Helping keep people safe
A new safe place scheme for disabled, vulnerable and elderly people in times of crisis has been launched in Dumfries.
As part of an initiative being rolled out across Scotland, the new space has been created at The Stove Network as a haven for vulnerable people if they feel lost, confused, scared, in danger, or have been the victim of a crime.
The Stove’s Nicole Archibald said: “It is important that all people feel safe in their community.
“By providing a place for anyone feeling vulnerable or lost, we are creating an opportunity for people who don’t necessarily feel confident to come into the town centre to do so, knowing that they have somewhere to turn to if they need support.”
Training is provided to premises wishing to be a part of the scheme, with at least two members of staff required to be working at all times and a suitable place for use within.
Relevant checks are carried out by Police to ensure all Keep Safe premises are suitable.
Sergeant Graeme Stitt said: “Over the past few months we have been working on getting premises signed up to the scheme and we currently have 21 throughout Dumfries and Galloway.
“This number is increasing on a weekly basis and we hope to have a good spread of premises by the end of the year.”
He added: “The scheme is designed to give vulnerable people a safe place to go if they are out and about and they feel they need help.
“There are also Keep Safe cards available and they contain emergency details of the person.”
The scheme was originally started in Renfrewshire in 2013 by the charity I Am Me and proved extremely successful.
It was later adopted by Police Scotland and is now being rolled out across the country.
Twelve of the region’s 21 designated safe havens are in Dumfries. The list includes Buddies, Monaghans Jewellers, The Usual Place and Dumfries and Galloway carers centre.
All the sites are publicised on the free Keep Safe Scotland app and the I Am Me Scotland’s website.
Any shop or business interested in becoming part of the scheme should contact police on the 101 number for further details.
Launch event Police and supporters of the scheme at The Stove in Dumfries