PC in push for more Keep Safe vol­un­teers

Scheme helps the dis­abled and vul­ner­a­ble

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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 michelle.rus­den@scot­land.pnn.po­lice.uk for fur­ther de­tails.

PC Michelle Rus­den wants busi­nesses to come on board.

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