Peterborough is actively addressing street homelessness

Street homelessness is an issue facing many towns and cities across the country, and here in Peterborough, we are actively working to address this (writes Rob Hill, Peterborough city council assistant director for community safety).

Earlier this month we helped launched a new campaign called ‘Safer Off the Streets’ aimed at ending street homelessness in the city once and for all.

Seventeen organisations, including the council, are involved in the scheme and it features a number of initiatives which we are confident will make a real positive difference.

These include 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 and 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.

A website is also being 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.

Part of the idea behind the campaign is that we realised members of the public wanted to help, but were unsure how to do this. For example, we would often get asked by people whether they should be handing spare change to homeless people in the streets.

That’s why I think this campaign is a fantastic idea - it gives people clear and practical ways to help, and I’m confident it will be a real success.

With winter fast approaching and the clocks going back this weekend, it’s that time of year when we like to remind motorists to take extra care on the roads.

The most basic advice we can give is to make sure that you lower your speed, especially when driving in the dark, or in difficult weather conditions.

But it is also vitally important to prepare your vehicle before heading out on any journey, especially lengthy ones.

As part of our efforts to keep drivers safe and to tie in with national tyre safety month, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership is working alongside Kwik Fit to hold a series of events.

The next event will see drivers offered a free tyre safety check in the Car Haven Car Park, Peterborough on Wednesday, October 31, from 10am to 2pm.

Teams will be on hand to offer general advice and drivers will also receive a tread buddy which is a quick and easy way to check tyre tread depth, along with an ice scraper.

For more information and advice on tyre safety visit www.tyresafe.org.

Finally, next week will see Halloween take place and we would like to remind anyone going trick or treating to stay safe.

The evening should be a fun-filled occasion for people of all ages, but if you’re heading out yourself, or with children, please remember that elderly or vulnerable residents may not want strangers knocking at their doors.

As a general rule, we would advise only knocking on doors that are displaying Halloween decorations, and sticking to areas that you know.

As most trick or treaters will be heading out during the dark, it is also vitally important to stick together and stay visible.

If you have elderly or vulnerable relatives, it is worth checking to make sure they are ok and know what to do.

Further advice can be found at www.cambs.police.uk/A-Z/Halloween where you can also download posters to display in your windows informing people you do not welcome trick or treaters.