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.

 

 

 

Female Genital Mutilation Awareness

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a form of child abuse which has devastating physical and psychological consequences for girls and women and it’s illegal in the UK.  It’s also illegal to take a British national or permanent resident abroad for FGM or to help someone trying to do this.

A new mandatory reporting duty for FGM was introduced via the Serious Crime Act 2015, following a public consultation and came into force on 31 October 2015. The duty requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report known cases of FGM in under 18-year-olds to the police.

What is FGM?

The World Health Organisation describes it as: “procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” (WHO, 2013).

Since 1985 it has been a serious criminal offence, under the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act, to perform FGM or to assist a girl to perform FGM on herself. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 tightened this law to criminalise FGM being carried out on UK citizens overseas.

Anyone found guilty of the offence faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

How can I find out more information?

The Government website, has lots more information about FGM including:

The NHS also has information concerning the effects of female genital mutilation. There are no health benefits to FGM. Removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue interferes with the natural functions of girls’ and women’s bodies.

Female genital mutilation is an extremely serious crime. Suffolk Police has lots of helpful information and advice about FGM and Forced Marriage and about how to report your concerns.

Free Support and Advice

You can contact Suffolk Social Services on 0344 800 8020 for welfare/safety concerns relating to a child, young person or vulnerable adult

Barnardos FGMThe NSPCC launched their own Free 24-hour advice and support helpline 0800 028 3550 to help protect UK children from FGM. They also ran a campaign on Twitter @NSPCC which called on mothers and carers to end FGM.  You can search for information on Twitter using the hashtag #endFGM.

The Barnardos National FGM Centre has a Knowledge Hub which is a free online interactive website for professionals which allows access information on FGM. Select the profession you are in, and search for specific information you are looking for.

General Advice and Information

Healthy Suffolk also has an online FGM Information Hub which has lots more information and useful contact details.

If you have additional concerns that someone you know could be at risk of a Forced Marriage, we have additional information about this.

If you have any immediate worries or concerns about a child at risk in Suffolk call the Police 101 number or contact Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board

In an Emergency always dial 999

 

 

 

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 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

Festive Season Celebrations

Stay Safe

 

 

 

 

We want people to enjoy themselves this Festive Season, however in partnership with Suffolk Police and other Partners we have produced a number of ‘Staying Safe This Christmas‘ 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 and 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.

  • 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
  • Don’t carry your wallet or phone in your back pocket

Moderate your alcohol consumption

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 of the festive season by overdoing it.

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

Whos Taking You Home