‘Keep Safe’ is a community safety
scheme that aims to support people with learning disabilities to
keep safe and get help in an emergency when out and about in
The scheme is run by Hertfordshire Constabulary in partnership with
learning disability charity Herts People First and local people who
have learning disabilities.
How does Keep Safe work?
In towns across Hertfordshire, there are in the region of 300 Keep
Safe premises. As part of the scheme, local people with learning
disabilities and police Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) work
together to invite retailers, businesses and public services from
their areas - such as libraries and community centres - to join the
Those signed up to the scheme agree to support people with learning
disabilities by providing them with a place to make a phone call to
speak to a parent, support worker or contact the emergency
services. This could be for any reason from feeing threatened or
being lost, to having witnessed a car accident or any other
Herts People First and Hertfordshire Constabulary have received
very positive feedback from people with learning disabilities about
the Keep Safe scheme. They find it very reassuring to know where
they can get help and support if needed and that their local
community is so welcoming of the initiative.
The Keep Safe Sticker
ensure the retailers, business premises and public services are
easily identifiable to people with learning disabilities, they
display an orange ‘Keep Safe’ sticker in their windows. The bright
orange sticker shows people with learning disabilities that the
premises is a place they can go to make an emergency call.
Once a person with a learning disability has recognised the orange
Keep Safe sticker in a shop window, for example, they will show
their Keep Safe card or key ring - where they can store their
chosen emergency telephone contact number - to the shop keeper.
They may also show the small Keep Safe sticker which they can keep
on a personal contact card or a mobile phone. A phone with a small
Keep Safe sticker will have an ‘In Case of Emergency’ (ICE) number
What happens after signing up to Keep Safe?
Once a retailer, business or public
service signs up to Keep Safe they are given an information pack
and are invited to meet people with learning disabilities living in
the area and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) from the
local Safer Neighbourhood Team, who together explain how the scheme
The pack contains an information booklet and a picture board in
case someone with a learning difficulty needs help to communicate
the problem they are having. The pack also contains a letter of
thanks from the Constabulary for joining the scheme and includes
contact details of the local Safer Neighbourhood Team and the lead
officer for Keep Safe.
Herts People First
People First is a charity for people who have learning disabilities
that offers practical help in setting up new Keep Safe premises
alongside the police. The charity provides Keep Safe training to
people with learning disabilities and to local Safer Neighbourhood
Teams so they both fully understand how the scheme works.
It also provides people with
learning disabilities a range of practical tools, such as key rings
and contact cards containing emergency contact details, which help
them to contact police and report incidents and crimes either as a
witness or a victim.
Through this work, people with learning disabilities get the chance
to meet their local police officers and PCSOs, which increases
their confidence and feelings of safety when out and about.
The Keep Safe training that Herts People First provides is funded
by Hertfordshire Adult Family Learning Service.
Would you like to take part?
Are you a retailer, business or public service who
would like to support people with learning disabilities in your
local area by signing up to the Keep Safe scheme?
Please contact your local Safer
Neighbourhood Team by calling the police non-emergency number
101 for further
Sadly, people with learning
disabilities can sometimes become victims of disability hate crime
– a crime that is motivated simply because of their learning
disability. If you or anyone you know feels they are a victim of a
crime that was motivated because of their learning disability, it
is vital that this is reported.
understands that victims and witnesses may not always feel
comfortable with talking directly to the police and would therefore
encourage people to report incidents of disability hate crime via a
third party. Information about third party reporting can be found
here, where details about disability hate crime
and hate crime as a whole can also be found.