The Learning Disability Partnership Board (LDPB), Mencap, Northamptonshire County Council and Northants Police have jointly developed a Keep Safe card Scheme for anyone in Northamptonshire with a Learning Disability. The scheme is designed to make people more aware of their personal safety, to encourage reporting of crime especially hate crime, and to seek help if they need it. It will also help those providing assistance, such as librarians and the Police, to access support for the user of the card and understand how to make them feel safer.
If the card holder needs assistance, whether they are lost, a victim of crime or any situation that means they need some extra support, they can use the card to access this help. The card will hold basic information about the individual such as how they communicate, any health issues and any emergency contacts such as parents or carers.
This scheme has also identified local libraries and police stations as Keep Safe places. They all have the Keep Safe logo displayed in their window and if a card holder presents it to someone working at a Keep Safe place, assistance can be accessed quickly and easily.
When an individual registers for a keep safe card, they will also be given access to the Police Disability Line. This is a dedicated non-emergency telephone number for people with a disability to use to contact the police. When calling this number, the Call handler will be aware before they speak to the caller that they have a disability and will be able to access the information provided on their registration form. This will ensure that the call handler is aware of any additional needs the caller may have and can pass it onto any policing resource managing their report. This is not an alternative to the emergency 999 service; it is to be used instead of the non-emergency telephone number only.
To access this scheme, a registration form accompanied by easy read guide on how to complete it can be requested from the FCC Customer Relations Dept. Their contact details are:
FCC Customer Relations Deptartment
Tel: 101 ext 8326 (office hours only)
Upon the receipt of a completed form, a Keep Safe Card, information pack and instructional DVD will be sent to the new card holder and they may begin using it straight away.
The information provided on the registration form is for police use only and will not be shared with any third parties (including those involved in this project).
Please find below links to some additional materials that support the introduction of this scheme. Two short instructional films have been produced, one specifically for card users and another for professionals who may be approached by a card holder. A training Power Point presentation with additional guidance on how professionals can support people with a Learning Disability is also available. In addition to this, Mencap have provided key points to remember when communicating with someone who has a Learning Disability. There is also a film demonstrating some common Makaton signs - the communication method used by a number of people with a Learning Disability.
This scheme has been developed to ensure that someone with a Learning Disability feels safe and confident outside of their home. It is important that they can access help when it's needed including reporting an incident to the Police. Additional guidance will be provided to Northamptonshire Police frontline Officers and staff to ensure they can appropriately support them. This is especially important for victims of a Disability Hate Crime or Incident. True Vision complements this service by offering an online reporting site for hate crime. Click here to access easy read forms to help people with learning disabilities report a hate crime.