Stay safe whilst online gaming

Online gaming can be great especially during the school holidays. In the majority of cases, it is a fun and safe pastime … a way for you to play against and socialise with friends.

However, as with many things you do online, there’s an element of risk. This is because of the vast number of people in the UK and abroad who are also playing, the minimal restrictions involved and the fact that they’re not face-to-face – so you can’t be sure who they are … or what their motives are.

The risks include being taken advantage of by strangers with sexual, abusive, fraudulent or other criminal motives. You can find yourself playing games with an inappropriate age rating, running up huge bills and getting ‘hooked’ to the exclusion of exercise, socialising and school work.

Get Safe Online has some fantastic advice on how to minimise the risks associated with online gaming – check out their website.

Get Safe Online

Youth Online Understanding Radicalisation Survey

Are you aged 11-25? Then have your say and let us know how terrorism and radicalisation affects you by taking part in a short, online survey conducted by the National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ.

We want young people like you to share their views and opinions, it’s your opportunity to influence change, help increase understanding, challenge misperceptions and improve our access to information.

All participants in the survey will remain anonymous and the information provided will only be used for the purposes of this research. The findings from the survey will be really important in helping to keep you safe.

Take the survey here

All surveys must be completed before 30th August 2015

Chinese help and information phone line launched

Lancashire Police has teamed up with Chinese Groups in Preston and Blackpool to launch the Chinese community help and information phone service to raise trust and confidence between the police and members of the Chinese community.

chinese volunteer group meeting

The phone service is staffed between 10am and 8pm daily (there is the facility to leave a message) by specially trained Chinese volunteers who speak Mandarin. On ringing 01772 209988 the caller will have the opportunity to speak, in their native language, to one of these volunteers who have received training in key areas of policing. They will be able to ask for help on community issues and crime in their area and will be advised and signposted on how to resolve their problem and get help.

chinese volunteers

Detective Inspector Laura Lawler said: “We are aware that very few crimes and community issues are reported to us from members of the Chinese community, we hope that this new phone service will support and encourage them to get the assistance they need, when they need it.”
The service which launches on 11 May 2015 will not replace 999 or 101.

Check out the coverage on newsbeat.

Save a Life – Surrender Your Knife

LANCASHIRE Constabulary has joined forces with the ground-breaking national anti-knife crime campaign ‘Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife’, as the force’s knife amnesty comes to an end.

Since the amnesty began at the end of August, more than 800 knives have been handed in across the county – including swords, machetes and commando knives. The amnesty was extended for a further week owing to its success.

Lancashire officers have now given their backing to a national initiative designed to raise awareness of knife crime and encourage the surrender of dangerous weapons.

The British Ironwork Centre, which is coordinating the project, intends to use the collected knives to create a 20 feet high guardian angel sculpture in memory of those whose lives have so tragically been lost.

Despite the amnesty ending this week, police say people can continue to hand in any knife at any police station with a front counter as well being able to drop them into the designated bins.

Police are looking to keep the bins and extend the number of locations to include job centres, community centres and leisure centres.

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The “Save a Life, Surrender your Knife” campaign is creating and providing bespoke knife collection bins to be located in the cities around the UK.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Dowson said: “We are keen to raise awareness of the devastating impact of knife crime and to reduce the number of families affected so we have decided to keep the knife bins indefinitely.

“While projects encouraging the surrender of knives are not a single solution to violence, they have an important role to play in inspiring communities to get behind education and preventative measures.

“Such campaigns show a desire to address local concerns and Lancashire Police is keen to throw our weight behind them in support.

“We’ve been delighted with the response so far, but our communities have told us that they want an end to knife crime and that they want to work with us to make that happen.”

In total, 340 knives have been handed in across Preston, Chorley, South Ribble and Skelmersdale. Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde, as well as North Lancashire, have seen a total of 150 weapons handed in, while 310 knives have been handed in in East Lancashire.

Among the weapons given up are machetes, swords, axes, a homemade blade screwed together with razor blades and large knives.

Clive Knowles, Chairman of the British Ironwork Centre, said: “The statue, which will represent the culmination of our project, will symbolise the nation’s stand against knife crime.  We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with Lancashire Police in the on-going fight against knife crime”.

The charity project is already gaining huge momentum, receiving the backing of growing number of families whose lives have been tragically affected by knife crime, and of Terry Waite during his recent visit to the Centre.

The Lancashire knife amnesty, which started on Monday 25 August, officially ended on Monday 6th October 2014.

Knife bins are located outside of the following stations and continue to be accessible 24 hours a day:

•    Blackpool
•    Lancaster
•    Fleetwood
•    Morecambe
•    Burnley
•    Darwen
•    Nelson
•    Preston
•    Chorley
•    Skelmersdale

Following the end of the amnesty all knives will continue be surrendered anonymously – no names will be taken, and there will be no CCTV cameras recording.

Would you like to become a volunteer?
The British Ironwork Centre is appealing for support with this campaign throughout the UK. If you’d like to find out more about volunteering opportunities available please contact them directly on: info@surrenderyourknife.co.uk.

Your chance to ‘access all areas’ of Lancashire Police at Open Day

behind the badge lancashire police logo Have you ever wanted to know how the police respond to major incidents in the county, or been interested to see what training the police dogs receive? Would you like to learn some of the secrets behind Crime Scene Investigations? Well now is your chance.

A force open day will be held on Sunday 28th September between 10am and 4pm at Police Headquarters in Hutton, Preston. Lancashire Constabulary will open its doors to the people of Lancashire inviting them to take a look at what happens ‘behind the badge’.

The event is being funded by money seized from criminals in Lancashire and so is free to the public where they can ‘access to all areas’ to understand how crimes are investigated and see the work the force is doing to keep the communities of Lancashire safe.

Visitors will be given the opportunity to speak to officers and find out about specialist areas of investigation; learn more about the history of policing in Lancashire; and take a journey through how technology has changed over the decades.

There will be interactive activities for both adults and children on the day, including demonstrations from the police dogs and horses, displays of the police vehicles and classic cars, and visitors can even play their part in identifying clues at a crime scene.

There will also be exhibitions from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service, the Environment Agency, Coastguard, Army, G4S (prison van), Bay Search and Rescue and Bowland Trust Mountain Rescue.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: “Events such as these are vital in building up openness, trust, understanding and confidence in our communities and better still, this one is being paid for by the criminals themselves.

“The day will provide local people with the opportunity to speak to officers and police staff from many different areas of policing, including Neighbourhood Policing, Rural and Wildlife Crime, the Special Constabulary, Armed Response, Mounted Branch, the Dog Unit, Public Protection and the Serious and Organised Crime Unit.

“We hope as well as being a lot of fun for visitors of all ages that the day will give people a real insight into policing in Lancashire and lift the lid on areas of policing that the public may know very little about.”

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “I am delighted the public will have the chance to see first-hand the breadth of work that Lancashire Constabulary undertakes and gain a real insight into the different roles officers and staff play in keeping the public safe.

“I will be there along with staff from my office, showcasing some of the projects we are involved in and the work we are driving forward to benefit Lancashire’s residents. This is a real opportunity for local people to learn more about my role, and I hope to see as many people as possible there.”

Lancashire Police @LancsPolice will be tweeting live from the event using #behindthebadge

The event is free and is open to everybody but registration is needed. Please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lancashire-constabulary-open-day-2014-tickets-12823570645 for more information and to register for tickets.

Free parking will also be provided at Enterprise Drive in Leyland, where a park and ride service will transport people to the event. Alternatively people can attend on foot or by bicycle. Please note the only parking on site will be for those people registered disabled and spaces are limited.
Refreshments will be available to purchase throughout the day.

Police cadets take on new ‘bronze’ challenge

CAMPING, volunteering and expeditions are just some of the challenges that police cadets from East Lancashire will be undertaking as part of an award scheme aimed at developing their life and work skills, enabling them to fulfill their potential.

29 cadets from Accrington and the Ribble Valley have officially signed up for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award, which will involve undertaking tasks that support their police cadet duties in volunteering within the community, as well as helping them develop personally in other areas.

Cadets DoE candidates

The youngsters, aged between 13 and 17, are well underway with the volunteering element of the award, as they have been taking part in community-based activities, such as bag-packing in supermarkets, fundraising and helping at local events since they officially became cadets last September.

It will take around six months for each cadet to complete their bronze award and they are required complete four areas consisting of three months of volunteering; three months of learning a new skill, three months of a physical activity and an additional three months of one of the previous categories. They also have to complete two camping expeditions, one as a practice and one where they will be assessed.

Their first camping expedition is currently being planned to take place on Tuesday 27 May, in partnership with Accrington and Rossendale College and the Army Outreach Team at Fulwood Barracks, who have helped with organising the event. Here the cadets will learn about team work, survival skills and map reading, among other skills.

Emily B, a cadet from Hyndburn &Ribble Valley Cadets said: “We are all really excited about taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. We will be learning whilst getting an official accreditation and skills that we will be able to use for years to come.

“I am really looking forward to getting stuck into the activities, especially camping.”

Sgt Kathryn McIntyre, who is coordinating the cadet scheme in Accrington and the Ribble Valley, said “Our cadets are really developing their skills and I can already see such a positive difference in them personally since they started in September.

“I think each and every one of them that are undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh scheme are excellent candidates, especially as they have already done several hours of volunteering that can go towards their award. We hope that they will complete their bronze award by the summer, so that they can embark on their silver award if they choose to continue in September.”

The cadets are currently fundraising so that they can purchase equipment, such as tents, rucksacks and sleeping bags for their camping expedition.

Kath continued “If there are any local businesses out there who would like to donate any equipment to this great bunch of aspiring youngsters, we would be extremely helpful as these items will really help them towards learning new skills.

“If you would like to help, please contact me on 01254 393972.”

The Lancashire Police Cadet Scheme aims to provide teenagers aged 13 to 18 with the opportunity to develop their personal qualities and skills through a structured programme.

More information, including how to become a police cadet, is available at
www.lancashire.police.uk/about-us/recruitment/volunteer-police-cadets.

Cadets support the first Ron Hill 10k

Lancashire Constabulary’s Volunteer Police Cadets attended the Inaugural Accrington Ron Hill 10k on Sunday 30 March to help marshal the race.

More than 1,000 people came to celebrate the first Ron Hill race with over 400 people taking part with the Olympic legend himself; running from the town centre to Rising Bridge and back.

Sergeant Kathyrn McIntyre, Co-ordinator for the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Cadets, said: “It was a fantastic day and we were extremely proud of our cadets who showed real professionalism. It was great to be part of this event and we look forward to supporting more events like this in the future.”

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The police cadets getting ready to help out at the race

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With the Mayoress and Ron Hill before the race

Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Police Cadets Raise More Than £2000

The Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Police Cadets have been out and about helping in the local community and raised more than £2000 in the process!

Cadets have been bag packing at Sainsburys in Clitheroe where they raised over £600, collected £400 at a fundraising event at Oswaldtwistle Mill and took part in a sponsored walk where they raised more than £1000.

In addition, they’ve been building a sensory path for All Saints School in Clayton le Moors and tree planting at St Christopher’s CE High School in Accrington

The Senior Cadets also helped out at the recent Accrington Christmas Lights Switch on, where they buddied up with several special constables and patrolled the town centre.

Members of the public will also see the cadets out in Great Harwood on 14 December with the Neighbourhood Police Teams handing out jingle bells and crime prevention advice.

Sgt Kathryn McIntyre who co-ordinates the cadet scheme in Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley said:  “This is all in addition to their weekly club sessions at Accrington & Rossendale College where they have been learning about Trading Standards, ARU, practising on the Police Radios and fitness tests.

“The money raised will hopefully go to help pay for Army away days and overnight expeditions next year.”

police_cadets

 

Pupils in Fleetwood enter domestic abuse poster competition

Lancashire Constabulary and Fylde Coast Women’s Aid (FCWA) have been speaking with pupils at Shakespeare Primary School in Fleetwood about domestic abuse after the school took part in a poster competition.

The Year 5 pupils were asked to design a poster encouraging young people to speak to an adult they trust if they were experiencing problems and needed support.

Detective Chief Inspector Sue Cawley, from Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Young people may suffer abuse without even realising it and it’s important that they learn what constitutes a healthy relationship. We hope that by talking to young people about this issue we can give them the confidence to seek help if they need it, but also to prevent people from becoming abusive.

“We appreciate these pupils are young, but by asking them to design a poster we hope it has prompted them to think about domestic abuse and what a healthy relationship means to them.”

Claire Jackson, a Domestic Violence and Social Media Worker from FCWA, said: “For too many children and young people, home is far from a safe haven. Many children of different ages are exposed to domestic abuse.

“Children can live with it for many years before seeking help or realising that this isn’t what a healthy relationship is like. This can have a powerful and profound impact on their lives. Raising awareness amongst children and young people is key in order to help them live a life free from abuse and to help break the cycle.”
poster competition
A selection of the posters that the children submitted

Let’s look out for each other

Do you have a bike? Do you enjoy cycling?

Lancashire Constabulary is urging motorists and cyclists to be aware of each other on the roads, as they launch a campaign with the message ‘Let’s look out for each other’.
Pedal cyclists are one of the most vulnerable road users who currently account for 6.5 per cent of all casualties and 10.2 per cent of those killed and seriously injured on Lancashire’s roads and during the last 12 months there has been an increase in casualties.

TOP TIPS FOR CYCLISTS

Be respectful of other road users when you’re out on your bike and follow these top tips to make sure they can see you and you stay safe:
1. Look and signal clearly to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you.
2. Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen.
3. Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor.
4. Wear light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark.
5. Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights.
6. THINK! recommends wearing a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations.
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Why not sign up for Bikeability?

Bikeability is known as ‘cycling proficiency’ for the 21st century. It is a training course for children and young people, giving you the skills and confidence needed to ride your bike on all types of routes, including roads.

Useful websites

THINK! Road safety information – http://think.direct.gov.uk/
Highway Code – Rules for cyclists – https://www.gov.uk/rules-for-cyclists-59-to-82
Bikeability – http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/web/?siteid=4980&pageid=27224&e=e
National cyclists’ organisation – www.ctc.org.uk
British Cycling – http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/

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