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Safer Communities Newsletter No7 May 2010

A newsletter on community safety issues

A new campaign to tackle alcohol fuelled street violence will run from June to the end of July throughout the Scottish Borders. This period coincides with many of the Border’s town celebrations which have a history of excessive drinking, that on occasion spill over into incidents of street violence. Coincidentally the campaign will run throughout the period of the World Cup which can also be associated with periods of excessive drinking and violence.

‘Don’t be the Face of Violence’ is aimed at highlighting the issues that often arise following heavy bouts of drinking. The violence however is not confined to the streets, more often or not it can result in domestic violence towards partners and children.

The key elements of this campaign is about
· encouraging responsible drinking,
· encouraging responsible sales of alcohol
· encouraging community based events to place controls on how and where alcohol is provided.

The campaign also encourages those who are concerned about their alcohol use. To seek advice on local support services log onto the Borders Alcohol & Drugs Partnership website or 01896 825566.
For more information contact: safer communities team at 01835 825058

Mephedrone and related cathinones became illegal as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, on 16th April 2010. Class B drugs carry a maximum prison sentence of five years for possession and/or unlimited fine and a maximum prison sentence of 14 years and/or unlimited fine for supplying and other trafficking offences.
What is Mephedrone? Mephedrone is a stimulant drug similar to ecstasy or amphetamine (speed). It is not fully understood what other drugs may have been added to this drug as cutting agents, therefore their effects are not fully understood. In effect, any user of this drug is being used as a guinea pig by the dealers.

Risks and Effects The dangers and risks are now becoming clear. It is early days and the current evidence is therefore limited, but self reports from users and clinical observations by doctors do suggest that Mephedrone can:
· produce feelings of euphoria and arousal
· make you feel more alert
· make you more talkative
· create feelings of empathy
· reduce inhibitions
· make you feel anxious or paranoid
· over stimulate your heart making it beat faster
· over stimulate your nervous system which can cause fits
· restrict your circulation which can cause cold / blue hands and feet
· damage the nose through snorting and bring on severe nose bleeds
· bring on a low mood and comedown after a binge
· cause death
These risks are likely to be increased if you combine Mephedrone with alcohol or other drugs.

If you would like to find out more about Mephedrone log onto WWW.KNOWTHESCORE.INFO

Getting help If you are concerned about your own drug use or someone else who you think might be taking drugs, you can phone the free confidential drugs information helpline ‘know the score’ on 0800 587 5879. Trained advisers will be there to talk to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For information on local support services log onto the Borders Alcohol & Drugs Partnership website or 01896 825566.

FEARLESS is a new website which is part of Crimestoppers and is aimed at engaging with young people aged 11 -18 in crime prevention. The website allows young people to give information about crime online, anonymously as an alternative to going to the Police. Young people don’t have to give their name, where they live or any personal details. Calls aren't recorded or traced. Online forms can’t be tracked It’s totally safe because it’s 100% anonymous. Crimestoppers, has never revealed anyone’s ID in over 20 years.
Go to

Police in Tweeddale are rolling out the Nominated Neighbour Scheme, which assists in tackling bogus caller crime. Under the scheme, residents are encouraged to seek the help of a neighbour, friend, carer or relative in checking that unexpected callers to their door are genuine. When an unexpected caller appears at the door, the occupant is encouraged not to enter into conversation with them or open the door, but just to show the card, which directs the caller to go to the house of the nearby ‘Nominated Neighbour’ who is better able to verify the caller’s validity.

Community Beat Officer for Tweeddale, PC Vanessa Hamilton said “This initiative provides elderly and vulnerable residents in our communities with peace of mind when dealing with callers, and will hopefully prevent people becoming victims of this rare but despicable crime”.

Further information on the Nominated Neighbour Scheme can be obtained from PC Hamilton at Peebles Police Station on 01721 720 637 or by e-mail at

Crimestoppers is a charity, helping to find criminals and solve crime. Crimestoppers is totally independent it is NOT the Police.
You can call the phone number 0800 555 111. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The phone number provides and invaluable community service, so that anybody who has information about criminal activity can pass it on without living in fear of the consequences. Every call is treated with absolute anonymity so that nobody will know the identity of the caller, except you, the caller. Rewards are also available and are paid without compromising a caller’s identity.
Alternatively you can send information via the Crimestoppers website
Callers don’t have to give their name or any personal information and calls cannot be traced. Information is passed onto the police in such a way that they do not know who you are;
Crimestoppers is a simple and secure way of bringing criminals to justice, without them knowing where the information came from. CRIMESTOPPERS NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT.

Children in Scotland are running three seminars on the topic of ‘Too safe to play: a practical guide to managing risk in play provision’. (20/5/2010 Venue: Melrose) You’ll get further information on these events aimed at all those involved in planning and delivering play and related activities at
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service continues to stress the importance of being safe whilst under the influence of alcohol. A common trend over recent years has resulted in the majority of fire deaths in the Lothians and Borders being alcohol-related. Don’t fuel fire with alcohol:

If you have been drinking, leave the cooker off! – Nearly two-thirds of domestic fires are the result of cooking. The risk increases dramatically if you’ve been drinking.
Make sure your cigarette is out, right out! – It’s all too easy to fall asleep or not notice a cigarette is still burning.

Does your drinking add up?
The only way to know how much you’re drinking is to know how many units of alcohol are in your drink.

For more information on making your home safer - Get your free smoke alarm and Home Safety Visit.
Call Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service free on 0800 169 0320
For advice on responsible drinking and units of alcohol go to the Borders Alcohol and Drug Partnership website

Serious accidents can cause injuries to children that take months or years to heal. Yet many of these accidents can be prevented by taking just a moment, to move a hot drink, check a smoke alarm, lock the medicine cabinet, switch off the dryer or take your foot off the accelerator.
That’s why the theme for 2010 is ‘make time for safety’.
For parents and careers our key messages are:
· A little time makes a BIG difference. The small things you do that take just a moment, like putting your painkillers out of reach after you use them, can mean your child stays safe from accidental harm
· by taking a little time every day, safety habits become so automatic that busy parents can spend less time thinking about them
· Pledge some time to protect your child from serious accidents
By making time for safety yourself during Child Safety Week and encouraging the parents and families you work with to make time for safety, you can help prevent serious accidents to children. For more information on child safety week go to

Residents are reminded to ensure that garden sheds and garages are securely locked. Remember to put all equipment away after use. Don’t make it easy for thieves.
Typically thieves target bicycles, barbeque equipment, garden furniture, garden tools and power tools. In some cases the victims of this type of crime do not have adequate insurance. It is certainly a good move to check with your insurance policy covers items in your garden.
For information on crime prevention and home security contact
Crime Prevention Officers
PC’s Clarke Tait and Ross Hall
Tel 07775406868 or 01835 825058
email: or

Victim Support Scotland is the lead voluntary organisation in Scotland helping people affected by crime. It provides emotional support, practical help and essential information to victims, witnesses and others affected by crime. The service is free, confidential and is provided by volunteers through a network of community based victim and youth justice services and court based witness services. In a recent User Survey 87% of victims were overwhelmingly satisfied with the service they received from the organisation.

Locally, Victim Support Scottish Borders provide support to about 1000 victims of crime, anti social behaviour and domestic abuse throughout the Borders area in any one year. We offer support to those whose daily lives are affected by antisocial behaviour such as noisy neighbours, vandalism, dog fouling etc.

Victims of domestic abuse can access support through our LetSBsafe project. A service committed to improve the well being of those affected by domestic abuse

An incident does not have to have been reported to police before support can given. We offer a Remote Reporting service which allows individuals to report to ourselves as an alternative to reporting at a police station.

Through our Witness Service we are able to provide support to victims and witnesses who may be required to give evidence in court. We are agents for Criminal Injuries Compensation, a scheme which compensates victims of serious crimes, and will support victims through this process at no charge.

Victim Support Scottish Borders, 72 High Street, Galashiels TD1 1SQ 01896 751212
LetSBsafe, 72 High Street, Galashiels TD1 1SQ
01896 759933
Text 0759 502 4927

The Scottish Community Safety Network website will be officially launched on 19th May. It is envisaged it will quickly become a valuable resource for community safety practitioners across Scotland.

Scottish Community Safety Networks' (SCSN) is Scotland’s national forum for officers responsible for developing strategic work and practitioners, in partnership with others, to ensure we all live in Safer Communities. We have a membership which represents all 32 Local Authority Community Safety Partnerships, Scotland’s Police Forces, Fire and Rescue Services, COSLA, RoSPA, ASBOF, Road Safety Scotland, Community Wardens Network and the West of Scotland CCTV User Group

You can see it at

Preventing burns and scalds and the current theme of Home Safety Year 2010.
Between 2002 and 2008 in the Scottish Borders there were 68 children admitted to hospital as an emergency admission, as a result of a burn or scald. Under fives accounted for 52 of these serious injuries. There are an estimated 10 times as many minor injuries from burns and scalds
Over half the children who go to casualty with a burn or scald are referred on for further hospital or specialist care and recovery may belong and painful. Many also have to live with permanent scarring.
Hot liquids cause 70 per cent of all thermal injuries to children. The most common single cause of scalds is hot drinks. Babies and toddlers are particularly at risk when they grasp cups and mugs of hot tea or coffee.
Children can suffer burns after contact with heaters, open fires, cookers, barbecues, irons, fireworks, matches, cigarette lighters, candles or any other hot surface. Young children are also particularly vulnerable to sunburn.
A new risk in many homes is that posed by hair straighteners left to cool which can cause severe burns to young children. A new poster campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of hair straighteners has been launched.
· Straight Off - Switch off after use
· Straight In - Put in a heat resistant bag
· Straight Away - Put straighteners and flex out of reach of child
House fires
House fires can be caused by cigarettes, candles, and chip pans or through faulty wiring. Another common cause is young children playing with matches or cigarette lighters.
For more information contact: safer communities team at 01835 825058

Introducing the innovative new Scottish Government approach to Early Level Road Safety Education.
Road Safety Scotland is currently developing an innovative new approach to road safety education for young children from birth through to the early level of Curriculum for Excellence. This approach has been influenced by research, consultation and recent scientific insights into early brain development. It aims to inspire, involve and motivate children. Just as importantly, by working across curricular areas and involving multi-sensory learning, it is also geared to engage the adults involved in children’s lives who look after and educate them.
The multi-media approach aims to encourage experiential learning through partnerships between home and educational settings. It recognises the importance of early intervention in developing positive attitudes and behaviours; enabling children to become successful learners, confident individuals, and responsible citizens.
For more information go to for more information please email

Currently approximately 800 farms are signed up to Borders Farm watch / alert this represent almost 70% of all farms in the Scottish Borders. Over coming months all farms will be encouraged to join this scheme.

The aims of Farm Watch are:
· To reduce opportunities for crime to occur in farming and rural communities.
· To strengthen community spirit, so that everyone works together to protect their property.
· To improve communication between the farming community and the police.
· To encourage people to report suspicious incidents as they occur
The services offered by the Farm Watch scheme include:
· Practical crime prevention advice to farmers and landowners, to help ensure their property and goods are as secure as possible.
· A property marking scheme to make it harder for thieves to dispose of stolen goods.
· A text alert service.

The key aim of ‘Farm Watch/ Alert’ is to stress the importance of vigilance and communication – both within rural and farming communities and between rural communities and Lothian and Borders Police.

Lothian and Borders Police and NFU Scotland are working in partnership
to prevent crime happening on your doorstep.

Lisa Roberts (NFU Scotland Regional Manager)Tel: 01314724034email:
PC Ross Hall/Clarke Tait
Crime Prevention Officers
Tel: 07775406868 or 01835 825058

Lothian and Borders Police are marking Scotland's new hate crime legislation with a campaign to tell the region's disabled and LGBT communities, 'You don't have to be hit for it to be hate crime.'
A hate crime is any crime motivated by prejudice against:
■ Disability
■ Race
■ Religion or belief
■ Sexual orientation
■ Transgender

The campaign consists of posters, leaflets and postcards detailing examples of incidents that could constitute a hate crime, and how and why they should be reported. Aimed at members of the disabled and LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) communities, the literature will be available in community pubs, clubs and organisations, as well as downloadable from the Lothian and Borders Police website.

No hate crime is too minor to report to the police.
Call 999 in an emergency, or 0131 311 3131 non-emergency
For more details go to

Over the last six years, 30 children under 10 have drowned in swimming pools while on holiday abroad. More than half of the victims were under four. Children aged two to three are most at risk. In many cases, the toddler wandered away from their parents and fell into an unsupervised pool.
A timely reminder to parents and carers of some of the realities of drowning:
· Children drown silently. They don’t cry out for help and wave to be rescued. Instead they disappear under the surface of the water, often unseen.
· A significant number of holiday pool drownings happen on the first or last day of the holiday, when parents may be distracted and children can more easily slip away to explore.
· While pools at hotels, villas and campsites are the main culprits on holidays abroad, at home, most two and three-year-olds drown in the home or garden. A pond in a neighbour’s garden can be very tempting for a toddler visiting the home of friends or family.
· It’s not just young children who are at risk – older children love swimming in the sea and wild swimming, but strong currents, deep water, hidden objects and underwater vegetation are especially dangerous.
The key message to parents and carers whether on holiday or staying at home over the summer, is to actively supervise young children near water.
For more information on swimming pool safety for children while on holiday, visit the RoSPA website:

For safety at the beach and in the sea, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has an excellent online resource for parents, teachers, children and teenagers:

A new campaign to encourage drivers and passengers to put their seatbelt on every time they get in any vehicle.
‘Have you clicked?’ targets the estimated 14% of adults in Scotland who don’t wear their seatbelts every time.

It is also estimated that one in three people who are killed in vehicles in Scotland are not wearing seatbelts, and half of those could have been saved had they worn a seatbelt.

The campaign is aimed at all drivers and passengers however there are key target groups but key who have the lowest compliance rates these are
· young males,
· drivers of good vehicles,
· adult rear seat passengers
· company car drivers.

More than 50 partners including Kwik Fit, Tesco and Arnold Clark, and a host of courier, taxi, distribution and van hire companies as well as private businesses and public sector organisations, are backing the campaign. ‘Have you clicked?’ branding will be on vehicles and in workplaces, homes, shops, buildings and other public spaces around the country.
For more information contact: safer communities team at 01835 825058

And finally ……….
Safer Journeys Campaign is taking place across the Borders from 17-21 May 2010.

A partnership programme with education and encouragement taking place in week 1, followed by enforcement in week 2. The education week will target 5 schools which have highlighted issues regarding children travelling safety to and from school. Week 2 has Borders-wide attention paid to routes around schools focussing on the safety of children while travelling. This includes attention from the Safety Camera Partnership and Road Policing to address speeding and other road traffic offences.

Borders Festival of the Horse (19-31 May 2010),
The Mounted Section of Lothian Borders Police and the Scottish Borders Safer Communities Team Road Safety Officer will be taking part in "Road Proof your Horse", at Louise Aitken-Walker's yard in Duns on Thursday, 27th May 2010. Sgt Alison Humphrey from Lothian & Borders Police will be demonstrating the techniques used to train police horses to be safe in traffic, while Fiona Lackenby will be emphasising the need for riders and their mounts to be as visible as possible to other road users. The event is taking place at Duns Livery Yard, Berwick Road, Duns, Berwickshire TD11 3LR. Further information is available from Helene Mauchlen, 01764 656334,

Produced by the Safer Communities Team on behalf of the Safer Communities Partnership

Contact or telephone 01835 825058

Making the Scottish Borders a safer place, to live, work and visit.

Back to: Maxton Parish Noticeboard

Date: 10/05/2010