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Other types of concerns

The Cheshire West and Chester Safeguarding Children Partnership (SCP) is a key statutory mechanism for agreeing how the relevant organisations in each local area will co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the borough. If you have concerns about a child’s welfare, or feel that they may be the subject of abuse or neglect, please call the Integrated Children’s Front Door in relation to Early Help and Prevention and Children’s Social Care; the Integrated Access and Referral Team (iART) on 0300 123 7047 (office hours), who will be able to provide advice, information and help, including, the provision of appropriate support where the child or young person is considered vulnerable or at risk of harm.

Telephone

  • iART: 0300 123 7047
  • Emergency Duty Team (out of office hours): 01244 977277
  • 999 / 101 (non-emergency)

For further information, please visit the Cheshire West Safeguarding Children Partnership website.

Hate crimes, or hate incidents, are when people or communities are targeted because of race (including colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins), religion or belief, disability, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Our Community Safety Partnership (CSP) in West Cheshire has identified hate crime as one of its key priorities; and has approved a new three-year strategy to address it. This has provided a framework from which partners across the borough - including the police, local authority and other agencies - can tackle its root causes, provide appropriate support for victims and ensure effective action against perpetrators.

Reporting a hate crime

Safeguarding the most vulnerable people in our society continues to be one of, if not the, most important roles fulfilled by public sector organisations. In doing so, we cannot limit our view of what constitutes a safeguarding concern. Mechanisms have long been in place which allow us to deal effectively with victims of physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic abuse and other forms of abuse or neglect, but the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 recently extended our safeguarding responsibilities to include the protection of those vulnerable to extremist propaganda and exploitation.

Prevent forms part of the government’s counter terrorism strategy CONTEST and is aimed at stopping people becoming terrorists by challenging the spread of extremist ideology, preventing vulnerable individuals from being drawn in by it and working with a wide range of sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation.

Prevent is not about catching terrorists or spying on communities. It is about identifying people who may be at risk of radicalisation and supporting them to change direction in a way that will help them. Those suspected of being engaged in illegal activity will be managed through the criminal justice system. Prevent operates in a pre-criminal space; working with communities to help them support vulnerable people, build resilience to those who seek to create divisions and put support structures in place to help those who need it. It covers all forms of potential terrorism, such as the far right, Irish republican, islamic extremism, animal rights and others.

Communities and professionals should remain alert to the risks of extremism and radicalisation, and report any suspicions to the police:

Documents

  • Prevent referral and assessment form (Word, 34KB)
  • Risk of Radicalisation Strategy (PDF, 2MB)
  • Channel awareness leaflet (PDF, 673KB)
  • Lone actors factsheet (PDF, 606KB)

The Home Office recently estimated that there are currently between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of modern slavery and/or human trafficking in the UK. These involve the movement of people through an abuse of power or vulnerability into a life of exploitation, servitude and inhumane treatment for the personal or commercial gain of others.

In March 2015, the Modern Slavery Act was introduced, consolidating existing slavery and trafficking offences and establishing a number of new measures to tackle offenders and support victims. This includes civil restriction orders, a requirement on big businesses to audit and report on their supply chains, and a new statutory defence for victims who are compelled to commit crimes. It also extends the scope of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) framework.

The NRM exists to identify potential victims, ensure that they receive appropriate and effective support and make it easier for the agencies involved - including local authorities - to co-operate and share information. Frontline staff must raise any suspicions through an NRM referral form, which can be accessed online. There are separate forms for children and adults, but referrals for adults can only be made with their signed consent

Indicators of trafficking and slavery are contained within the form and there is no minimum requirement for justifying a referral, so staff are encouraged to do so. All completed NRM forms are sent to the UK Human Trafficking Centre, which will assess and make a decision on whether an individual is a victim of human trafficking or modern slavery.

We developed a new Modern Slavery Strategy on behalf of Cheshire West, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington Councils; and Cheshire Police. This is underpinned by a multi-agency Action Plan to ensure that effective progress is made against each of our strategic priorities

Honour based violence is a violent crime or incident which may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family or community. It is often linked to family members or acquaintances who mistakenly believe that someone has brought shame to their family or community by doing something that is not in keeping with the traditional beliefs of their culture – for example, becoming involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion, or wanting to get out of a forced or arranged marriage.

A Forced Marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married without his or her consent, or against their will.

For more information or support, please visit the Karma Nirvana website.

Alternatively, to report concerns locally, please call our Domestic Abuse Family Safety Unit on 01606 351375, opt 2.

Doorstep scams involve someone coming to your door, potentially posing as an official, with the intention of scamming you out of money. While there are many legitimate tradespeople and officials, it is wise to be on your guard when you answer your door. Doorstep scammers can be pushy and persuasive and it can be easy to fall victim.

Further information and advice:

It is sometimes difficult to spot the difference between scam mail and offers from legitimate companies. If you receive something which you are unsure about, do not respond. Talk about it to someone you trust or call Age UK Advice on 0800 169 6565.

Further information and advice:

For information about gas and fire safety, including symptoms to look out for and steps that you can take to minimise the risks:

Most burglars are opportunists who will look for unlocked or weak doors and windows to get in.

For advice about how to protect your home - including when you go away:

For safety tips when you're out walking, on public transport, driving or in a taxi:

Good home security and being careful when you're out will reduce the chance of becoming a victim of crime. However, should the worst happen, there are steps you can take to get help and make yourself safe.

If you think you've been burgled when you get home, don't go inside unless you're sure the intruder has gone - and call the police.

  • Emergency phone: 999
  • Emergency text: 18000
  • Non-emergency phone: 101
  • Non-emergency text: 18001 101

If you are in an unsafe situation where you cannot speak to someone, dial 999 and once they have answered press number 5, this tells them that you're in an unsafe situation and can't talk.

The non-emergency numbers exist to report a crime when you feel safe and don't need an emergency response.

After the police have gone, make a list of missing items and contact your insurance company. If they ask you for the crime reference number, you should be able to get it from the police the following day.

If you're robbed in the street, try to take the contact details of any witnesses and note down as much detail about the thief as possible. Change your locks if any keys have been taken. Cancel any stolen bank cards - the phone number should be on your bank statement or your bank's cash point.

Victim Support provides free and confidential help to victims and witnesses of crime, whether they report the crime to the police or not.

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