We’ve put together some key information on staying safe in Derbyshire in this section, things such as avoiding scams. We hope you’ll be able to make sure this information reaches everyone that may benefit.

Safe Places

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A Safe Place is somewhere you can go if you feel scared, are lost or need help when you are out and about. 

Safe Places are public buildings in towns and communities across Derbyshire, such as libraries, shops, pharmacies and GP surgeries. They have stickers in their windows so you can see that they are part of the scheme and know you can go in and ask for help if you need to. 

As part of the scheme you can apply for a Keep Safe Card on our website. The card has space to write information such as your name, address, health/medication needs and contact details of a family member or friend. If you need to use a safe place you can show the staff your card when you ask for help. 

The staff at a safe place will:

  • find you somewhere safe to wait
  • use the information on your Keep Safe Card to call your family, friends or support staff
  • call the police or an ambulance if it is an emergency. 

Currently due to Covid-19 the Safe Places Scheme is operating a reduced service, if you would like further information please contact the service on the details below. 

To find safe places in your area visit: www.derbyshire.gov.uk/safeplaces - you’ll also be able to apply for a Keep Safe Card online. Or you can ring 01629 532469 to get a paper Keep Safe Card form.

Avoiding scams 

There are dozens of types of scams circulating at any one time. They may offer the chance to invest in an exciting new money-making scheme, announce an unexpected prize draw or lottery win or make amazing claims about products or services at a bargain price. 

Scams can affect anyone and becoming a victim can have a serious effect on people’s physical and mental health as well as their finances. Scams fall into 4 main types: 

  1. Telephone scams - including nuisance telephone calls claiming to be from reputable companies and offering to sort out issues like computer viruses or insurance money to win a prize?
  2. Online scams - highlighting online ‘copycat’ websites which charge fees for services like passport renewals, driving tests and tax returns 
  3. Mail scams - about lotteries, prize draw catalogues, psychics and other similar schemes 
  4. Doorstep scams - tackling doorstep cold callers offering services like free boilers, insulation or solar panels. 

How to spot a scam 

Scam letters and emails will look professional and seem convincing and cold callers will sound genuine – but our advice is to steer clear. If you’re offered something that seems too good to be true, before you respond, stop and consider: 

  • Was the offer unsolicited? 
  • How can I have won a competition of lottery that I haven’t entered?  
  • Did the offer come from overseas? 
  • Why do I have to respond immediately - what’s the rush? 
  • Do I have to make a purchase or send money to win a prize?
  • Do I have to give my bank or credit card details?
  • Why would my bank ask me to confirm my account details to them? 
  • Do I have to send money to a PO Box number?
  • Why am I being asked to keep it confidential? 

Action you can take to tackle scams 

  • get advice and report issues to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on tel: 03454 04 05 06 or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk 
  • report scams and suspected scams to Action Fraud or tel: 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk 
  • send potential postal scams with a covering letter to Royal Mail at FREEPOST Scam Mail, email: scam.mail@royalmail.com or tel: 0800 0113466
  • report unsolicited marketing calls to the Information Commissioner’s Office or tel: 0303 123 1113 or visit: www.ico.org.uk 
  • register phone numbers with the Telephone Preference Service tel: 0845 070 0707 or visit: www.tpsonline.org.uk 
  • the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is free and can help reduce unsolicited mail by calling 0207 291 3310 or visit: www.mpsonline.org.uk
  • Age UK has information on avoiding all types of scams - contact them on 0800 055 6112 to ask for a copy in the post 
  • tell a trusted friend, relative or neighbour. 

If you’ve been the victim of a scam you can get support from:

  • Think Jessica is a Derbyshire-based charity set up to help and support people affected by scammers and also to highlight the effects on victims. Visit: www.thinkjessica.com 
  • Age UK has a national helpline, tel: 0800 678 1602 or you can contact Age UK Derby and Derbyshire which can provide a wide range of help and support for local older people and carers. Residents can call the local service, tel: 01773 768240 
  • Derbyshire Victim Services offer free and confidential support to victims of crime, tel: 0800 612 6505 - Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm. Out of hours number: 0808 16 89 11. 

For further information visit: www.derbyshire.gov.uk/scams 

Community alarms and telecare 

Derbyshire County Council Adult Care uses a range of technology to support people to live independently for longer. 

Community alarms 

Community alarm systems have a pendant or wristband you can wear that connects to a telephone line through a base unit. If you need help, for instance if you feel unwell, you can get help by pressing the button on the pendant or wristband. You’ll then be able to speak to an operator at a monitoring centre using the speakerphone on the base unit. The operator will get in touch with your key contact or, if required, call emergency services. These services are available to everyone and are provided by a range of local organisations. Different options are available depending on where you live in Derbyshire. There is usually a charge for community alarms, how much will depend on your local provider. 

Telecare 

Alongside basic alarms Adult Care also has a range of telecare equipment that can support people with identified social care needs and their carers. 

Telecare is also usually supported by connection, via a telephone line, to a monitoring centre which can alert others if assistance is needed. 

Telecare equipment can be used throughout your home:

  • Motion sensors can reduce the chance of accidents and falls occurring by automatically switching on a light at night when you get out of bed 
  • Gas and water sensors can be used to alert if a tap or cooker has been left on 
  • Sensors can be placed on an outside door to alert a family member or carer if you have left home without anyone knowing. 

Telecare equipment operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The choice of equipment, monitoring service and response to alerts are tailored according to a person’s needs. Telecare can form part of a care and support package or can be arranged privately, to help you live independently for as long as possible. 

Further information 

For telecare to work in your home a telephone line is usually required, but mobile networks can be used in some situations or as a temporary measure to allow time for a landline to be installed. Some systems can be set to directly alert your family, friends, neighbours or carers (rather than a monitoring centre) to allow them to help you if you need it. Systems can provide reassurance and peace of mind to carers. 

Any adult can access telecare equipment and monitoring services. If you currently have an Adult Care support package in place, you may be eligible for telecare to be provided as part of this. You can discuss these options with your Adult Care worker. 

You may be able to access the service for free: 

  • if you have unmet eligible social care needs under the Care Act (2014) 
  • for up to 6 weeks while you receive preventative support or short term care. 

If you have been a user of the community alarm and telecare service before 1 November 2019, you will continue to receive the service whilst you remain living in your current property. Should you move house through choice or a change in personal circumstances, you will be reassessed for community alarm or telecare equipment in line with the Care Act (2014) eligibility criteria. 

If you are not eligible for support you can still access the community alarm and telecare services but you would have to pay the full monitoring and equipment maintenance costs. This amount may vary depending on where you live in Derbyshire and the different services available to you. 

How to access telecare 

If you do not currently have an Adult Care support package in place but think you would benefit from community alarm and telecare service, you can contact Call Derbyshire on 01629 533190 for more information.