Police and Crime Commissioner joins partners in Wakefield to champion safeguarding (3 July 2018)

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Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) joined a host of community safety partners in Castleford Town Centre on Friday (29/06) to champion safeguarding.

The event was arranged by the Wakefield Safeguarding Boards as part of Safeguarding Week and saw the PCC joining West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Victim Support, Wakefield District Housing and more to raise awareness of safeguarding and the support services available.

The event came as part of West Yorkshire's Safeguarding Week which is a yearly initiative to raise awareness of the many safeguarding issues facing our communities and how we can all help to protect the most vulnerable across our region.

Vulnerability is a wide ranging term and can take many forms. A person is vulnerable if as a result of their situation or circumstances they are unable to take care or protect themselves, or others, from harm or exploitation or other adverse impact on their quality of life.

Factors that can contribute to vulnerability are equally wide ranging and can include mental health, age and substance misuse to name a few.

Vulnerable people are more susceptible to becoming victims of crime, especially serious and complex crime such as human trafficking, child sexual exploitation (CSE), domestic abuse and radicalisation. These issues, as well as mental health, substance misuse and forced marriage were all covered as part of the Week.

Mark said: "Safeguarding is everyone's business, we all have a responsibility to look after our communities and the people in them. It was great to be in a busy Castleford Town Centre talking to our partners and members of the public about the different safeguarding services for adults and children.

"It's only through raising awareness of these important issues that we can help the people that really need it and won't ask for it themselves. That's why this week is so significant and it's so crucial that we do all we can to get our communities to be more aware of the signs and indicators of these problems and who to contact for help.

"Contact details for a range of services are available from West Yorkshire Police's website www.westyorkshire.police.uk/advice. If you have been a victim or witness of crime and you need support you can contact Victim Support, who are also now taking referrals for those aged 18 and under at www.victimsupport.org.uk or call 0300 303 1971."

Edwina Harrison, the Independent Chair, of Wakefield and District Safeguarding Children Board, said: "Wakefield is unique in including public engagement sessions as part of Safeguarding Week and they are proving to be very successful. This is the first time it has been held in Castleford and the response has been excellent. On many occasions it is neighbours, friends and family members who have valuable information about a situation and can identify who is vulnerable in their community and reach out to them. The continued support of the PCC for Safeguarding Week is greatly appreciated"

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© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018