There have been some wonderful reports of community support and kindness in recent weeks in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. At SCSN we are aware that, as well as these uplifting stories and community response, there are also a number of risks in relation to community safety that a situation like this can create. This includes risks of scams, illegal money lenders, reports of hate crime, risks to people for whom home is not a safe place and the toll on mental wellbeing from isolation. Trading Standards are already seeing a rise in all types of scams related to COVID-19 and are also expecting there to be increased usage of illegal money lenders.
The role of community safety partnership working is therefore even more critical now. While Resilience Forums are rightly focused on emergency management and business continuity, it is vital for local community safety partnerships to be aware of the wider social and economic impacts that are likely to arise as a result of the pandemic and the extraordinary measures introduced to manage it. We do appreciate, though, that this is all taking place at a time when there is likely to be a reduction in staff and resource across Community Safety Partners to prevent and respond to these emerging issues and we’d like to offer our support where we can.
We know how hard community safety partners are working to keep individuals and communities safe during these challenging times and we want to work to link the views of these partners with national partners to help make sure organisations and communities have the support they need to keep each other safe. We also want to create a rich picture of what’s changing for communities and for community safety partners and insight from elected members so we can help advocate for any additional support in this rapidly changing situation.
We want to find out what SCSN and other national Building Safer Communities partners can do to assist you as you cope with the ongoing pandemic. We’re looking to understand what you’d prioritise as key issues as a Community Safety Partnership, what are the key issues for the communities you work with and what would be helpful to address them. This information will be used to help SCSN and policy makers to inform the shape of any future support.
There is already a firm offer from Neighbourhood Watch Scotland (NWS), Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN) and Crimestoppers to use their bulletins, websites and the NWS Alert system to send out local or national messages to communities. For example NHS Fife sent out an alert using the NWS system to inform people of changes to health provision locally due to Covid-19 which was really well-received. You can also sign up to all of these bulletins/check the websites to see upcoming campaigns that you can share locally e.g. Crimestoppers campaigns on Domestic Abuse, Scams and Drug dealing; ROSPA campaign on Family safety week next week and Trading Standards Scotland website and bulletin. We can connect you to these campaigns to get more of a steer on local delivery too.
SCSN has just set up a webpage dedicated to bringing together Covid-19 updates relevant to community safety.
You have a vital connection in communities and after this initial survey we hope to create a proactive feedback loop and keep up to speed with emerging issues and support required. We would encourage this sort of feedback loop to be happening locally too between community safety partners.
In emergency situations ‘horizon scanning’ can quickly become neglected as we focus on responding to priority issues; we also appreciate that mobilising scarce resources to address broader community safety objectives will be extremely challenging: this is where we’d like to offer some support.
To help us do this we’ve created a short survey here. We appreciate how busy things are but it’d be great to be as agile as possible – if you could complete the short survey by close of play on Friday 27th March that would be brilliant. We’d also welcome any thoughts from you on how we can create a regular feedback loop going forward in what will be challenging and fast moving environment.
The SCSN team are all working from home but available as normal on email:
Lorraine.firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Officer
Hannah.email@example.com National development officer
Dawn.firstname.lastname@example.org Business support and development
Mariah.email@example.com Administrative support
firstname.lastname@example.org General inquiries
We also have capacity for one-to-one and group Zoom calls so please drop us an email if you want to connect! We’re also in touch with a number of national partners as usual.