Helping you stay safe at home as the nights draw in

Published on 25th October 2013

In the run up to Halloween and bonfire night, organisations around Cheltenham have come together to help vulnerable adults feel safe in their homes and communities.

After the success of September’s ‘Positive Socialising’ campaign, Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucestershire Police and Cheltenham Safeguarding Forum have come together again to promote ‘Positive Living’. This is the second of three campaigns to raise awareness of staying safe at home and while you’re out and about in Cheltenham.

‘Positive Living’ will focus on promoting the support services on offer to vulnerable adults and to friends, families or neighbours of people in the community who need support and care. It will also deliver crime-prevention advice on how to protect your home from burglaries.

To start the week-long campaign, the new Cheltenham ‘Personal Safety Guide’ will be launched and distributed from Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl’s mobile information unit on Cheltenham High Street on Monday 28 October, from 9am-5pm. Mr Surl will be on hand in the morning to help launch the guide and answer any questions.

The information unit will also be able to help shoppers with: housing issues, police advice, details of voluntary and community sector organisations and any questions relating to safety in Cheltenham.

Throughout the week, Gloucestershire Police will be giving out advice on how to reduce the chances of being burgled and making homes more secure.

Chief Inspector for Cheltenham, Steve Gillett says: “This campaign aims to raise awareness of how to stay safe when at home as well as when out and about in Cheltenham. We have seen an increase in burglaries over the past couple of months in the borough. We are running this campaign as just one part of our wider operation which is cracking down on burglaries - where we are letting burglars know that their crimes will not be tolerated and we know who they are.

“Burglary can have such a negative impact, not only to victims but to the wider community. We have been focusing our activities on those people who persistently commit burglary so we can reduce even further the number of victims affected by these crimes, but we also need the people of Cheltenham to help by taking sensible precautions to protect their homes, and to give us the information and intelligence we need to put the criminals before the courts.

“With evenings now getting darker sooner, we really want residents to take on board any crime prevention advice we give them.

“It is disappointing to know that amongst those that have taken place, many could have been avoided through simple crime prevention measures. We need people to work with us to help themselves when it comes to combating crime and locking out thieves.”

Gloucestershire fire and rescue service will be training ‘frontline’ workers who make house visits to help vulnerable adults identify the fire risks in their home and support them to reduce that risk as much as possible.

Councillor Peter Jeffries, cabinet member for housing, safety and communities, said: “It’s so important that people are able to feel safe in their own homes and are encouraged to play an active part in their communities.  This all contributes to thriving neighbourhoods and makes Cheltenham an attractive place to live.

“A tremendous amount of good work already goes on by many agencies and organisations in Cheltenham to help people stay safe. By pulling everyone together with a focussed effort and targeting our resources at key times throughout the year, we know we can deliver additional support with very clear benefits.”

To download ‘Personal safety – a guide to local services in Cheltenham’, visit: www.cheltenham.gov.uk/personalsafetyguide

The next campaign, ‘Positive Relationships’, will take place in early 2014.