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CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

Contacting Devon and Cornwall Police (emergency and non-emergency)

Will 999 calls be answered?

Answering calls to the 999 number is a priority and we are making sure that we have additional resilience through training student officers to support our call handlers.  Please continue to dial 999 in all emergency situations.

What is the best way to contact the police at this busy time for non-emergencies?

If possible we would ask that you use the following options before dialling 101 at this busy time.

•Click before you call – go online at devon-cornwall.police.uk/

•Check if you can find the answer yourself on AskNed

•Use the online crime reporting form 

Webchat live with the 101 service (link to this facility at bottom right of Devon and Cornwall Police homepage)

•Email the 101 service at 101@dc.police.uk

•Calling 101 phone line

If you do need to call 101 about a non emergency, please be aware that it may take longer than normal to answer your call.  Perhaps consider calling at a quieter time of the day, like late evening if it is not time critical.

I have intelligence about a crime – who should I contact?

Please continue to contact the police on the details listed above.  If it is an emergency call 999 or for non emergencies use the online contact options where possible.  

You can also report crime and intelligence anonymously via Crimestoppers either by calling 0800 555111 or by using their online reporting system at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Coronavirus – Support and advice for people affected by dementia

We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well. We understand this is a worrying time for everyone, especially for those affected by dementia. We want you to know that we’re here for you, and we will help you get the support you need.

If you or someone you care for are worried about Coronavirus and need support and advice, call our Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456.

If you speak Welsh, call our Welsh-speaking support line on 03300 947 400.

Alzheimer’s Society are here to support anyone affected by dementia through this difficult time. Find out about the ways we can help you with practical tips and advice, information and support below.

Please note: We cannot offer personalised medical advice. But we will direct you towards other reliable sources if necessary.

Dementia and Coronavirus

Advice for everyone  

To prevent the spread of Coronavirus, the government have advised that we must all stay at home. There are only a few exceptions to this, such as if you are a key worker or if you need to get essentials like food and medicine.

Advice for people affected by dementia

We have created advice and practical tips for people living with dementia and those supporting them – either in the same household or from a distance, to help during the Coronavirus pandemic. These include:

•Helping prevent the virus from spreading by washing your hands often with soap and water (or if this isn’t possible, a hand sanitiser). And cleaning things you handle a lot such as remote controls and taps.

•Arranging getting essentials like medicine and food, by speaking to your GP or local pharmacy, using online delivery services, or asking a friend, family member or community volunteer for help.

•Making a plan of what to do if you or the person you care for become unwell, such as leaving the number(s) to call prominently displayed.

•Staying active with gentle exercises and activities like reading, jigsaw puzzles, listening to music, knitting, watching or listening to the TV and radio.

•Keeping connected with family and friends by phone, post, email or Skype. This is a challenging time for everyone, but a phone call can make all the difference.

Where can I get support and advice?

We can answer all your questions about dementia and give you tips if you find it difficult to follow the NHS advice about Coronavirus.

•Call our Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456.

•Or, if you speak Welsh, call our Welsh-speaking Dementia Connect support line on 03300 947 400.

•Visit our website for the most up to date information and advice.

•Join our online community Talking Point where you can connect with others affected by dementia in a similar situation.

•Use our Dementia Connect online support tool to find dementia information and support that is right for you.

MORE INFORMATION ON DEMENTIA & CORONAVIRUS

Domestic Abuse/COVID-19 campaign

New domestic campaign launched as cases expected to increase

Partner agencies across Devon and Cornwall are launching a campaign to raise awareness around domestic abuse and have warned that it may increase in the coming weeks due to the impact of Covid-19. However, they want to reassure communities that victims will still have access to vital support services despite the current uncertainty.

 

The campaign will highlight the fact that whatever type of abuse takes place, be it physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or financial, the abuser is trying to control the victim and uses abuse and/or violence to achieve that control. It will also tell victims how to access help and support. 

Superintendent Sharon Donald of Devon & Cornwall Police said, “Sadly, as schools close and home working is encouraged, Covid-19 may cause a rise in domestic abuse.  The cycle of violence may intensify with people having to isolate themselves and being unable to socialise in the normal ways.  It is important that victims know how and where to get advice and support and that they know they can report by phone and online.” 

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Alison Hernandez, is responsible for delivering victim care in the area and works closely with the Victim Care Network to ensure that help is on hand to those who need it including to victims of domestic abuse. 

She said: “Unfortunately we have to prepare for a rise in incidents of crimes such as domestic abuse that might go hand in hand with a period of mass isolation. Sadly, some children are safer when they attend school regularly as it’s through them signs can be spotted that something might be wrong and picked up and reported. 

“It is crucial that victims get straight to the services they need as quickly as possible and the launch of live chat means that they will be able to do exactly that. I would urge any victim of abuse to seek help even if you don’t want to report it to the police, there is a range of support available. 

The campaign will be rolled out via digital media and will include mobile phone banner messaging. It aims both to raise awareness that domestic abuse may increase with people self-isolating, and to reassure people that help is available during these unprecedented times.  

Anna MacGregor at Safer Futures, which provides support for victims in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “Covid-19 will have a serious impact on the lives of those living with domestic abuse.  For some people, home is not always a safe place, which might mean that the prospect of physical distancing or self-isolation may be causing some adults and children to feel additionally anxious, at an already difficult time. 

“We are doing everything possible to ensure that specialist support continues to be available to everyone that needs it. Some services are restricted to delivering non-face to face support, due to current health concerns. However, the support is still here for you and your family, refuges are still running, and specialist domestic abuse workers are still working to respond to your needs and help you to stay safe.” 

Chrissy Stower of Splitz, which provides support to victims across Devon, said:  

“We see too often that at times of heightened anxiety a rise in the number of incidents of domestic and sexual violence, just as we are hearing now from reports in China.  

“The restrictions on people’s movement, financial concerns as employment sees a downturn, the temporary closure of schools to some children, the fear of this virus and the uncertainty about the future – these are all factors that increase the risk of domestic abuse within the home.  

“Right now, our message to people across the region, is that there is no excuse for domestic abuse.  There is no part for it in our society.  To victims, I say that while you may feel alone, you are not alone. There is help. There is support. There is safety to be found for you and your children.  We are here to support you.” 

Resources/help 

Live Chat is a web-based support service that will be available to victims in Devon and Cornwall 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is anonymous, confidential and free to use. To access it please visit victimsupport.org.uk or visit the Victim Care website – victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk. Victim Support will still offer telephone support on 0808 031 8178. 

In addition to the web chat facility, other channels for victim support are still available. The Victim Care Unit can be contacted on 01392 475900 from 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm at the weekend. Information on the practical and emotional support on offer is available at victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk. 

In a non-emergency, you can also report a crime 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 101 webchat or on  the online crime reporting form – both on the force website – devon-cornwall.police.uk. There’s also a useful AskNed system that provides online advice on a range of issues and by signing up to Neighbourhood Alert regular updates and information can be received from the OPCC. This can be done via devonandcornwall-pcc.gov.uk. 

Crime can also be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via its website – crimestoppers-uk.org 

The situation continues to change rapidly so for up to date advice on the Covid-19 virus please visit the Force website – devon-cornwall.police.uk and gov.uk

How can you and your business help the fire service during the coronavirus pandemic?

The situation involving coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented and many businesses will be making decisions that they have not faced before.

We are encouraging every member of the public to help reduce demand on public services. One of the ways you can help is to ensure you and your staff remain vigilant in respect of keeping your premises safe from fire.

Keep Fire Doors Closed

We are aware that many people are propping open fire doors to prevent staff from having to touch door handles. Fire doors should not be propped open. Instead of doing this you should follow Government advice.

Managing absence and fire safety responsibilities

Review your fire risk assessment and evacuation plans to reflect any changes in staffing levels.

General fire precautions

  • Ensure your escape routes are kept clear of obstructions and available for use at all times.
  • Keep up with fire alarm tests and maintenance requirements.
  • Be aware of the increase of potential combustible items stored where stock is not being moved or waste materials are not being collected.
  • Consider the increased risk from arson resulting from the accumulation/ spread of stored goods and waste.

Where staff with key fire safety responsibilities are absent, consider how those duties and functions can still be met.  This may include the roles of fire marshals, safety officers, and maintenance staff.

Certain staff may be working in new areas or undertaking roles that they are not familiar with.  You must ensure that your general fire precautions are not affected by this.

Looking after your automatic fire alarm

False alarms from automatic fire alarms account for around 450 call outs for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service each month which impacts on our ability to attend other incidents. With the current situation around coronavirus, these false alarms put staff and members of the public at risk by bringing them together to respond.

You can help by doing the following:

  • Make sure you continue weekly fire tests.
  • Keep in touch with your fire alarm engineer to ensure they are able to continue to maintain your system and provide emergency cover in the event of a fault.
  • Ensure you have a plan to suitably address and deal with any automatic false alarms, to prevent unnecessary calls to the fire service.

What should you do if you are closing your premises?

If you have made the decision to close your premises, we recommend that you take the following actions:

  • Turn off all non-essential electrical appliances.
  • Where appliances do need to be left on, such as fridge/freezer, ensure they are well ventilated, kept clear of storage and there are no signs of any electrical faults.
  • Do not switch off your fire alarm system where it is still required to protect people who live within your premises or where it forms part of a communal fire alarm system for the building. You should also consider discussing with your insurance company any actions likely to impact upon the terms of your policy.
  • Do not switch off your mains power supply to your fire alarm system if it is still required and make arrangements to continue with regular checks to ensure the system remains in working order.
  • Ensure any shared escape routes or way-leave agreements remain available to use by other occupiers where they remain open for business.
  • Consider the risk of arson by ensuring your premises is secure.
  • Leave contact details in a place visible to fire crews should they have to gain entry to your premises.

You do not need to contact us to notify us you are temporarily closing your business.

Where can you get additional advice?

For more Business Fire Safety Advice please visit our website: https://www.dsfire.gov.uk/YourSafety/SafetyAtWorkAndOtherPlaces/Index.cfm?siteCategoryId=4&T1ID=36  

Alternatively, if you would If like to speak to a fire safety officer regarding your premises, please contact our helpline on 01392 872567 during normal office hours or email firesafety@dsfire.gov.uk

*average call-outs per month is 454. This does not include false alarms with malicious intent.

Contact Information

Ellie Banner-Ball

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service

07538 677945

ebannerball@dsfire.gov.uk

Clarity Counselling meeting postponement

Clarity Counselling has postponed future meetings in Great Torrington for the foreseeable future.  Please note contact phone numbers provided by Clarity Counselling:-

The Moorings 6pm- midnight Thursday to Sunday 07850 927064 devonbarnstaple.mhm@nhs.net

Anxiety UK  www.anxietyuk.org.uk 0344 477 5774 info line

Samaritans  www.samaritans.org 116123 free call

Mind www.mind.org.uk  0300 1233393 info line