Support

Safer Cornwall’s number one objective is helping communities to be and feel safe.

During this time, a wide range of services and support continues to be available throughout Cornwall to respond to concerns about crime, anti-social behaviour and other issues that impact on community safety.

 

The voluntary and community sector offer is vast and so the intention is that these key links pulled together by the Adult Social Care Commissioning team can help people to find/access local support to stay as healthy and independent as possible.

  • Public Sector – key support offered by Volunteer Cornwall, Cornwall Housing and Citizens Advice Cornwall
  • Health and Wellbeing – support offered by the Inclusion Matters partnership, including help with practical, wellbeing, welfare, digital and transport needs
  • Specialist – support offered by specialist providers for people with complex needs
  • Social Care – access to support for people with social care needs

Download PDF File Key Support Links


Contents

Domestic Abuse

Anti-social behaviour

Fraud/Scams

How to be safe with alcohol

Holiday accommodation providers

Mental Health

 


Domestic Abuse

If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please call the police on 999 now.

 

We know that COVID 19, also known as the Corona Virus, will have serious impacts on the lives of those living with domestic abuse.  For some people, home is not always a safe place, which might mean that the prospect of physical distancing or self-isolation may be causing some adults and children to feel additionally anxious, at an already difficult time.

Cornwall’s integrated domestic abuse and sexual violence service, Safer Futures, is still providing support, safety planning and information via their helpline, text service and online. Safer Futures will also direct you to any additional services that you may need and can liaise on your behalf if appropriate to do so, for example if you feel you want to access a refuge at this time.

Download PDF File Volunteers Leaflet Covid 19_Recognising and responding to domestic abuse and sexual violence

 

Download PDF File Volunteers Leaflet Covid 19_Recognising and responding to domestic abuse and sexual violence - short version

 

Read more here

 


Anti-social behaviour

Reporting a crime and anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour covers a wide range of acts that can include verbal abuse, threatening behaviour, throwing missiles or harassment of residents. If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour, incidents should be reported to the police using 101 or by emailing 101@dc.police.uk

If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or if the crime is happening right now, call 999.

To report non-emergency crime or queries visit www.dc.police.uk where you can access the police’s online contact methods – WebChat and Crime Reporting Form. These are available to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also report it to the police using 101 number or by email 101@dc.police.uk

If you are unsure which service you need AskNED the online non-emergency directory can help. Visit www.dc.police.uk/AskNED enter your question, select your location and  AskNED will provide you with the answer. Remember, in an emergency always call 999. If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

 

 


Fraud & Scams

There is an increased risk of fraud and scams.

Phishing emails: There have been reports of coronavirus-themed phishing emails. These attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing people’s personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details. Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

Shopping online: If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

COVID-19 scams identified include:

Doorstep crime

  • Criminals targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return.
  • Doorstep cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus.

Online scams

  • Email scams that trick people into opening malicious attachments, which put people at risk of identity theft with personal information, passwords, contacts and bank details at risk. Some of these emails have lured people to click on attachments by offering information about people in the local area who are affected by coronavirus.
  • Fake online resources – such as false Coronavirus Maps – that deliver malware such as AZORult Trojan, an information stealing program which can infiltrate a variety of sensitive data. A prominent example that has deployed malware is ‘corona-virus-map[dot]com’.

Refund scams

  • Companies offering fake holiday refunds for individuals who have been forced to cancel their trips. People seeking refunds should also be wary of fake websites set up to claim holiday refunds.

Counterfeit goods

  • Fake sanitisers, face masks and Covid19 swabbing kits sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe. There are reports of some potentially harmful hand sanitiser containing glutaral (or glutaraldehyde), which was banned for human use in 2014.

Telephone scams

  • As more people self-isolate at home there is an increasing risk that telephone scams will also rise, including criminals claiming to be your bank, mortgage lender or utility company.

Donation scams

  • There have been reports of thieves extorting money from consumers by claiming they are collecting donations for a COVID-19 ‘vaccine’.

Loan sharks

  • Illegal money lenders are expected to prey on people’s financial hardship, lending money before charging extortionate interest rates and fees through threats and violence

For further information or advice please contact the Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards Team at TSintel@cornwall.gov.uk

For more details information please go to Cornwall Trading Standards Coronavirus Scams page below.

Cornwall Council Trading Standards

There is additional information and updates regarding fraud on the Action Fraud website.

 


How to be safe with alcohol

There are a few simple steps you can take to keep yourself as safe as possible if you are concerned about your alcohol intake.

If you are drinking to cope with issues like boredom or anxiety, there is a danger that if those problems increase, so does the drinking.

This can quickly push someone into drinking unhealthy levels of alcohol without noticing.

So here’s an easy way to check how safe your drinking is: Try going to your Appstore or www.drinksmeter.com and download the Drinksmeter App.

(If you don’t have access to the internet, you can call Healthy Cornwall to talk to someone about this: 01209 615600)

The App asks you a series of helpful and simple questions.

All you need to do is to be honest, knowing that no-one else will see your answers.

It will help you to assess the safety of your current drinking levels,

choose a level that you are happy with,

and then monitor how well you keep to that level.

If it’s relevant to you, within the App you will be asked a set of questions that form a recognised alcohol assessment, which would then identify if you are at Increasing or High Risk. If any of that shows any specific problems, the App gives advice, or even gives you the contact details of services near you if you need more support.

Downloading the App or using the website is very simple, and it gives you a personal code so that you can access your own diary from any device.

For most people, that process will either show you that you are already drinking at safe levels, or it will allow you to bring things under control if you are drinking a little too much. It does this by helping you to set target levels that gradually reduce the amount that you are drinking.

This process will help to show which of these categories you are in:

a) Someone whose drinking is under control within the healthy guidelines;

b) Someone drinking above the recommended limit, but who can carefully bring it down a little on their own;

c) Someone drinking above the recommended limit, but who then tries to reduce and finds it difficult; or

d) Someone who is drinking at more risky levels, and who needs advice or support to carefully and safely reduce their drinking.

The only way to work out where you sit within that range is to keep a record of what you are drinking, to see what that means in terms of risk levels and alcohol units, and then to set a reduced level that you feel you can achieve.

Then you try it to see how it goes.

The Drinksmeter will help with all of that process.

If it becomes a struggle …

For a small number of people, this can helpfully show that things may have gone slightly out of control. If you do find that the amount you’re drinking is higher than you expected, and that this puts you in an Increasing Risk range, a sensible approach is to reduce slowly. If you regularly drink 30 units per week – for example about 12 to 15 cans of beer or cider, or above 3 bottles of wine – to suddenly go ‘dry’ might sound a good goal, but could be more difficult for you than reducing what you drink by a manageable amount over a few weeks.

In some cases, suddenly stopping alcohol altogether may cause dangerous side effects, so a gradual approach is very important.

This starts by keeping a diary to record what you normally drink. The Drinksmeter app is a good way of doing this, but don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice too.

In Cornwall, the alcohol support service is given by ‘We Are With You’, and their contact details are found in the app, and their advice can also be found here: https://www.wearewithyou.org.uk/help-and-advice/advice-you/how-safely-detox-alcohol-home/

They recommend keeping a diary for a week to find out exactly how much you drink. Again, the Drinksmeter will help you do this.

They also advise starting by reducing by 10% for a few days. At this stage, if you start to have any withdrawal symptoms, it means you’re cutting down too fast.

Withdrawal symptoms could be sweating, headaches, confusion, blurred vision, lack of sleep, or imagining seeing or hearing things.

At their most severe, withdrawal symptoms can lead to fits, which are dangerous. This is why a very gradual process is the safest approach, so take it steady.

If you start to experience any of those withdrawal symptoms, even mild ones, slow down how much you are reducing what you drink.

Then keep drinking at your most recent safe level for another week, before starting to cut down again. Consider cutting down by 5% instead of 10% each week.

Other things that help at this stage of the process include:

  • Asking someone close to you for help. They could help you keep a record of what you drink, or look after your alcohol for you. Having someone going through this with you makes it both easier and more safe.
  • Gradually switching to a lower-strength drink. For example, replace a can of super-strength lager with a standard-strength can.
  • Adding water or a mixer to your drinks.
  • Considering alternating, so that you drink one non-alcoholic drink for every alcoholic drink you have.
  • Trying to eat healthily: avoid sugar, and try to eat plenty of brown rice and wholemeal bread. These are good for your vitamin B12 (thiamine) levels.
  • Taking a vitamin B12 (thiamine) supplement. Ideally you should have 100mg of thiamine, three times a day. This is available from health stores online if you don’t already have it.
  • Keeping hydrated with plenty of non-alcoholic drinks – but avoiding too much coffee and energy drinks as these can cause sleep problems.

It may be best to keep reducing gradually all the way to zero, but at the point that you have reduced to a lower risk level and decide it’s safe to stop drinking altogether, make sure that someone knows you are about to do this, because you may still need support in an emergency.

Ask the people you live with to be ready to call an ambulance if you:

  • Have a fit or a seizure;
  • Become confused;
  • Develop double vision;
  • Become unsteady on your feet, or
  • Experience hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there).

These symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous.

In addition, don’t stop drinking entirely if you have previously experienced any of those symptoms around drinking or stopping drinking.

If any of this describes your experience, please feel free to call ‘We Are With You Cornwall’ (Addaction) on 0333 2000 325.

More details can be found here:

1. How to keep things under control https://bit.ly/2yqizbK
2. How to use the Drinksmeter https://bit.ly/34JXmVY
3. How to interpret Drinksmeter scores https://bit.ly/34Lm9JC
4. How to cut back https://bit.ly/2yph9hm
5. What to do if you struggle to cut down https://bit.ly/3aiMmAj

If you have any comments, questions, problems or feedback, please email us at daat@cornwall.gov.uk


Holiday accommodation providers

The overwhelming majority of holiday accommodation providers, such as self- catering businesses, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks, hotels, campsites and holiday homes, have shut their doors as a result of the Government ordering all non-essential businesses to stop operating and for everyone to stay at home and avoid unessential travel.

However, Cornwall Council has received complaints alleging that some holiday accommodation providers are still having holiday makers in their premises and operating illegally.

There are a number of exemptions which allow holiday accommodation businesses to remain open, including where they provide services to:

  • People who live there permanently or because their primary residence is unavailable.
  • Critical workers and non-UK residents who are unable to travel to their country of residence during this period.
  • People who are unable to move into a new home due to the current restrictions.
  • Homeless and other vulnerable people such as those who cannot safely stay in their home, through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies.
  • Those attending a funeral.
  • Hosting of blood donation sessions.

Also, holiday accommodation can remain open for any other purpose requested by the Secretary of State or Local Authority.

A current list of exemptions can be found on the Government’s website.

We understand that this legislation may have serious financial impacts upon businesses so please read the guidance to understand how you can access the financial help you need.

The government has produced guidance on business closures for further reference. However, if you require additional advice please do not hesitate to contact the Council’s Business Support Hub at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.

If you believe that holiday accommodation might not be complying with the new regulations then please contact Cornwall Council at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.

For anyone seeking refunds due to a holiday booking cancellation Cornwall Council advises:

  • Check the small print on your booking – what does it say about cancellation due to Government intervention?
  • Check the small print on your travel insurance – will your booking be covered?
  • Register your concerns with your holiday provider – are they working to a timetable (ie most imminent bookings first)? What are they suggesting as a solution? But please be patient as businesses have to deal with many pressures at this current time.
  • If you paid for your holiday by credit card you may have additional protection through the credit card provider.

If you do still need further advice or information about cancelling a booking due to Covid-19 please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 or contact Cornwall Council Trading Standards at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk

We are aware that some members of the public are concerned about compliance of social distancing measures. We ask that if you have a concern regarding an individual, or groups actions you should contact the police as they are the only organisation which can enforce against this. You should report it through to the Police by calling 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk and 999 in an emergency.

We strongly discourage anyone from approaching another person to confront them about social distancing, or business regarding them being open, it not only puts yourself at risk but also others. Circumstances are individual and we therefore must be circumspect and compassionate at this difficult time.

 


How to keep positive and busy

When you’re staying at home, it’s important to take care of your mind as well as your body. You may feel bored, frustrated, or lonely. You may also be low, worried or anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health, or the health of those close to you.

It’s okay to feel like this – everyone reacts in their own way to challenging events and uncertainty. It’s important to remember that staying at home may be difficult, but you’re helping to protect yourself and others by doing it.

The following websites will give you tips and advice on things you can do to help you cope with how you’re feeling, but make sure you get further support if you feel you need it:

 

Read more about what you can and cannot do

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About the Author

Research & Information Officer, Amethyst, Community Safety Team

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E: Simon.Viles@cornwall.gov.uk

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: