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Safe Places launches in Witney

Alert message sent 02/12/2015 15:22:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

The national Safe Places scheme is launching in Witney on Thursday 3 December to offer extra reassurance to vulnerable visitors to the town.
Nineteen local shops and businesses have signed up to offer a Safe Place to someone who may be feeling lost, worried or threatened while they’re in Witney. The project is aimed at helping vulnerable groups of people such as those with dementia, or people with learning disabilities or mental health needs.
Businesses participating in the scheme are provided with a distinctive logo to display in their premises so that the vulnerable person can easily identify them. Each business is checked out beforehand by Thames Valley Police to ensure they meet the Safe Place criteria and volunteers will periodically check the venues. 
Those who might benefit from the scheme will be given a card which provides a named person of their choice. If someone shows the card in a Safe Place, the business or shop will contact the helper named on the card and keep the vulnerable person safe until their supporter arrives.
Superintendent Kath Lowe, Area Commander for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, said:
“This initiative is a really simple but effective idea to help people who may need a little extra support when they are out, should they get confused or anxious. The scheme is already successfully running in other towns in the county so I’m pleased to see that businesses and organisations feel they want to get involved in Witney and I thank them for their support.”
Plans are underway to roll out the scheme to Carterton too so if any businesses in Witney or Carterton would be interested in joining the scheme then please contact Reg Nicolson at the West Oxfordshire Community Safety Partnership on 01993 861000. Alternatively contact Kathy Liddell on 01993 358347.
The scheme has been brought to West Oxfordshire by a range of partner organisations including Thames Valley Police, West Oxfordshire District Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Carers Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire Age UK, Oxfordshire Family Support Network, My Life My Choice and Cottsway Housing.
Jan Sunman, from Oxfordshire Family Support Network, said: “This scheme came about in Oxfordshire because local older family carers had said that they wanted the peace of mind of knowing that there were people who would look out for their relatives with a learning disability, whilst out in their local communities. The scheme offers support to all vulnerable groups of people.”

Message sent by
Danielle Hilton (Police, NHW & Community Messaging Co-ordinator, West Oxfordshire LPA)

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