Northamptonshire Police relaunch card scheme to help lost disabled people get home safely

One benefit of the scheme is that it gives many disabled people in Northamptonshire the ability to feel safer and secure when they are out, knowing there will be support available if they feel frightened or anxious.
One benefit of the scheme is that it gives many disabled people in Northamptonshire the ability to feel safer and secure when they are out, knowing there will be support available if they feel frightened or anxious.

A countywide scheme, which works to help people with disabilities in Northamptonshire feel safe and secure when out and about is set to be expanded.

The Keep Safe Card project, which has been running since 2011, is today (April 18th) being relaunched during a special event attended by deputy chief constable Rachel Swann, police and crime commissioner Stephen Mold and representatives from a host of disability charities and other organisations.

There are currently 1,400 card users signed up across the county but the hope is that this number will continue to grow as more organisations come on board to spread the word about the scheme.

The project encourages people with a disability, people who experience mental illness, or people who may be vulnerable, to sign up as Keep Safe Card holders.

The scheme is jointly run by Northamptonshire Police and the Northamptonshire Learning Disability Partnership Board. It is being expanded with funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).

Stephen Mold, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire Police, said: “Keep Safe is a wonderfully effective idea where partners have come together to protect vulnerable people living and working in this county.

"We have been consulting people with mental illness on how our services work for them and they asked for something that would help us understand their needs if they are in crisis or need help. This simple card fits the bill."

The card can then be shown whenever the holder feels lost, bullied, worried about their safety or in need of assistance in any way. Help may be found in shops, libraries, leisure centres, GP surgeries or anywhere a person feels they can ask for support.

The three emergency services, police, fire and ambulance, will also be able to access the information to be able to support the person in the best possible way.

The card holds some basic details about the person’s disability as well as contact details for people close to them, such as carers, who can be telephoned in an emergency, as well as an idea of how best to help and communicate with the cardholder.

Mr Mold added: “Safeguarding vulnerable people is one of the cornerstones of the Police and Crime Plan and I am confident that the Keep Safe Scheme will help people receive better care, help and support while helping public services work together.”

The event is being held at Moulton Community Centre to celebrate the expansion of the scheme, which will now see many new member organisations signing up as key partners to help the project grow even further.

These organisations include Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, the mental health charity Mind, and Autism Concern.

To sign up for a Keep Safe Card or for more information ring 01604 888963, email ldpb@northamptonshire.gov.uk or visit www.keepsafenorthants.org and download an application form.