Published on 20th February 2020

A project funded by police and crime commissioner David Keane is helping to safeguard vulnerable people in Runcorn and Widnes.

PCC David Keane has awarded funding from his Safer Communities Fund to provide free safeguarding training to help local people spot the signs of crimes such as county lines drug dealing, honour-based violence and modern slavery and human trafficking.

The Alerter training uses real-life case studies to help people understand the impact of these crimes, what the common signs are and how to report any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.

The £5,000 grant from the commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund was awarded to Age UK Mid Mersey as part of their ‘Pass it on, be a good neighbour’ project which provides local people with the tools to look out for their neighbours.

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Age UK Mid Mersey and Halton Safeguarding Adults Board have worked in partnership to successfully deliverer the training to 38 people in the local community and PCC David Keane recently visited the organisations to hear about the difference it has made.

He said: “Crimes that involve exploitation affect the most vulnerable people in our communities but they often happen out of sight so it’s difficult for police and other authorities to intervene.

“We rely heavily on community intelligence to help us tackle these crimes and we need local people to understand how to spot common signs of these crimes in order to protect vulnerable people from becoming victimised.

“The work of Age UK Mid Mersey and Halton Safeguarding Adults Board is vital in helping people understand what might be happening behind closed doors and how to take action to protect their neighbours.”

The funding from the commissioner has also allowed Age UK Mid Mersey to run a reward and recognition scheme to celebrate individuals in the community who have carried-out amazing acts of kindness and care in their role as ‘good neighbours’.

Mark Lunney, CEO of Age UK Mid Mersey, added: “We are really pleased and grateful for the funding to do this work. What started off as a small community initiative has proved to be such a brilliant foundation to build a safer, better respected, valued and cohesive community around Halton.

“Often, simple ideas are the best ones of all and this project has proved to do exactly what it aimed to do; bring people and groups together, build trust and importantly thank them for their individual acts of kindness.

“Being a good neighbour is all about being a good person and treating people well. Halton is a better place for this project and we can easily build on it next year and beyond.”