Rob Hill, assistant director for Community Safety at Peterborough City Council:
Last month we announced the launch of a new campaign called ‘Safer Off the Streets’ aimed at ending street homelessness in the city once and for all.
A total of 17 organisations, including the council, are involved in the scheme, which we are confident will make a real difference to rough sleepers in the city.
This includes a new contactless card window outside the Argo Lounge in St Peter’s Arcade, allowing people to make instant £3 donations.
You simply walk up to the window, tap your debit card and that’s it, within seconds you have made a secure donation which will go a long way towards helping the homeless rebuild their lives.
So far over 130 donations have been made via the window which is fantastic, and we’re keen to remind people who are keen to help, that this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make a positive difference.
As part of the campaign, a website has also been set up (www.saferoffthestreets.co.uk) where donations can also be made, and collection boxes will be placed in city centre locations.
As a partnership we want to be able to give people the help and support they need to get off the streets and into a home of their own, and the opportunity of training and employment.
Although the weather hasn’t felt much like winter of late, we’re continuing to remind pedestrians, cyclists and riders to be safe and be seen.
With the arrival of shorter days and darker nights, statistics reveal that this time of year leads to a rise in road casualties, particularly for the most vulnerable groups such as children, cyclists, motorcyclists and the elderly.
Evidence indicates that there is a rise in the number of collisions at this time of year, both in the mornings and afternoons, as road users adapt to a combination of changing factors such as poorer weather conditions and pedestrians not wearing reflective or bright clothing.
Information has been sent to all Peterborough primary schools outlining road safety advice to share with pupils and parents. Officers will also be talking to pupils about road safety. We would encourage all parents or guardians with schoolchildren to make sure their child can be clearly seen by wearing something ‘hi-vis’.
Cyclists should also remember it is an offence to cycle at night without a front light, a rear light and a red rear reflector.
It’s also that time of year when thoughts start turning towards the festive season and of course the joy that is Christmas shopping!
Each Christmas, police forces up and down the country will issue seasonal crime prevention messages about the risks associated with shopping in very busy places.
They do this because city high streets are rammed, and the opportunities for pickpocketing and snatch theft are at their highest.
So here’s a list of simple things to think about ahead of your big shopping trips.
. Limit the amount of cash you carry, or split it up so it’s not all in one place.
. Using debit and credit cards will help, but be sure to keep them very handy, so you’re not having to search through an open handbag or wallet.
. Keep a record of the card numbers and emergency telephone numbers.
. When entering your card’s PIN always cover the keypad with your other hand and be aware of who’s around you.
. Think about making expensive purchases last so you can head straight home with them.
. Think about taking your own large shopping bags so you can consolidate all the little bags together and reduce the risk of dropping one, or having one stolen.