About commsafety13

Partnerships Officer in Community Safety at Suffolk County Council

E-Safety – Staying Safe On-line

E-safety is a term which means not only the internet but other ways in which young people communicate using electronic media, e.g. mobile phones.  How can people protect themselves, their parents, and their children from deliberate hurt, humiliation, harassment, intimidation or threatening someone else, whilst using the internet or a mobile phone?

Social Media is such an easy way to stay in touch, contact friends and share photos, but increasingly ‘security’ has become more and more of an issue.

Top 5 E-Safety Tips

  1. Install Firewall/Security Software and Backup your data
  2. Activate Parental Controls
  3. Talk to, and understand, how your children are communicating with ‘Friends’
  4. Set up Strong Passwords for each App, something that you don’t use anywhere else
  5. Avoid Oversharing, you don’t know who’s looking at your Social Media

Firewall/Security Software/Internet Safety

Firewalls ImageInstall a firewall. It acts as a  barrier between the internet and your own computer. Get Safe On-line says it’s like having your own dedicated security guard who stops anyone coming into your computer if they’re not on the guest list.

The internet enables you to carry out everyday tasks online.  Read the news, enjoy entertainment, book our holidays, shop, contact friends and do your banking.  However there are a number of risks associated with going online to be aware of.

Regularly back up your data. The information held on your computer may be irreplaceable.

Use Parental Controls

Do you know how to set up filters on your home internet to help prevent age inappropriate content being accessed on devices in your home? NO!

The 4 big internet providers in the UK – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media – provide their customers with free parental controls which can be activated at any time. They have come together with UK Safer Internet Centre to produce these helpful video guides to help you to download and set-up the controls offered by your provider.
Parental Controls

Parental Control Tips

Planning to talk to your child about sex, relationships and their lives online can be tricky. You can find lots of advice about these complex areas from the National Crime Agency ‘Talking to children about online safety’.

ThinkUKnow about Staying Safe on Line


Social Media

There are things you can do to help keep your Facebook account secure, including creating a strong password that you don’t use on other websites.

Keeping your Facebook Account Secure

There are also things you can do to help keep your Twitter account secure,

Twitter Account Security Tips

 

Consider who is going to see your postingHow to avoid Oversharing on Social Media

There are several ways to avoid oversharing on social media.  Be mindful of your security when using social media, and avoid using check-in and automatic location functions. Consider who is going to see your postings!

 

Helping Children and Young People to Stay Safe Online

Children and young people are worried about cyberbullying and internet safety.  Here are some top tips from Safety Net Kids on how to deal with cyberbullying, how to stay safe online and how to stay safe using mobile phones.

Safety Net Kids Logo

Sexting warnings
A recent article in the East Anglian Daily Daily Times quoted Suffolk Police saying that “Suffolk’s children face a “sexting pandemic” – with explicit images being used to exploit, blackmail and sham victims.

 

Suffolk County Council’s 2016 cybersurvey was aimed at making it easier for more young people and vulnerable adults to share how they use the internet and social media, and the experiences they have had – whether positive or negative.

There is also a quick guide for parents on “how to help you keep your child safe online” available from Suffolk County Council. This quick guide highlights those that might create risky situations for children. The pages are constantly updated! 

Lots more useful E-Safety information can be found on these websites:

Safer Internet
Get Safe On-line
Internet Matters
NSPCC On-line Safety
Childline Staying Safe On-line
Safety Net Kids
BBC Webwise
Think U Know
Age UK Internet Security

You can continue to follow our E-safety information on our Social Media on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #SuffolkEsafety.

 

Clocks Going Back

This year the clocks go back on Sunday 29 October 2017 at 2.00 am. We would like to encourage everyone to think about some simple ways of deterring crime.

As darkness will descend earlier in the day, and with lots of people going about their business, we want to help ensure that people don’t advertise that their homes are empty and open to thieves.  Most burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves who will look for properties that appear empty, in the dark and with access to back gardens. They are also looking for properties where windows have been left open and doors unlocked.

Lights on Timers

FakeTVTimer switches can be used to operate radios and lights.  You don’t want to advertise that you are not back from work or that you have gone away for a few days.  Leaving a light on costs literally pence in electricity – and that pales into insignificance compared to the hundreds of pounds in insurance excess you might have to pay should your home be broken into. You can now even purchase a TV Simulator to deter burglars and thieves.

Security

A high proportion of all break-ins are also the result of properties being left insecure, so checking all windows and doors are locked before leaving the house is crucial.  Other home security essentials are to use your burglar alarm if you have one – it’s amazing how many households don’t bother.  Never leave a spare key under the doormat or a flowerpot. Burglars will always look there first so it’s not much of a ‘hiding place’.”

Close It, Lock It, Check It

Lockit_Checkit
Many burglaries are crimes of opportunity but Suffolk Police advise that there are a number of steps you can take to improve security and put off burglars.

  • Ensure doors and windows are locked – even if you are popping out for a minute.
  • Fit deadlocks to outside doors and key operated locks to windows.
  • Don’t hide spare keys outside.
  • Keep gates and sheds well secured and ensure garden tools and ladders are locked away.
  • Homes in darkness can be a target for thieves – leave a light on or better still put your lights on a timer and leave a radio on if you go out during the hours of darkness.
  • Do not keep large amounts of money in your home.
  • Security mark your valuables with your postcode and register your property for free at www.immobilise.com and improve your chances of getting it back if it’s lost or stolen.

Anyone wishing to find out more about crime prevention advice and home security can contact their local Crime Prevention Officer at Suffolk Police on 101.

 

In an emergency always call 999

County Lines and Youth Gang Violence

In February 2017 Suffolk County Council commissioned a Rapid Assessment Exercise (RAE) to examine presenting issues of violence, safeguarding and anti-social behaviour in Ipswich (Phase 1). A RAE is a tool for identifying, generating and summarising available research evidence, on strategic issues as comprehensively as possible within tight time and budgetary constraints. The RAE aimed to identify the nature of the problems associated with the reports of crime, anti-social behaviour (ASB) and exploitation; describe and assess existing interventions and service provision and, where relevant, highlight gaps and anomalies. The RAE therefore aims to present a basis for an evidence-based strategy for a co-ordinated response to the crime and ASB issues manifesting in Ipswich. It is suited to the development of policy and practice in fast changing situations.

County Lines
In its County Lines, Gangs and Safeguarding report (2016) the NCA describes the way street gangs, exploiting vulnerable younger adolescents in both the major cities and the destination locations, distribute narcotics across wide swathes of the country. It appears that the proliferation of drug markets in England and Wales has been a major factor in the emergence of street gangs and gang culture outside the major UK cities (Pitts, 2008, Andell & Pitts, 2010). Early findings suggest the operation of County Lines in Ipswich which are precipitating numerous concerns particularly regarding young people.

To download the report as a PDF please click here

Staying Safe at Outside Events – August 2017

Watching your favourite singer or band from the comfort of your armchair is great, but there’s nothing like being there live on the day. Tickets to big entertainment and sporting events sell out very quickly, which is very disappointing when you’ve really been looking forward to the big day.

This can make it very tempting to buy them from sources other than official websites. If your ticket is found not to be genuine you will be refused entry.  Here is some advice about purchasing tickets from Get Safe Online.

There are a number of great music events and festivals taking place across the Country in 2017, many of which are happening in Suffolk.   If you are attending, we would like to encourage you to take a few minutes to think about your personal and property safety. In partnership with Suffolk Police, we have produced the ‘staying safe’ messages below. This information is also relevant for any/all large events and gatherings.

Some of the events you may be planning on attending during June may include:

Audience Shot

Consider your own personal safety

Arrange a meeting point and agree a time in case you get separated from your friends. Drink too much and you’re likely to feel disorientated.  You can’t always rely on mobile phones, so it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t run your battery down completely. Some larger festivals may have recharging points.

  • Stick with friends and if you are camping, don’t go back to your tent alone
  • Enjoy the Festival/Event, but look after yourself and your friends
  • Keep hydrated and wear suitable clothing, taking into consideration the weather forecast.

Moderate your alcohol consumption

The best way to avoid problems from alcohol is to stay within the recommended limits. So keep a count of what you are drinking. Recognise when you’re drinking too quickly. Sometimes you might just be thirsty rather than really wanting an alcoholic drink. Don’t ruin your enjoyment of the festival by overdoing it and if the festival goes on for more than one day, give your body a break from the booze on at least one of the days and avoid morning drinking altogether.

Under the influence of alcohol you are more likely to find yourself in a vulnerable situation

Look After Your Valuables

Concerts and Festivals are not hotbeds of crime, but thefts do happen. They are more likely to occur if you have had lots of alcohol and you may not be aware of what’s going on around you.

Camping 1

If you are planning on camping at any of these or future events, check out ROSPA’s safety advice.

Try not to bring valuables like mp3 players or jewellery with you.

  • Don’t carry your wallet or phone in your back pocket
  • Do not leave valuables in your tent
  • If you do leave things of value in your car put them out of sight in the boot and make sure you lock your vehicle

Report any suspicious persons to a member of security at the event or to the Camp site Assistance Team. There are usually a number of Festival and Town Pastors also in attendance at many of the larger events.  These are people who will help anyone who needs assistance.

Please take some time to consider your personal safety and remain vigilant so you don’t become a victim of theft or any other crime.

Most Importantly
Have a wonderful time and Stay Safe

Staying Safe at Outside Events – July 2017

Watching your favourite singer or band from the comfort of your armchair is great, but there’s nothing like being there live on the day. Tickets to big entertainment and sporting events sell out very quickly, which is very disappointing when you’ve really been looking forward to the big day.

This can make it very tempting to buy them from sources other than official websites. If your ticket is found not to be genuine you will be refused entry.  Here is some advice about purchasing tickets from Get Safe Online.

There are a number of great music events and festivals taking place across the Country in 2017, many of which are happening in Suffolk.   If you are attending, we would like to encourage you to take a few minutes to think about your personal and property safety. In partnership with Suffolk Police, we have produced the ‘staying safe’ messages below. This information is also relevant for any/all large events and gatherings.

Some of the events you may be planning on attending during June may include:

Audience Shot

Consider your own personal safety

Arrange a meeting point and agree a time in case you get separated from your friends. Drink too much and you’re likely to feel disorientated.  You can’t always rely on mobile phones, so it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t run your battery down completely. Some larger festivals may have recharging points.

  • Stick with friends and if you are camping, don’t go back to your tent alone
  • Enjoy the Festival/Event, but look after yourself and your friends
  • Keep hydrated and wear suitable clothing, taking into consideration the weather forecast.

Moderate your alcohol consumption

The best way to avoid problems from alcohol is to stay within the recommended limits. So keep a count of what you are drinking. Recognise when you’re drinking too quickly. Sometimes you might just be thirsty rather than really wanting an alcoholic drink. Don’t ruin your enjoyment of the festival by overdoing it and if the festival goes on for more than one day, give your body a break from the booze on at least one of the days and avoid morning drinking altogether.

Under the influence of alcohol you are more likely to find yourself in a vulnerable situation

Look After Your Valuables

Concerts and Festivals are not hotbeds of crime, but thefts do happen. They are more likely to occur if you have had lots of alcohol and you may not be aware of what’s going on around you.

Camping 1

If you are planning on camping at any of these or future events, check out ROSPA’s safety advice.

Try not to bring valuables like mp3 players or jewellery with you.

  • Don’t carry your wallet or phone in your back pocket
  • Do not leave valuables in your tent
  • If you do leave things of value in your car put them out of sight in the boot and make sure you lock your vehicle

Report any suspicious persons to a member of security at the event or to the Camp site Assistance Team. There are usually a number of Festival and Town Pastors also in attendance at many of the larger events.  These are people who will help anyone who needs assistance.

Please take some time to consider your personal safety and remain vigilant so you don’t become a victim of theft or any other crime.

Most Importantly
Have a wonderful time and Stay Safe

Staying Safe at Outside Events – June

Watching your favourite singer or band from the comfort of your armchair is great, but there’s nothing like being there live on the day. Tickets to big entertainment and sporting events sell out very quickly, which is very disappointing when you’ve really been looking forward to the big day.

This can make it very tempting to buy them from sources other than official websites. If your ticket is found not to be genuine you will be refused entry.  Here is some advice about purchasing tickets from Get Safe Online.

There are a number of great music events and festivals taking place across the Country in 2017, many of which are happening in Suffolk.   If you are attending, we would like to encourage you to take a few minutes to think about your personal and property safety. In partnership with Suffolk Police, we have produced the ‘staying safe’ messages below. This information is also relevant for any/all large events and gatherings.

Some of the events you may be planning on attending during June may include:

Audience Shot

Consider your own personal safety

Arrange a meeting point and agree a time in case you get separated from your friends. Drink too much and you’re likely to feel disorientated.  You can’t always rely on mobile phones, so it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t run your battery down completely. Some larger festivals may have recharging points.

  • Stick with friends and if you are camping, don’t go back to your tent alone
  • Enjoy the Festival/Event, but look after yourself and your friends
  • Keep hydrated and wear suitable clothing, taking into consideration the weather forecast.

Moderate your alcohol consumption

The best way to avoid problems from alcohol is to stay within the recommended limits. So keep a count of what you are drinking. Recognise when you’re drinking too quickly. Sometimes you might just be thirsty rather than really wanting an alcoholic drink. Don’t ruin your enjoyment of the festival by overdoing it and if the festival goes on for more than one day, give your body a break from the booze on at least one of the days and avoid morning drinking altogether.

Under the influence of alcohol you are more likely to find yourself in a vulnerable situation

Look After Your Valuables

Concerts and Festivals are not hotbeds of crime, but thefts do happen. They are more likely to occur if you have had lots of alcohol and you may not be aware of what’s going on around you.

Camping 1

If you are planning on camping at any of these or future events, check out ROSPA’s safety advice.

Try not to bring valuables like mp3 players or jewellery with you.

  • Don’t carry your wallet or phone in your back pocket
  • Do not leave valuables in your tent
  • If you do leave things of value in your car put them out of sight in the boot and make sure you lock your vehicle

Report any suspicious persons to a member of security at the event or to the Camp site Assistance Team. There are usually a number of Festival and Town Pastors also in attendance at many of the larger events.  These are people who will help anyone who needs assistance.

Please take some time to consider your personal safety and remain vigilant so you don’t become a victim of theft or any other crime.

Most Importantly
Have a wonderful time and Stay Safe

Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week (24-30 April 2017)

suffolk-fire-logo

Suffolk Fire and Rescue joined the call by UK fire chiefs to raise awareness of the dangers of everyday activities near water after statistics show that nearly 50% of people who accidentally drown in the UK never intended to enter the water.

The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Water Safety and Drowning Prevention campaign – Be Water Aware runs from 24 – 30 April and is being supported by fire and rescue services throughout the UK.

Latest statistics show that in 2015, 321 people died after tripping, falling or simply underestimating the risks associated with being near water.

CFOA’s Water Safety Lead, Dawn Whittaker, said ” Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happen to be near water such as runners, walkers and fishermen. They are unaware of the risks and they are totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them we hope to reduce the number of these needless deaths.”

The fire service has successfully reduced the number of fire deaths by focusing on prevention work and now we must apply the same principle to tackling drowning. This is outlined in the UK’s first Drowning Prevention Strategy, which was launched on 29 February 2016 by Robert Goodwill MP.

The water safety messages that fire and rescue services will be delivering will also raise awareness and support of the safety campaigns run by other members of the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF), which includes Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS),  Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Amateur Swimming Association (ASA).

Suffolk Fire and Rescue supports Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week by raising awareness and by working as part of the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF), the NFCC aims to reduce the number of drownings in UK waters by 50% by 2026.

Phil Geeson Tattingstone Bridge
Family of Alton Water ‘tombstoning’ victim Matthew Dunnett back water safety campaign. Matthew’s Sister, Zena Williams and Phil Geeson from Suffolk Fire and Rescue spearheaded the water safety campaign in Suffolk to help prevent other tragedies.

Listen to Zena’s interview on Radio Suffolk here at 7:10 minutes in and see our film on our Facebook page, made with Anglian Water and Zena, about her brother Matthew, who sadly died swimming in Alton Water.

Paul Goodman

Also watch a report by ITV News Anglia’s Chloe Keedy who talks to Zena and to Paul Goodman, Suffolk Fire and Rescue, about the new Water Safety Campaign.

Look out for @SuffolkFire  on Twitter and on Facebook 

Response is not enough – we must prevent drownings.  Fire and rescue services will be giving advice to people on what they should look out for and how to change their behaviour to minimise their risk of becoming one of these statistics.

Here are some helpful tips:

NFCC_dog walking safely advice

NFCC_walking safety advice

NFCC_running safely advice

Advice on what to do if someone falls into deep water

The first thing to do is call for help – straightaway Call 999, if you are near the coast ask for the coastguard, if you are inland ask for fire service and ambulance.

The emergency services will need to know where you are. Accurate information can save precious minutes. If you have a smart phone and have location services or map tool enabled, this can help. If not look around for any landmarks or signs – for example bridges will often have numbers on them which can identify their location.

Don’t hang up – stay on the line but try and continue to help the person if appropriate. When you have made this call shout for help from anyone who might be close by.

Human nature says you are likely to want to attempt to help while rescue services are on their way.  Never ever enter the water to try and save someone. This usually ends up adding to the problem. If you go into the water you are likely to suffer from cold water shock which will leave you unable to help even if you are a strong swimmer.

Can the person help themselves? Shout to them ‘Swim to me’. The water can be disorientating. This can give them a focus. Keep any instructions short clear and loud. Don’t shout instructions using different words each time.

Look around for any lifesaving equipment. Depending on where you are there might be lifebelts or throw bags – use them. If they are attached to a rope make sure you have secured or are holding the end of the rope so you can pull them in.

If there is no lifesaving equipment look at what else you can use. There may be something that can help them stay afloat – even an item such as a ball can help. You could attempt to reach out to them. Clothes such as scarves can be used to try and reach or a long stick. If you do this lie on the ground so your entire body is safely on the edge and reach out with your arm. Don’t stand up or lean over the water– you may get pulled in Be mindful that if the water is cold the person may struggle to grasp an object or hold on when being pulled in.

If you manage to get the person out of the water they will always need medical attention.

Even if they seem fine drowning can occur at a later stage if water has already entered the lungs. It can cause death up to 48 hours after the near drowning incident.

If the person is unconscious you will need to check they are breathing. If they are not breathing they need 5 rescue breathes and then CPR (30 Chest compressions followed by 2 rescue breathes). Continue until help arrives.

If the person is unconscious but breathing put them in the recovery position with their head lower than their body. If they are conscious try and keep them warm. If you can remove wet clothes and give them something dry to put on as they are at risk of hypothermia.

Above all, stay safe around water #BeWaterAware