PC in push for more Keep Safe volunteers
Scheme helps the disabled and vulnerable
A Lochgilphead police officer is urging Mid Argyll businesses to step forward and help support disabled and vulnerable people.
PC Michelle Rusden is promoting the work of the ‘I Am Me’ community charity, which works closely with Police Scotland to raise awareness of and tackle disability hate crime – one of the most under reported crimes in the UK.
I Am Me works with communities, schools, disability groups and organisations to raise awareness of disability hate crime and just how it can affect people.
A linked initiative Argyll and Bute Keep Safe Places, is aimed at helping disabled, vulnerable and older people feel confident and safe. Such safe places can be shops, businesses, offices or tourist attractions.
Keep Safe places offer somewhere to go if individuals need help, perhaps because they are lost, they have lost their bus pass or wallet, a phone, or are a victim of crime.
Currently within Argyll and Bute there are 17 Keep Safe places – but PC Rusden wants more.
One such Keep Safe place is Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) in Oban, where vulnerable people can go and get help from staff trained to help them.
There are criteria which must be met to become a Keep Safe place and Police Scotland carry out background checks before any decision is made.
Once successful background checks are complete, staff undergo training, after which the premises are issued with a Keep Safe business pack and Keep Safe stickers displayed.
Cards containing information to help the holder get help within Keep Safe places are available.
As the local authority liaison officer for Argyll and Bute, PC Rusden is working to increase the number of Keep Safe places within Argyll and Bute, particularly in more rural areas and islands.
Police Scotland area commander Marlene Baillie said: ‘This is such a worthwhile initiative and I urge local businesses, shops and other service providers to get involved. The willingness to help people is already clearly evident in our communities across Argyll and Bute, and Keep Safe Places provides easily identified locations where vulnerable people can access that help should it be required.’
Anyone interested in becoming part of this initiative should contact PC Michelle Rusden at Lochgilphead Police Station on 101 or email email@example.com for further details.
PC Michelle Rusden wants businesses to come on board.