Your guide part three: keeping you safe

We take your safety very seriously and we want to make sure that you feel safe in your home.

All people have the right to live their lives free from violence and abuse. We are committed to ensuring the safety of the people who use our service. It is also our duty to protect your rights.

Abuse is harm caused to someone, such as being hit, threatened, shouted at, receiving sexual threats or pressure, having money taken from them or neglect through poor quality services. This can be either when out in the community or at home.

If you are ever at risk of, or are experiencing abuse, neglect, bullying or harassment talk to your support team or someone who can help you report it. Your support team will tell you what they will do and what you need to do.

If you are concerned that a vulnerable adult is being neglected, bullied, abused or harassed you can tell a member of your support team, the Project Manager, the Police if criminal activity is taking place, the SMaRT team (who can also contact NCHA’s Care and Support duty manager) and the local authority safeguarding team.

When you have told a member of your support team about abuse and if you are still not happy afterwards, talk to the manager or someone else who can help you report this. If the abuse is from a member of staff, tell another member of staff, the manager’s manager or the SMaRT service.

Your rights and responsibilities

We need you to:

  • be honest about issues affecting you so we can give the right support to meet your needs
  • be fully involved in developing and agreeing your support plan and work towards the goals agreed with your key worker
  • keep appointments that have been made with your key worker, or let them know if you cannot make it
  • treat our team members, and other people who use our services, with respect. They will treat you respectfullly too
  • not take part in any abuse, bullying, harassment or any other discrimination towards our team members or other people who use our services
  • be dressed appropriately when you are meeting your key worker
  • keep any pets, especially dogs, in another room when our team members are supporting you
  • not smoke when you are receiving support, or in the room you have support in for half an hour before your support session
  • let us know if you are not feeling safe or are being harassed - and allow us to take action to support you if this is happening to you
  • let us know if you have any concerns about our service, either by talking to your key worker, or the manager, or by using our complaints,  procedures.

We will:

  • treat you politely and with respect and dignity
  • be flexible and supportive
  • be clear and honest about what we can and cannot do
  • keep our appointments or let you know about any changes that have to happen
  • listen to and respect your opinions and choices
  • deal quickly with concerns and complaints
  • respect your right to confidentiality and privacy, except where doing so would compromise your safety or the safety of others
  • keep your personal information safe
  • ask for feedback on our service so we can improve what we do.

Hate crime and mate crime

Hate crime

Hate crime is subjecting people to harassment, victimisation, intimidation or abuse because of their race, faith, religion or disability, or because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Hate crime can take many forms:

  • being called names
  • being pushed, hassled or threatened
  • being beaten up, spat at or kicked
  • having your things taken or damaged
  • being made fun of or called names by anyone.

Mate crime

Mate crime is a type of disability hate crime when someone pretends to be your friend, and then commits a crime against you.

Reporting hate crime

Hate crime in any form is wrong. That is why it is important that if hate crime happens to you or someone you know, you report it. Reporting makes a difference – to you, your friends, and your community.

By reporting hate crime when it happens, you can help stop it happening to someone else. You will also help the police to better understand the level of hate crime in your local area, and improve the way they respond to it.

There are several ways you can report a hate crime, whether you have been a victim, a witness, or you are reporting on behalf of someone else:

  • In an emergency contact the Police. Call 999 or 112.
  • Talk to your support team
  • Ring SMaRT
  • Report online at www.report-it.org.uk.

Avoiding being a target of crime

Here are some tips to follow if you are out and about:

  • Stay alert – awareness is your best defence.
  • Leave venues with friends wherever possible.
  • Try to stay in well-lit areas.
  • Be confident – even if you don’t feel it. 
  • Travel as if you know where you are going. 
  • Take the most direct route and try to stay within areas where other people are around.
  • Trust your instincts – if you think something is wrong then act on it.
  • Have your keys available when you reach your home or car.
  • Keep money for taxis – the expense is worth it.
  • Carry a personal alarm and use it when necessary.
  • When drawing money out of the cashpoint, be aware of who is around you. Cover your PIN and put your cash away.

If you are in trouble

People are safe most of the time, but if you do get into trouble, get away as soon as you can.

If you have a problem with someone:

  • Do not panic.
  • Do not stop and fight.
  • Get away as quickly as you can.
  • If anyone tries to grab your bag, let the bag go. Your safety is more important than your bag.
  • Let people know that you are in trouble by shouting for attention.
  • Go to a shop or busy public place as soon as you can.

Security at home

  • Make sure your doors and windows are locked when you are going out. It is a good idea to also keep your door locked when you are in.
  • Keep your keys/fob with you at all times - do not leave them lying around.
  • Check who is at the front door before opening it. If there is a spy hole look through it. If you are not sure please alert your support team or SMaRT to check a person’s identity first. If you are still not sure, just keep them out! In an emergency call 999 for police assistance.
  • Do not let other people's visitors in to the building - they may be out or may not wish to have any visitors.
  • Please make the support team aware if you see unknown people in the building.
  • Keep your valuables safe and out of sight.

Fire safety

Keeping yourself and others safe can save lives. There are many ways a fire can start, such as smoking, cooking, storing flammable liquids such as lighter fuel and paint etc. in your room, and storing materials that can make a fire spread more quickly, such as newspapers, magazines or faulty electrical equipment.

Do not...

  • Tackle the fire, unless you are in danger and there is a means of escape.
  • Wait for others.
  • Re-enter the building.
  • Ignore the fire alarm.
  • Wedge doors open.

Do...

  • Keep fire doors closed.
  • Raise the alarm if you see a fire, see or smell smoke.
  • Leave the building immediately.
  • Assemble at your fire assembly point.
  • Alert others if there is a fire on your way out. You can do this by shouting ‘fire’, and knocking on doors as you pass them.
  • Place the back of your hand on the doors to check if they are hot before opening. Do not open the door if there is any heat, or signs of a fire on the door.

Fire prevention

Always check electrical plugs and leads are safe. Do not ever overload sockets. Don’t use sockets if you can see loose wires, scorch marks or other damage. Only put one plug in each wall socket. Unplug things when you are not using them.

If you are permitted to smoke in your own room, please avoid smoking in bed or when you are sleepy, and make sure your cigarettes are extinguished correctly in an ashtray.

Do not empty ashtrays into bins where other flammable waste materials have been disposed.

Do not store lots of papers or other flammable waste in your room. This can increase the risk of fire and can make a fire start and spread faster.

Keep lighters, matches and other flammable fuels away from direct heat sources, such as cookers, radiators, windows, as they can ignite and cause a fire.

What to do if there is a fire

Get out, stay out, and call 999. Stay calm and get out as quickly as possible. Keep a safe distance from your home.

Fire safety when cooking

  • Do not leave food unattended, either on the hob or in the oven.
  • Ensure that the cooker is off when you have finished cooking, and turn it off at the wall.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Take care when wearing loose clothing – it can easily catch fire.
  • Never leave a toaster unattended when in use.
  • Empty the crumbs from the toaster on a regular basis.
  • Do not put metal objects in a microwave.
  • Do not use chip pans, deep fat fryers, candles or incense sticks.

Smoke alarms will make a loud beeping noise to warn if there is a fire. You can buy them from supermarkets or high street shops, or you may be able to have fitted free by Fire and Rescue service.

If you buy furniture like a sofa or bed, check that it has a fire resistant label. This means that the furniture is less likely to catch fire. Your support team will explain to you about fire safety arrangements where you live.