Crackdown on bullying

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A joint West Sussex County Council and Sussex Police initiative to help prevent bullying, abuse and harassment of people with learning disabilities has opened up membership in the Worthing area.

Launched in Horsham, the award-winning “Safe Place” scheme has proved to be so successful that West Sussex County Council has now established the scheme in coastal parts of the county.

Scheme members carry a card that can be presented to staff at participating businesses and shops, displaying the person’s name and contact number of someone they trust that the store can contact in an emergency.

In Horsham the scheme has 57 members since it began operating last year, while in Worthing there is a network of between 40 to 50 businesses offering safe havens.

The County Council has been working with My Network at Buddy’s Cafe in Worthing to recruit local people with learning disabilities to act as ambassadors to promote the scheme to local businesses and shops as well as potential members.

It has also been working with police community support officers.

Peter Catchpole, Cabinet Member for Health and Adults Services’, said: “I have a lot of time for this fantastic scheme and have met members of the scheme.

“It is already well supported in Horsham by local businesses, and it is pleasing to see that businesses in the Worthing area are also providing their support to people with learning disabilities.”

Membership is free. To apply people can download a form from our Safe Places pages via www.westsussex.gov.uk, email Gary Capelin at: gary.capelin@westsussex.go.uk, or write to: The Safe Place Scheme, The Strawford Centre, Blatchford Close, Horsham RH13 5RG.