‘Keep Safe’ initiative goes national

Date: 19th January 2016
Category: Non-discrimination, Disabled children

Keep Safe works in partnership with Police Scotland and a network of local businesses to create 'Keep Safe' places for disabled, vulnerable, and elderly people when out and about in the community. In Mid-December, it was decided that this initiative would be rolled out across Scotland in 2016.

People can access these safe place premises to seek assistance and help if they feel lost, confused, scared, in danger, or have been the victim of a crime. The Keep Safe initiative is currently running in Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Dumfries & Galloway, and the Scottish Borders, and is being rolled out across Scotland in partnership with other Local Authorities and Police Scotland. An explanation video of Keep Safe can be found here.

On the 17th December 2015, the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC pledged support to the Keep Safe initiative by making all Procurator Fiscal offices in Scotland Keep Safe places. The launch was held in the Hamilton office, where the Lord Advocate stated: 'I am proud that COPFS is part of this important and much needed initiative and look forward to seeing it rolled out across Scotland in 2016'.

I Am Me campaign

The Keep Safe initiative is run alongside 'I Am Me', which works with communities to raise awareness of what disability hate crime is and how incidents can affect individuals and the wider community. The project has worked with partners to produce a hard hitting film based on a young adult with autism and a learning disability, and the issues he faces within society.

The project aims to raise awareness with local young people and disability groups through the power of drama production and have worked with Pace Theatre to design a hard hitting drama aimed at challenging attitudes and behaviours towards disabled people. Since the launch in September 2013, the live performance was delivered to over 10,000 people, including High schools, disability groups, staff groups, the police training college and the Scottish Parliament. A softer version, designed for primary school children was delivered to around 8000 children in Renfrewshire.

A teaching pack to accompany the film is available here and the film is available to view here.