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A scheme that aims to support people with learning disabilities to keep themselves safe and get help in the event of an emergency when out and about has been re-launched in Watford.
Keep Safe is a community safety scheme run in partnership with learning disabilities charity Herts People First. As part of the initiative, retailers, businesses and public services and community services are invited to join and to provide people with learning disabilities a place to make a phone call in the event of an emergency and to contact a parent, carer or support worker, the police or another emergency service.
Premises signed up to the scheme ensure they are easily identifiable to people with learning disabilities by displaying an orange 'Keep Safe' sticker in their windows.
People with learning disabilities carry an 'in case of emergency' telephone number on their Keep Safe card, key ring or in an easy to find place on their mobile phone.
Thirty staff from the intu centre received training about the scheme, meaning that anyone who is part of the scheme and needs help can get it from the team at intu. The following day 40 people from the library also attended training, with both sessions attended by local people with leaning difficulties.
Chief Inspector for Watford, Dave Wheatley said: "The Keep Safe Scheme in Watford was first launched in the town many years ago and, as part of the Constabulary's recent drive to increase schemes across the county, we felt it was a good time to refresh the training and raise awareness amongst the town centre shops and community in Watford.
This is such an important scheme and means that there are lots of places people with learning disabilities can go if they need to get support and help, whether it be to ask for a police officer if they have been a victim of, or witnessed a crime, or assistance from another emergency service."
Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill said:
"As Mayor of Watford, I believe it is important for everyone that they enjoy the town and feel it is a safe place to visit. We are working to make it even better, even safer and all the people here today are working to achieve this. Keep Safe is a really positive scheme, thank you to everyone involved."
Retailers, businesses and public services interested in helping to introduce Keep Safe premises in their local areas should visit the Keep Safe pages on the Hertfordshire Constabulary website at www.herts.police.uk/keepsafe. Alternatively call your local Safer Neighbourhood Team via the police non-emergency number 101.
For further information about disability hate crime and how to report it, please visit the hate crime pages on the Constabulary website www.herts.police.uk.