Be Prepared, Take Care and Stay Safe this Christmas

Public Health and NHS

 

 

 


Suffolk Public Health
and NHS tells us that last year winter was difficult for the health system across England, and Suffolk was no exception. For years health systems have seen increasing numbers of people who are living better for longer. This also means there are more people with several long term conditions.

There are a number of things you can do, or help someone you care for to do, to ensure that you don’t get caught out this winter:

  • Be prepared – stock up with cold remedies, pain killers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, stave off upset stomachs with anti-diarrhoea and rehydration mixtures, and keep plasters and bandages on hand for any cuts or scrapes.
  • Check your smoke alarms – with the Christmas preparations in full swing, don’t forget to ensure that your smoke alarms are in working order.
  • Get a flu vaccination – it will keep you from having a long recovery from this nasty illness, so book an appointment to get one if you haven’t already. People aged 65 or over, or have a long-term health condition or are pregnant are entitled to a free jab.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly – for the time it takes you to sing happy birthday through twice, use hot water and soap to wash away all kinds of viruses from colds and diarrhoea to so much more.
  • Seek help from your pharmacist – they are qualified health professionals who can advise on everything from a cold to long-term conditions.  This is often the best and quickest way to get well. Your pharmacist will let you know if a GP appointment is required. Pharmacies are one of the most accessible sources of advice, with many open long hours incl. evenings and weekends. Here are the Norfolk and Suffolk christmas-and-new-year-pharmacy-opening-times
  • Eat well and drink at least eight cups of fluids a day – it keeps your brain and body working well.
  • Keep your home warm – By setting your heating to the right temperature (between 18° – 21°C or 64°- 70°F) you can keep you well, especially avoiding chest infections. If you have a disability, are over 65 or live with children aged under 5 ring this local rate number for free advice on heating your home. 03456 037 686
  • Not feeling well – If you are unsure if you need urgent or emergency care, please call NHS 111 – trained professionals are on hand to guide you.
  • Beat the winter blues – talk to someone. Talk about your anxieties with someone else, a friend, relative or a group such as the Samaritans. Talking about the things that are worrying you can make a big difference. It is easy to get help from the Suffolk Wellbeing Service too. This is a free NHS service, suitable for people aged 16 + living in Suffolk. You can phone them on 0300 123 1781 or refer yourself via their website.

Do you have any Elderly and Vulnerable Neighbours?

Are you able to spend a few minutes to ensure that: On their own

  • they are not alone all the time
  • their paths are clear of snow and ice
  • they have plenty of food in
  • they are warm enough
  • they have sufficient medication to get through the holiday period
  • if they can use the internet, that they know where to look for information and support

Further information and support over the Christmas and New Year Period

Visiting friends and family this Christmas, or just venturing out, keep up to date with the latest road, rail and weather news.

 

safer-suffolk-christmas-wishes

Darker Nights – Protect your property and valuables

When the clocks go back on Sunday 30 October 2016, residents are encouraged to ‘switch on’ to some simple crime prevention tactics. This is also the time of year when there is the possibility of lots of people going out and enjoying Halloween/Firework Parties.

Lights on Timers

Dark Nights

As darkness now descends earlier in the day we want to help people ensure that they don’t advertise that their homes are open to thieves by leaving their home in darkness or leave their property and valuables unsecured.

Leaving your house in total darkness is a sure sign no-one’s at home and an invitation to burglars.  Burglars look for quick win opportunities; they don’t want to run the risk of a confrontation so simply leaving a light on to give the impression someone is at home is often enough to deter them.

Timer switches can also be fitted to operate radios and lights if you’re not back from work until after dark or if you’re 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.  A high proportion of all break-ins are as a 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 – and also to 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’.

Security 

Suffolk Police advise most burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves who will search a neighbourhood for homes that look empty or dark, with access to back gardens. They also look out for windows that have been left open and unlocked doors.

By following a few simple steps, you can reduce the chances of becoming a victim of burglary.

Anyone wishing to find out more about Crime Prevention Advice and Home Security should contact their local Crime Prevention Officer at Suffolk Police on 101.

101 is the number to call when you want to contact Suffolk Police when it’s less urgent, however in an emergency always call 999.

There are a number of other celebrations at this time of the year too.

Diwali (also known as the Festival of Lights) is one such celebration. Diwali is a Diwali Picturereligious festival including Hindu, Sikh and Jain faiths which begins on Wednesday 11 November and continues for 5 days until Sunday 15 November.  This brings an opportunity for houses and businesses to be renovated and decorated and is also a time of much celebration with feasts. Diwali is also a time when fireworks are permitted until 1am the next day

There are visits to family and friends houses and women often dress in luxurious silks and this is also when gifts of gold jewellery are often exchanged and worn. Unfortunately this is also a time when there is the potential for a significant increase in families having gold and other jewellery in their houses, and in their possession, which could lead to an increase in the offences whereby Asian gold is targeted.

ipswich-and-suffolk-indian-assoc

Ipswich and Suffolk Indian Association (ISIA) can provide more information about Diwali and other celebrations

In the past Police Forces nationally have experienced an increase of jewellery thefts during this period.  In particular, some Asian communities are often hit harder by thefts as their jewellery is often made of purer gold which has a higher value.  Hampshire Police have helpfully produced some essential messages in a range of languages, these are linked below:

Asian Gold Thefts

  • Gold Burglary LeafletEnglish 
  • Gold Burglary LeafletHindi
  • Gold Burglary Leaflet – Bengali
  • Gold Burglary Leaflet – Punjabi
  • Gold Burglary Leaflet – Urdu
  • Gold Burglary Leaflet – Nepalese

 

 

Hate Crime Awareness

What is a Hate Crime?

A hate crime is defined as – any incident which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or anyone else as being motivated by prejudice or hate.

A hate incident is defined as- any incident which may or may not constitute a criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or anyone else as being motivated by prejudice or hate.

Hate crime can take many forms such as physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, sexual abuse and financial abuse. It can range from non-verbal intimidation to physical violence. Whichever form the abuse may take, it is important that you tell someone.

How is it dealt with in Suffolk?

The Suffolk Hate Crime Service is now closed.  However, information about the future development of support to victims of hate crime in Suffolk will be published on this Blog when available. Please keep checking back with us.

In Suffolk we take any form of hate crime seriously, no matter how insignificant you may feel it is at the time. Are being physically assaulted, called names, bullied? Are you feeling intimidated? Is your property being vandalised?  It is important that you tell someone when you have experienced a Hate Incident or Hate Crime even if you do not wish to be contacted by anyone.

How do I report it?

If you, or someone you know have been a victim of a hate crime and you want to report it, contact Suffolk Police or call them on 101. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers  anonymously.

Always in an emergency call 999

Additional Information

Stop Hate UK, a national organisation, has produced a film ‘What is Hate Crime’ with British sign language, sub-titles and voice-over.

 

 

 

Staying Safe at Outside Events

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 in and around Suffolk in 2016, you may also be travelling out of County to events too.  We would like to encourage you to take a few minutes to think about your personal and property safety at these events, so in partnership with Suffolk Police, we have produced the ‘staying safe’ messages below. This information is also relevant for any/all large events.

Some of the events you may be planning on attending during August 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 by Open Water

Cooling off in rivers, canals, ponds, quarries and lakes looks fun, but it can have deadly consequences. Every year emergency services are called to incidents where people have got into difficulty when swimming in open water.

We would encourage everyone to share information about the dangers of cooling off in open water and to take heed of all water safety notices which warn of the dangers.

Generic Drowning Prevention Week Logo

Every June the Royal Life Saving Society UK have their Drowning Prevention Week. This campaign highlights that one person drowns every 20 hours in the UK and hundreds more suffer life changing injuries through near drownings.

Swimming in reservoirs is dangerous

Anglian Water has lots more advice about staying safe when visiting their water parks. These are operational sites and even the strongest swimmers can get into serious difficulties.

Dangers of cooling off in open water

Swimming in Open Water

The water may look calm on the surface, but there may still be strong undercurrents that could pull even a strong swimmer under.

The water may also feel relatively warm on the

surface, but just a few feet below can be icy cold even in the hot weather and can very quickly cause severe cramp and hypothermia.

There may be notices around warning of these conditions or whether swimming is even allowed.

Young people can often misjudge their swimming ability – they may view a river or lake as a tempting means of cooling off during a hot spell of weather, but fail to appreciate the harmful effects that the cold water can have on their stamina and strength.

Due to these dangers, we are urging people, particularly children and teenagers, not to swim anywhere other than in purpose-built and supervised swimming pools.

What to do if you see someone in difficulties

 

Around water - How to help

  • Get help: ring 999 or get someone else to do it. Alternatively if you are on your own without a mobile phone, call for help if you can see people nearby, or go and get help.
  • Think: of your own safety first. Don’t put yourself in danger by going into the water to rescue someone – you may get in difficulties in the water too.
  • Look: for any safety equipment close at hand such as lifebuoys or throwing lines.
  • Reach: a stick, scarf or clothes tied together can help you reach the person. Crouch or lie down to avoid being pulled into the water yourself.
  • Throw: a rope is best because you can then pull the person in. If you don’t have any rope, throwing something in that will float such as a football or even an empty plastic bottle will help in keeping the person afloat until help arrives.
  • Keep warm: once rescued, keep the casualty warm and ensure they get medical help as soon as possible.

Tombstoning – Why is it dangerous?

Tombstoning offers a high-risk, high-impact experience but it can have severe and life-threatening consequences.  This is because:

  • Water depths alter with the tide – the water may be shallower than it seems
  • Submerged objects like rocks may not be visible – these can cause serious impact injuries
  • The shock of cold water can make it difficult to swim
  • Getting out of the water is often more difficult than people realise
  • Strong currents can rapidly sweep people away

Tombstoning Check out ROSPA’s advice.

Key safety tips for staying safe near water

  • Alcohol and swimming do not mix – stay out of the water if you have been drinking.
  • Always watch your child while at the beach, lake or other natural bodies of water.
  • Never let older children swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds.
  • Do not swim near motor boats, jet skis or other power vehicles.
  • Never interfere with lifesaving equipment – you might need it yourself.
  • Learn to spot and keep away from dangerous water.
  • Take safety advice – heed notices which warn you of the danger.
  • Children should always visit open water sites with a grown-up.
  • Swimming anywhere other than at purpose built and supervised swimming pools is highly dangerous and is not recommended.

MROSPA Logoore advice and information about water safety including garden ponds, ice safety, bath seats and child drowning can be found on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) website.

 

Further advice is also available from the Royal Lifesaving Society

 

Above all, whatever you are doing, have fun
and Stay Safe

Staying Safe at Outside Events – March/April 2016

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 from Get Safe Online.

There are a number of great music events and festivals taking place in and around Suffolk in 2016. Some of the events in March/April include:

Audience Shot

In partnership with Suffolk Police we have produced the ‘staying safe’ messages below. The issues raised are relevant for all outside events.

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.

  • Think When You Drink: alcohol affects everyone in very different ways.
    “Think Again before you drink another drop”
  • Think Fights: alcohol can make people more aggressive
  • Know Your Alcohol Limit: and stick to it. Importantly, don’t drink and drive, even the morning after as you may still be over the limit.
  • Spiking:  never leave your drinks unattended, even soft drinks get spiked
  • Time to Stop: If you have sex without the other person’s consent you could end up going to prison for rape. Just like with alcohol, you need to know when to stop! Saying no means the same in every language

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 on a night out

We want people to enjoy themselves on a night out or at a party with their friends. However in partnership with Suffolk Police we have produced a number of ‘Staying Safe’ messages. A summary of the main points are below.

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 are likely to feel disorientated and you cannot always rely on mobile phones, so it’s a good idea to make sure your battery is fully charged before going out.

Look After Your Valuables

Unfortunately thefts do happen so:

  • Don’t leave things of value visible inside in your car, put them out of sight in the boot
  • Make sure you lock your vehicle
  • Don’t leave handbags/shopping bags unattended
  • Don’t carry your wallet or phone in your back pocket

Moderate your alcohol consumptionCheers

The best way to avoid problems from alcohol is to stay within the recommended limits. So be mindful of what and how much you are drinking. Don’t ruin your enjoyment by overdoing it.

This is not a crime Rape is

Under the influence of alcohol you are more likely to find yourself in a vulnerable situation. Plan your journey home.

Whos Taking You Home