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‘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 Hertfordshire.


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 initiative.


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 emergency incident.


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


To 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 on it.


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 works.


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


Herts 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 information.

 

Disability Hate Crime

 

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.

 

Hertfordshire Constabulary 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.