Safe places scheme
The Safe places scheme is a voluntary scheme, that aims to assist vulnerable people age 11+ to feel safer when travelling independently within Norfolk.
Membership – what is involved?
Premises that are open to the public, such as shops, offices, and public organisations, are being asked to become a Safe place.
By becoming a member of the scheme, you agree to:
- Support a vulnerable person who (on arrival at your building) may be feeling unwell, confused, lost, or have been a victim of crime. When they arrive, they may show you their Safe places card
- Establish how you can assist them, by asking something like 'how can I help?' or 'what has happened?'
- Contact one of the people named on the back of their Safe places card, or the emergency services
- Allow the vulnerable person to wait at your premises until the named person, police or an ambulance arrives
A disability equality training pack (pdf) is available to support you. It includes guidance on communication.
Benefits of joining the scheme
- Increase public awareness of your business or service. People who use the scheme can find you by using the Norfolk Safe place finder website
- Improve your business image in the community
- Increase the confidence of disabled people when travelling alone, or when they are separated from family and friends
- Improve general awareness of helping people with a disability or other vulnerable people
- Help people in a vulnerable situation and provide a safety net to people when they need more confidence to get out and about
- The disability equality training pack which is available to support you, can help you have better interaction and relations with customers
- Display the Safe places logo in your premises
- Provide a welcoming, safe environment
- This scheme is intended to provide a short-term place of safety. You will either direct someone, or help them contact someone else who can help them further. You are not expected to provide ongoing support, or become involved in any complex situations
- Act as a distribution point for Safe places cards for members of the public who might need them. The cards can be collected from your local library
- Good practice would be to have three members of staff available to help (or at least a minimum of two) and to have accessible premises
- If the person who has asked for help needs to use the phone, this needs to be in a publicly accessible area, or via a cordless phone
- Follow standard safeguarding policy for anyone who needs help, regardless of age. For further details visit safeguarding concerns for children or safeguarding concerns for adults. You should raise safeguarding concerns with us on 0344 800 8020 if urgent.
How do you become a member of the scheme?
Contact your local police station and ask if the scheme operates in your area. They can help sign up your business or organisation and answer any further questions.
When you apply to become a member, we will need to review the accessibility of your premises to check people can easily reach you. All existing Safe places have signed up to be as accessible as possible, given their location and building infrastructure.