Community Safety News & Campaigns
National Stalking awareness week 25th - 29th April 2022
We will be supporting the Suzy Lamplugh Trust campaign online across our social media and digital channels on the theme of Bridging The Gap. The theme of this year's trust conference is Bridging The Gap, highlighting the vital role that stalking advocates play in bridging the gap between the victim and the criminal justice system. We know that sometimes it can be hard to navigate police investigations and court hearings on your own as a victim, hence why the role of advocates is so integral in ensuring the victims remain empowered by keeping their voice at the forefront of the case. Aim The aim of the week is to raise awareness on the role of Independent Stalking Advocates, understanding their vital role in bridging the gap between the victim and the criminal justice system. If you would like to know more about our local advocates, then visit Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers | Women's Aid Leicestershire (wa-leicester.org.uk) or Alice Ruggles Trust - Stalking support services
New Scam about Energy Rebate
Local authority leaders are warning residents about a new scam where cold callers pretend to be helping people claim the Government’s £150 energy rebate.
The pandemic saw an increase in scams which included promises of a payment from HMRC to support individuals during the lockdown or offers of a vaccination booking for a fee.
However, councils are now warning that criminals are cold calling residents asking for bank details in order for them to receive the Government’s energy rebate.
The rebate was announced earlier this year, amid the rising cost of energy bills. Payments are being administered by local authorities for all households in council tax bands A to D.
The Local Government Association (LGA) reminded residents that councils will not ask for bank details over the phone.
All households who pay council tax by direct debit will receive the payment directly into their bank account and anyone who does not pay their council tax by direct debit will be sent a letter with details of how to claim.
If you get sent a message that you believe to be fraudulent, you can report it to your mobile phone provider or by forwarding the message to 7726, a free reporting service provided by phone operators. You should also report the scam to Action Fraud to help others avoid falling victim in the future.
Valentine’s Day may be getting close, but we’re asking people to be aware of ‘romance scams’ which can involve people being duped into sending money to criminals who go to great lengths to gain their trust and convince them that they are in a genuine relationship.
They use language to manipulate, persuade and exploit so that requests for money do not raise alarm bells. These requests might be highly emotive, such as criminals claiming they need money for emergency medical care, or to pay for transport costs to visit the victim if they are overseas.
Scammers will often build a relationship with their victims over time.
Signs a friend or family member, may be involved in a romance scam:
- They may be very secretive about their relationship or provide excuses for why their online partner has not video called or met them in person. They might become hostile or angry, and withdraw from conversation when you ask any questions about their partner
- They may express very strong emotions and commitment to someone they have only just met
- They have sent, or are planning to send, money to someone they have not met face-to-face. They may take out loans or withdraw from their pension to send money.
- How users can stay safe from romance scams:
- Be suspicious of any requests for money from someone you have never met in person, particularly if you have only recently met online.
- Speak to your family or friends to get advice.
- Profile photos may not be genuine, do your research first.
It is important that no matter how long you’ve been speaking to someone online and how much you think you trust them, if you have not met them in person, it’s important that you do not:
- Send them any money
- Allow them access to your bank account
- Transfer money on their behalf
- Take a loan out for them
- Provide copies of your personal documents such as passports or driving licenses
- Invest your own money on their behalf or on their advice
- Purchase and send the codes on gift cards from Amazon or iTunes
- Agree to receive and/or send parcels on their behalf (laptops, mobile phones etc.)
If you think you have been a victim of a romance scam, do not feel ashamed or embarrassed - you are not alone. Contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via www.actionfraud.police.uk
Dry January supports people across the country to change their relationship with alcohol through stopping drinking for one month using Alcohol Change UK's tools and resources. You can use Dry January to help your community to become healthier and happier
Download the free Try Dry app to help you meet your goals, whether you want to take on Dry January (or another dry challenge), cut down on your drinking, or go totally alcohol-free. Visit https://alcoholchange.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/dry-january/get-involved/the-dry-january-app
Safer Internet Day 8 February 2022
This year’s theme ‘All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online’.
From gaming and chat, to streaming and video, young people are shaping the interactive entertainment spaces they are a part of. Safer Internet Day 2022 celebrates young people’s role in creating a safer internet, whether that is whilst gaming and creating content, or interacting with their friends and peers.
Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, more details about Safer Internet Day can be found at https://saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/safer-internet-day-2022
Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence awareness week
Sexual abuse is a serious crime which includes several coerced sexual acts where the person does not consent or feels pressured into consenting.
This form of abuse can include rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing/innuendo, sexual photography or being subjected to pornography.
Sexual assault can be reported online in Leicestershire at https://www.leics.police.uk/ro/report/rsa/alpha-v1/rape-sexual-assault-other-sexual-offences/
Victims of sexual assault can also call Juniper Lodge the local Sexual Abuse Referral Centre (SARC)on 0116 273 3330
You can join the conversation on social media using #itsnotok and follow @itsnotok2021 https://www.itsnotokay.co.uk/
January 27 is Holocaust Day which is an opportunity to raise awareness of hate crime.
A hate crime is defined as 'Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.'
A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police.
Victims are encouraged to report their experiences to True vision and online report it centre visit https://www.leics.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/hco/hate-crime/how-to-report-hate-crime/
Other news from last month
National Anti Bullying week (8 – 12 November 2021)
Kindness is more important today than it has ever been. The isolation of the last year has underlined how little acts of consideration can break down barriers and brighten the lives of the people around us.
There is no doubt social media is a powerful tool, available at our fingertips. We are the first generation to use social media in the way we do, but it hasn't always been used for good. Trolling and online bullying is rife on various online platforms. Whether we use social media for personal or business purposes, we have come to accept trolling as part of being on these platforms.
The Anti Bullying Alliance (ABA) organise this campaign with the theme ‘One Kind Word’ being chosen for this year's Anti-Bullying Week.
More information to join in with this campaign can be found by visiting -
https://anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week or a parents/carers pack can be found at For Parents and Carers (anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk)
Alcohol Awareness Week is a chance for the UK to get thinking about drinking. It’s a week of awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more. The theme for Alcohol Awareness Week 2021 is ‘Alcohol and relationships’.
Alcohol and relationships are closely linked. Many of us associate alcohol with socialising, and alcohol can become a big part of our connections and interactions with those around us. But when our own or a loved one’s drinking starts to negatively affect our relationships, or stands in the way of us taking action on our own drinking, it can have a huge impact on our lives.
On top of this, research shows that many of us have found ourselves drinking more to deal with feelings of loneliness and isolation during the pandemic. As we leave lockdown and return to normal life there will be new pressures too – pressures to drink, 'sober shaming', and pressures we put on ourselves to get back to ‘normal’ socialising.
Sign up to do something positive or to find help and support if you are concerned about your own/a loved one's alcohol use at https://alcoholchange.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/alcohol-awareness-week-1 or call our local service providers https://www.turning-point.co.uk/services/leicestershire
Road safety and speeding, more specifically, are always key concerns when the Community Safety Partnership ask what priorities should feature in our plan.
Road Safety Awareness Week allows communities/interest groups to work together to raise awareness of any road safety concerns you may have. It could be that you are a parent/governor/student at a local school where more could be done to reduce the 30 minutes of parking and safety in your locality.
Road safety charity Brake runs this awareness week to encourages communities to get involved with this important work more details can be found at www.brake.org.uk/road-safety-week
Another initiative you could think about is running a Community Speed Watch.
Community Speed Watch is an educational scheme to help people reduce speeding traffic though their community. The scheme enables volunteers to work with police, county council, and within their community, to raise awareness of the dangers of speeding and to help control the problem locally.
Community Speed Watch incorporates poster campaigns and a pledge system, linked to direct action using speed detection equipment, all under the supervision of the County Council. The use of the radar devices will not lead to prosecution but drivers will get a letter from the police instead.
To find out more about the scheme, you can register your interest with the Community Speed Watch co-ordinator on 0116 3057233 or visit www.communityspeedwatch.org.uk/contact
Our other partnership campaign is FATAL Four. The Fire Service take the lead on this project highlighting the four biggest factors likely to cause an accident. These are excessive speed, distractions (such as mobile phones), being under the influence of drink or drugs, and failing to wear a seat belt.
Find out more about this hard-hitting campaign at https://leics-fire.gov.uk/your-safety/road-safety/the-fatal-four/
White Ribbon Day (25th November 21)
On White Ribbon Day Thursday 25 November, and the 16 days to end violence against women that follow, we are asking people in their communities, organisations and workplaces, to come together, and say ‘no’ to violence against women.
During the week we are able to get the message out that men’s violence against women and girls must end. The #AllMenCan is our leading message this year and highlights te importance that all men can make a difference. It was developed in March when the murder of Sarah Everard brought women’s experience of men’s violence to the forefront of everyone’s minds.
It also opened up so many conversations about men taking action and making a stand. As we move towards the end of the year we want as many men as possible to think carefully and make the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.
To take part and sign your pledge to the promise, visit https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/promise