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Working together to Keep Safe in Hemel

7 Jan 2020
  • 'Keep Safe' scheme extended in Hemel Hempstead

  • People with learning disabilities can seek help

  • Orange sticker shows venues in community safety scheme

Hemel Hempstead’s Liberty Tea Rooms and Community Hub has joined the ‘Keep Safe’ community safety scheme.

People with learning disabilities teamed up with the local police Safer Neighbourhood Team, tea room staff and volunteers to celebrate the hub joining up recently.

Premises signed up to the scheme display an orange Keep Safe sticker in their windows to make them easily identifiable, while people with learning disabilities carry an ‘in case of emergency’ (ICE) telephone number on their Keep Safe card, keyring, travel wallet or on their mobile phone.

PC Donna Horwood, local Hate Crime Officer, explained: “People with learning disabilities tell us Keep Safe gives them confidence to come in to town and feel safe and reassured that if they need help or need to report a crime, they can do so easily and safely. The orange sticker flags up places to make a phone call in the event of an emergency, to contact a parent, carer or support worker, the police or another emergency service if need be.”

PC Horwood helped train tea room staff and volunteers ahead of them officially joining the Keep Safe scheme last month, which coincided with the venue hosting an event for locals to raise issues with officers from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team, which happens on the first Wednesday of every month.

Keep Safe volunteer Chris Day, chairman of the Hemel campaigners, said: “I am very proud of all the Keep Safe team achieved in town last year. Working together we chose places to invite to join Keep Safe and with the Liberty Tea Room joining it makes 10 places in the town centre showing a Keep Safe orange sticker, which is great.

“We presented an evening introduction to Keep Safe for Liberty Tea Room volunteers which gave me a strong feeling of the community coming together. The town feels friendlier to me. Our plan is to invite more places to join in the New Year and a very happy and safe year to everyone from all of us at Keep Safe.”

“We are so happy to be part of the Keep Safe community safety scheme in our town,” said Kerry-Anne Cooper, CEO of Liberty Tea Rooms and Community Hub, who is also a Hertfordshire Constabulary Chaplain, providing a confidential listening ear and independent, practical advice and support to police officers and staff.

“Our ethos is that everyone is welcome and everyone is valued. Therefore, it is a privilege to be recognised and registered as a place where people can get help if needed. Be that in an emergency, or at any other time, we are here to offer help, support and encouragement to the community.”

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, who funds Keep Safe through his Action Fund, said: “It’s great to see local people come together as a team, working on community safety, and organisations in the town showing their commitment to supporting vulnerable members of the community.

“Sadly, people with learning disabilities can be more vulnerable to hate motivated crime, so it is vital we do all we can to protect them from this and other crime and make it easier for them to report it.

“It is everybody’s business to prevent and reduce crime and people with learning disabilities want to be active citizens, playing their part in managing their own community safety.”

Keep Safe coordinator for Herts People, First Jane Dellow added: “People with learning disabilities really like the Keep Safe community safety scheme and say that it is reassuring for them to know where they can get help and support if need be and how their local community, businesses and services are so welcoming of the scheme.”

  • Anyone interested in displaying a sticker, or joining the Keep Safe team as a volunteer supporter in Hemel Hempstead, can contact Jane Dellow, Keep Safe Co-ordinator at Herts People First, on 01992 413731 or your local Safer Neighbourhood Team via the non-emergency number 101.

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