Keep Safe Cymru card introduced
Tuesday 15 Aug 2017
A card designed to make vulnerable people more aware of their personal safety, to encourage reporting of a crime – especially hate crime – and to seek help if they need it has been launched by North Wales Police.
Launched at the National Eisteddfod in Bodedern, the Keep Safe Cymru card can be carried by anyone with a learning disability, dementia, mental health or communication need.
The scheme, which was originally launched in the South Wales Police area in 2016, works by helping the cardholder should they need assistance – whether they are lost, if they are a victim of crime or if they are in a situation that means they need some extra support.
The card will hold basic information about the individual such as how they communicate, if they have any health issues and any emergency contacts such as parents or carers.
When an individual registers for a Keep Safe Cymru 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.
This will ensure that the call handler is aware of any additional needs that 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 line only.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki said: “The card is an excellent opportunity and support mechanism that will enable us to engage with people with learning difficulties, dementia, mental health and a communication need.
“Everybody has the right to feel safe in their communities. This initiative will enable us to be more accessible to our diverse communities, which will build personal confidence and encourage the reporting of incidents and crime to us.
“Those carrying the card are provided with information on how to keep safe and how to access help if required through the scheme. It also allows for carers, family and friends to provide and put together information which could be vital to us in the event of a vulnerable person needing assistance.
He added: “We very much hope that the Keep Safe Cymru initiative will build trust and confidence within our communities, promote accessibility and help to improve victim satisfaction. We are very proud to be involved in such an innovative and valuable initiative.”
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Griffith said: “I am very pleased that North Wales Police have adopted the Keep Safe Card. I am confident that it will make a difference to many people who experience issues around mental capacity. A Keep Safe Cymru card will provide reassurance to relatives and carers, knowing that there is another layer of support available. The information linked to the card will be invaluable to the North Wales Police in their interaction with vulnerable people.”
Officers and staff across the region are now familiarising themselves with the scheme to prepare them for when they come across people in need who may be carrying the card.
Further work will continue over the coming weeks to adapt the scheme to assist veterans.
The scheme can be accessed in a number of ways including:
- Downloading the registration form via the North Wales OPCC website: http://www.northwales-pcc.gov.uk/en/Advice/Keep-Safe-Cymru-Card.aspx
- Ask for a form to be sent out via post by telephoning 01745 588720
- Contacting North Wales Police via the online webchat quoting ‘Keep Safe Cymru’ card.
- Pick up a leaflet from the following Police Station front counters: Wrexham, Mold, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, Bangor, Caernarfon and Holyhead.