will inform future plans for 2019.20.
  • In Saltash there have been a number of sessions delivered to pupils and parents of Saltash.net School to raise awareness about drug misuse. These have included sessions on the impact of drug use from the police as well as harm reduction / mental health education delivered from YZUP (young persons’ substance misuse service). Safer Saltash have been working closely with Saltash.net secondary school and have recently supported their BeWell whole school drop down day focused on mental wellbeing.
  • Safer Saltash have met with the Tamar Bridge Committee to discuss the issue of people completing suicide off the Tamar Bridge. Further work in partnership with the Committee will now take place with a focus on suicide prevention. Additionally, a recent presentation at a Safer Saltash meeting from the Public Health Healthy Promotions team resulted in a decision by the group to offer a ‘Suicide Talk’ (3 hours) to a multi-disciplined group in Saltash focusing on businesses and community groups (up to 90 delegates).  Following on from this, a core group will be identified and trained in ASIST (2 days) and become Suicide First Aiders.
  • Safer Saltash identified ASB as a priority area; the group have focused on this and supported the Core’s successful OPCC bid for ‘The Friday Night Project’ and provided funding for the Saltmill initiative for young people.  Saltash has a current seasonal issue with tombstoning and work is underway to revise a leaflet containing safety advice on tombstoning and letters have been sent from Safer Saltash to Network Rail regarding concerns over access to the Network Rail owned pillar where young people are tombstoning from.  The group have also agreed to part fund a body worn camera for the local ASB caseworker.  The group are also exploring the opportunity for the Town and Waterfront Wardens to be granted Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) powers.
  • Safer Liskeard has made an evidence based decision to purchase a needle disposal unit to be located outside the Town Council owned Sungirt Toilets. A local arrangement has been reached with regards to the safe emptying and disposal of the clinical waste and signage and comms are currently being developed to support this initiative.
  • Safer Liskeard supported National Domestic Abuse week and held a successful public engagement event at Liskeard Community Hospital on 30th November 18. The Healthy Relationships Programme has been delivered in Liskeard Secondary School and the group will be utilising some of the OPCC funding to purchase mobile phones and personal attack alarms for Domestic Abuse victims in the town.  These crime prevention/safety resources will be managed by the IDVA locally.
  • The Safer Liskeard team have identified Castle Park as an area for environmental improvement activity and have conducted a site visit to the area. This activity aims to promote residents taking pride in their town whilst improving feelings of safety and will complement the soon to be reformed ‘Friends of Castle Park’ group.  The work will include targeted multi-agency outreach; consultation with residents; fundraising for play equipment; organised activities in the park; a link to the Time Credits project and CRC unpaid work involvement in remedial work in the park.

What’s coming up?

  • Blue Light Scheme to be implemented across all towns;
  • Specialist Youth Programme led by our Phoenix Team developed to support young people involved with crime and potentially deter them through engagement;
  • Community Action Days to be completed for 2019 including a youth engagement event in Bodmin, joint Engagement events with the OPCC in all Safer Towns and walkabouts within most of the Safer Towns;
  • Initial scoping work is now taking place for a diversity festival in Bodmin to celebrate multi-cultural food and music. The purpose of this work is to build community resilience, break down barriers and promote cohesion.
  • Safer Liskeard will have a community safety stand at Liskeard Community Fair on Saturday 30th March; and Safer Saltash will be at the Saltash Regatta. These events will involve all partners and the OPCC road show van and will be a fantastic opportunity to engage with residents and to understand their needs in relation to crime, disorder and community safety.
  • Truro Safe signage to be fitted at various locations across Truro, providing information on support services;
  • Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence campaign for Truro to be piloted;
  • A number of campaigns to be developed in Newquay including; drug litter, thefts, water safety concerns;
  • Review of noise nuisance complaints 2018 and contact procedure for complaints for Falmouth;
  • working with Heartlands (Pool) business manager, residents and partner agencies to set up a Residents Community Safety Group;
  • young people’s services networking event to be held in Camborne
  • a focus on business engagement and training in Penzance
  • Mobile CCTV camera usage being investigated in Penzance and Redruth.
  • a focused countywide campaign to encourage reporting of crime and ASB to the appropriate numbers

We want to thank all the partners who have been involved with the schemes and continue to support the work of the partnership. If you would like to find out more about a particularly Safer Town please visit https://safercornwall.co.uk/safer-towns/ or email communitysafety@cornwall.gov.uk.  Please follow East Cornwall Community Safety Officer on Twitter here  https://twitter.com/LucyAllison_CSO

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Safer St Austell sleep out in solidarity

December 7th, 2018 by

Spending a night under the stars may seem like a good idea during the summer, but a group of community workers got a glimpse of the grim reality of homelessness at a special event in St Austell last night.

Officers from the Safer St Austell team spent the night at White River Place protected only by sleeping bags and cardboard.

The event was organised to highlight the issue of homelessness, as well as to help promote the local support services available and to demonstrate how well individuals are supported within St Austell.

 

The group, which included representatives from Addaction, Cosgarne Hall, SAHA Freshstart, Cornwall Council’s Community Safety, Localism and Anti-Social Behaviour Team, Mayor Gary King, Deputy Mayor Tim Styles and Cornwall Councillor James Mustoe slept out between 10pm and 6am, enduring a long damp night.

Helen Catherall, Addaction worker, said: “Homelessness is a sign. It tells us that there has been a crisis or that there is an underlying issue. Ironically, homelessness is barrier to accessing support when it’s needed the most. This is why it is so important to report rough sleeping to Streetlink either via their online reporting system or by telephoning Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 to ensure support is offered.”

Gareth Bray, Chairman of Cosgarne Hall Board of Trustees, said: “St Austell has a long history supporting those who are homeless going back to the 1800s and we are pleased to be involved with the sleep out to continue to raise awareness around support services. We want to highlight that although we are raising awareness through this event those who have attended had a choice to sleep out whereas those who are homeless do not have this choice.”

Sue James, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said:  “Homelessness is an issue we are determined to tackle, and events such as this help raise awareness of the problem.

“It is vital we do all we can to encourage people to contact Streetlink if you see anyone sleeping on the streets. The sooner we are informed, the quicker we can offer the support that these vulnerable people need.”

Advice for residents and businesses

  • If you see someone sleeping rough you can contact Streetlink via www.streetlink.org.uk or 0300 500 0914 (or 999 if they need urgent medical assistance).  Individuals sleeping rough can contact the Cornwall Housing Options Team on 0300 1234 161 or drop into an Information Service (formerly called One Stop Shop).
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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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Penzance Green Watch distribute homeless welfare packs to rough sleepers in Penzance

March 31st, 2018 by

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service have engaged with a local homeless charity, Breadline, for the second year running with the aim of increasing the welfare and safety of rough sleepers in Penzance. The Breadline Centre is managed by St Petroc’s Society, undertaking valuable work with homeless and unemployed people, providing practical advice and support.

Due to the success of the initiative when it was run previously, where 30 welfare packs were circulated, funding has been secured for a further 20 welfare packs which were distributed in partnership with Breadline during February 2018.

Whilst progress has been made to reduce the number of rough sleepers in Cornwall we still need to do more and support people in often challenging circumstances. Initiatives such as this provide a wonderful opportunity to engage with our homeless communities, to understand their needs and to support them into appropriate housing where required. In a bid to help those in their local town, the partnership distributed welfare packs, consisting of a sleeping bag, roll mat, a rechargeable lantern and a hygiene pack containing a toothbrush, toothpaste and wet wipes, distributed to the rough sleepers in Penzance.

Information regarding the dangers of carbon monoxide and fire safety advice was also distributed; rechargeable lanterns were given out in a bid to discourage the use of tea lights as a source of lighting in tents, which poses a major fire risk. Rough sleepers have been encouraged to visit Breadline to recharge their lanterns for free, providing an opportunity for regular contact with the Charity.

Dave Brown Manager of Resettlement Services, Saint Petroc’s Society says:

Watch Manager Matt Worthington says: ‘Through our engagement and partnership work with Breadline, we thought we would use this opportunity to provide vulnerable people with information and advice, as well as the welfare packs, to increase their safety and wellbeing.’

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Truro Safe donations used to help those most in need

November 7th, 2017 by

 

“Cornwall currently has the third highest number of rough sleepers/street homeless in the UK. The Truro Safe Partnership is a great innovation and the thoughtful donations have meant that we’ve been able to buy items to help meet individuals’ needs.”

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: