Lancashire students celebrate Safer Internet Day

Students across Lancashire joined their local officers to celebrate National Safer Internet Day 2017, taking part in talks and activities discussing how to stay safe online. Pupils used their creative talents to think of new ways to get these serious messages across. A fun day was had by all – here are some of the best moments.

Safer Internet Day 2017

Tuesday 7th February is Safer Internet Day and this year’s theme is ‘Be the change: unite for a better internet’. Lots of you will be taking part in activities in school and college to think about how to use the internet well and what you can do to improve you online life. The Safer Internet Centre are encouraging you to follow these tips to make a positive change online:

  • Be kind
    Use images and videos to make a positive impact, and think carefully about the impact on others before you share something online.
  • Be the change
    Make the internet a great place for all. Use the positive power of images and videos to help create a better internet.
    Do you know how to be positive to keep yourself and others safe online? Try their Safer Internet Day 2017 quiz now to find out!
  • Be you
    Think before you post. What do your images and videos say about you; are you happy with the story you are telling? What you share online could be there forever, can be misinterpreted and could also reveal personal information about you.
  • Be a critical thinker
    Seeing is not believing… when you see something online take a moment to see the full picture. Not everything or everyone online can be trusted.
  • Be safe
    Never agree to meet up offline with someone you only know online. No matter how friendly they might seem or how well you think you know them, they are still a stranger. Always tell a trusted adult if someone online asks to meet up.

 

 

 

Average speed cameras for Lancashire roads

Lancashire Road Safety Partnership has given the go ahead for new average speed enforcement camera systems on eight routes across Lancashire with the hope of reducing the death toll and making the roads safer for all to use. The routes have seen a total of 406 casualties with 62 people suffering serious or life changing injuries since 2011. It is also hoped that with improved traffic flow, fewer road closures and slower speeds both noise and pollution will reduce.

How do they work?

Average speed camera systems work using automatic number plate recognition and a set of cameras over a planned length of road. In Lancashire this ranges from 0.5 miles to 8.5 miles long. The cameras recognise number plates at set points along the routes; the system will calculate vehicle speed based on the time taken to travel between the points of a known distance. Infrared technology means images are clearer in low light and in the dark.

Why are they there?

Lancashire’s Average Speed Camera Systems are being installed to improve road safety. They encourage road users to travel within the existing signed speed limits. Some of the average speed camera systems will be placed on routes where there is a need for action but there aren’t any other options for enforcement. All the routes have been carefully selected based on casualty information since 01.01.2011 on a case by case basis.

The average speed camera systems are used alongside other existing education and engineering solutions. Any existing fixed housings will be removed as part of this process.

To find out more about average speed cameras, which roads have been chosen and for more on road safety click here

Nominate Lancashire’s Young Citizen of the Year

Applications for Lancashire’s Young Citizen of the Year 2017 close at the end of January.

This year, High Sheriff John Barnett MBE DL wants young people to be nominated who have put others first.

He said: “Some of our youngsters receive negative coverage in the media but my experience has always been that the vast majority are hardworking and help others.
“Perhaps you know someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty at school, a young charity fundraiser or they may be a young carer who looks after a family member – whatever they have done, we’d like to hear about it and they may win the top prize!”
The awards take place every year and involve the High Sheriff inviting applications to find a young person, ideally aged up to age 21, who has helped either their local neighbourhood, an individual, family member or local organisation.

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The University of Central Lancashire are sponsoring this year’s awards, and are happy to be supporting the scheme.  Vice Chancellor Mike Thomas said:  “Our young people play a huge role in making local communities safer and better places to live and it is extremely important that we recognise and celebrate their achievements. Many step out of their comfort zones to make a difference and crucially they act as powerful ambassadors for inspiring positive change in others.”

Winners and runners will be selected by the High Sheriff and a panel of judges from the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC), Lancashire Constabulary, the University of Central Lancashire and the former High Sheriff Rodney Swarbrick, who initiated the award.

Lancashire Constabulary’s Chief Constable, Steve Finnigan said: “This award highlights the contribution that young people can make towards supporting people in their communities, helping to reduce vulnerability and build community resilience.

“Our Volunteer Police Cadets are an example of that as they show that young people have a lot to offer and I am really pleased to play a part in making sure that young people get the recognition and support they deserve.”

All finalists will be invited to attend a presentation at Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters in March 2017 where the winner will receive £500 along with a specially commissioned trophy and certificate from the High Sheriff and Chief Constable Steve Finnigan.

The scheme is being administered by the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC) charity on behalf of the High Sheriff and the closing date for nominations is 31st January 2017.

Two runners up will also receive £100 and a certificate.

Approval of a parent or guardian is needed for the nomination, subsequent publicity and any future events involving the finalists.

Application forms can be completed online at www.lanpac.co.uk. For more information you contact Al Yusuf from LANPAC on 01772 412796.

 

Warning about derelict buildings

Teenagers and youngsters are becoming involved in a new, dangerous craze across the county which involves entering derelict buildings, climbing up and onto roofs and causing damage.

Derelict buildings are those that have been deemed unsafe or blocked off by the council or police. Many houses are derelict because they are too old and unstable to be in.

Although some youngsters may get a buzz and an adrenaline rush from taking part, they are putting lives at risk. There are many dangers involved in this type of activity – the most common is ending up stuck and unable to get down, the most severe can be injury and even death. It is important to know that these buildings are not playgrounds and although they are derelict or abandoned, they will still likely have an owner and entry may be classed as trespassing. Also anyone seen standing on the top of a roof may be mistaken for someone who is threatening to jump off and purposely cause injury or death,  this is likely to be reported to the police.

Abandoned and derelict buildings are dangerous for many reasons, some of the reasons being:

  • the floors may be weak or rotted
  • roofs could collapse at any moment
  • debris will be lying around and are seen as trip hazards

Think – before you consider entering a derelict or abandoned building there are all sorts of things that can go wrong. However much you want to, don’t go in, it’s not safe!

 

CSE – Know the signs

Lancashire Police are raising awareness within Lancashire of child sexual exploitation. Last year almost 650 crimes of CSE were recorded in the county and 1750 young people were highlighted at risk.

We want to keep you safe and arm you with the facts on grooming and exploitation whilst giving you the confidence to report and speak out.

Child sexual exploitation is child abuse. It is complex and can manifest itself in different ways but essentially it involves young people like yourselves being coerced into performing sexual acts often in return for rewards such as drugs or other gifts. Many don’t see themselves as victims and wrongly believe they are in loving  relationships with their abusers.

CSE can also occur without physical contact such as grooming; sexting or online gaming.  These types of crimes are increasing nationally as well as in Lancashire.Dont be exploited

Offenders can be male or female, of any ethnicity, they can operate alone or as part of a group or gang. They are often very manipulative and plausible people and can come from all sections of society. The thing they have in common is that they all prey on the vulnerable.

If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, call Lancashire Constabulary on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.

Nest-Logo-TrustEd-HomepageFor confidential advice or if you want to talk to someone contact Nest Lancashire on 0300 111 0323.

 

For more on CSE check out our dedicated page here

 

12 years in prison for sexual predator

A man described as one of America’s ‘most wanted’ has been jailed for 12 years for child sex offences.

Gerard Zalewski 32, groomed his 13 year old victim over the internet, and persuaded her to send him a number of indecent images of herself.

Zalewski, of Dartford in Kent, arranged to meet the teenager in a Bamber Bridge park last June. He than subjected his young victim to sexual abuse over several hours taking pictures of her on his mobile phone.

He was arrested later that month in Kent following a man-hunt and appeared at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday 6th December where he was imprisoned for a total of 12 years.

Gerard Zalewski is wanted by the FBI for various sexual offences against another 13 year old from Pennsylvania.

The officer who led the investigation into the Lancashire offences, Detective Chief Inspector Vicki Evans, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Gerard Zalewski is a dangerous and predatory sexual deviant who posed a significant risk to children across the country.”

“He groomed this vulnerable young teenager before arranging to meet her knowing that she was under 16. He then filmed her for his own gratification.”

“This case highlights the risks and dangers faced by children with on-line grooming, it is important that young people understand the risks involved with meeting people online, who are their friends and how to manage these online relationships.”

If you are worried and want to find out more our online grooming page and our sexual exploitation page

 

Modern slavery: it could be right in front of you

 

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Slavery is not confined to history it is something that is still happening today. It is a global problem and the UK is no exception.

There is no typical victim of slavery – victims can be men, women and children of all ages. It can happen to anyone but is normally more common amongst the most vulnerable, minority or socially excluded groups.

Modern slavery involves the recruitment and movement of individuals using threats, deception and coercion for the purpose of exploitation. Victims are forced to work against their will in many different settings, including brothels, cannabis farms, nail bars, car washes, and agriculture and even within people’s homes.

There are a number of signs that could indicate that someone is a victim of slavery. They may:

  • Show signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished, unkempt, or appear withdrawn.
  • Rarely be allowed to travel on their own, seem under the control and influence of others or appear unfamiliar with their neighbourhood or where they work.
  • Live in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, and could be living & working at the same address.
  • Have few personal possessions, often wear the same clothes or are poorly equipped for the job they are carrying out.
  • Have little opportunity to move freely and have no identification or travel documents in their possession.
  • Be dropped off and collected for work on a regular basis either early or late at night.
  • Avoid eye contact, appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers and fearful of law enforcers and authorities.

If you suspect that someone is being treated in this way you can let Lancashire Police know on 101. You can also share information anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or with us on 101.

Nest-Logo-TrustEd-HomepageNest Lancashire supports young people aged 10 to 18 who have been affected by crime or subjected to bullying, threats or harassment. You can talk to us in confidence and all of our services are free of charge. Call them on  0300 111 0323 Text: NEST and your number to 60777

 

Phone stolen in Blackburn robbery

Detectives from Lancashire Police need your help after a young man was robbed in  Blackburn.

At approx 11.20pm on Saturday, September 10, a 20-year-old man was walking with a friend on St Philip’s Street when they were approached from behind by two other men.

The 20-year-old victim was grabbed, held in a headlock and forced to the ground, by one of the men  whilst the second offender then took his mobile phone.

The attackers then made off towards Spring Lane with the victim’s iPhone 5s.

The first is described as a white, around 20-years-old, 5ft 9in tall, of skinny build, wearing dark clothing. The second offender is believed to be white, around 23-years-old, 5ft 9in tall, of medium build, with short dark hair, olive skin and acne on his face. He was also wearing dark clothing.

Det Sgt Melissa Kelly, of Blackburn CID, said: “The victim was subjected to a violent robbery and he was very fortunate not to suffer more serious injuries.”

If you witnessed the robbery or have any information that could help us catch these men, please get in touch as soon as possible.
Ring the police on 101 quoting ED1613813.
Alternatively ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

If you have been a victim or have witnessed a crime contact NEST Lancashire on 0300 111 03321 or nestlancashire.org

For more advice on protecting yourself and your property check out our robbery page.

14 year old boy seriously injured

A 14-year-old boy has suffered serious head injuries after a collision in Scarisbrick near Ormskirk.

Police were called at 8:20pm on Saturday 17th September with reports of an accident on Dam Wood Lane.

He was cycling across the road and was hit by a Silver Vauxhall Corsa. He suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Alder Hey Childrens Hospital for treatment.

The road was closed for more than three hours while police accident investigators searched the scene.

If anyone saw either the cyclist or a Silver Corsa in the area prior to the collision please contact the Police –

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