Would you be able to tell if a care home is neglecting an elderly relative, a friend is being emotionally abused by their partner or when a flatmate is being radicalised online? Get the latest advice surrounding abuse and the treatment of vulnerable people in the latest addition to Hertfordshire’s online crime advice and education portal – Citizens’ Academy.
The ever growing website serves as a self-education tool offering free crime prevention information and advice on key topics such as Burglary, Theft, Fraud and most recently, Rural Crime. The new 'Protecting the Vulnerable' course will help ordinary members of the public identify when someone they know may be at risk of abuse and advice on what to do about it.
The website www.hertscitizensacademy.org was launched by Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd in March, offering direct access to crime prevention information and advice to help people protect themselves and their property. This latest addition covers key issues surrounding vulnerable groups, explaining who may be at risk, the signs to look out for and links to dedicated relevant charities and organisations for further support.
A range of interactive features such as YouTube videos and quizzes have been developed to encourage interaction from younger audiences. In just four months, an estimated sixty per cent of users are aged between 18 and 34. To date, the site has received more than 2,600 visits with nearly 700 online quizzes undertaken by users to test their knowledge.
Commissioner Lloyd said: “Police, social services and other professional, voluntary and community organisations in Hertfordshire work hard to protect the vulnerable members of Hertfordshire society. They take allegations of abuse seriously and respond to them as swiftly as possible.
“However, we all have a responsibility to support those around us and report any instances which raise concern so they can be investigated. Citizens’ Academy gives the information, advice and awareness that just may help you spot the vital signs.”
Chief Inspector Richard Hann, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction and Community Safety Unit, said: “Although police officers are trained to spot the signs of abuse or neglect, in reality the first line of defence for vulnerable people are the family, friends or neighbours who see them regularly.
“Many victims may never come into contact with the police or other authorities until either it is too late or someone has raised concerns about them. This course will help members of the public spot the signs of vulnerability and report it before someone comes to serious harm.”
The new ‘Protecting the Vulnerable’ module can be found at http://www.hertscitizensacademy.org/module.php?id=73 and will complement the existing detailed information available at https://www.herts.police.uk/advice/crime_prevention.aspx