Shoppers learn how to stay safe in Bolton town centre
PACKING A PUNCH Assistant Chief Constable Gary Shewan, centre, separates Ben Broadhurst, a boxer with Castle Hill Police Boxing Club, and police mascot, Pippa Panda
SHOPPERS learned about personal safety as part of a big awareness event.
Stands manned by charities, the emergency services and the Scouts filled a marquee in Victoria Square yesterday.
The StreetsAhead event marked National Personal Safety Day, an event launched by charity The Suzy Lamplugh Trust to reduce the risks of people becoming a victim of violence or aggression when they are out.
The I’m Not Laughing Campaign, aimed at stamping out disability hate crime, was also represented, along with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation and charity Every Action Has Consequences.
Greater Manchester’s Assistant Chief Constable, Garry Shewan, said: “Young people tend to face all sorts of challenges, whether on the internet, because they look or appear different, or because they aren’t really street aware to take control or look after themselves.
“Everybody can learn from people who have had bad experiences and pick up ideas about how you can enjoy life and keep safe.
“There are quite simple steps that people need to take to stay safe. It can be staying with friends, knowing when to ask for help and it’s important to stay self-aware about how much you are drinking and how to stop yourself becoming a victim of crime.”
It is the first time an event like this has been staged in Bolton. Chief Insp Carol Martin, who helped organise it, said groups like the Scouts were on hand to show young people how they can go down the right path rather than getting involved in crime.
She added that people can die from a punch when simply going out for a drink — such as 43-year-old Simon Mitchell, who died after being attacked in Bolton town centre, and PC Gareth Francis, aged 28, who died after being punched when off duty in Stockport.
Chief Insp Martin said the event was aimed at all ages. Purse bells were available to alert older people to bag snatchers and deter thieves.
Presentations were given about staying safe, including talk from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust at The Victoria Hall.
Rachel Griffin, from the Trust, said: “While risk levels vary from one area to another, there are some basic safety tips that anyone can use to help improve their safety, no matter where they are.
“For example, staying alert on the street could help you to see potential danger approaching in time to take action to avoid it.”
For more information visit nationalpersonal safetyday.co.uk l The Suzy Lamplugh Trust was started after the disappearance in 1986 of 25-year-old estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, who left her office to meet an unknown client and never returned.
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