Samaritans bid to avoid Accrington Arndale Centre car park deaths
THE Samaritans are to work with the owners of a shopping centre to help prevent future suicides.
Accrington’s Arndale Centre boss Zain Kiyani announced the plans after the fourth death in the same number of years at the centre when a woman fell from the car park in June a suicidal 25-year-old man was talked down by police officers from the car park site last December.
Mr Kiyani met with Hyndburn Council leaders in the wake of the latest tragedy to discuss the implementation of safety measures to ensure future incidents did not take place.
Through a partnership with the local Samaritans team, signs are now being placed at strategic locations in the car park and other areas of the building urging those contemplating ending their life to get in touch and talk through their problems.
Training has also been provided to all staff to help them identify at-risk individuals and lead them away from danger areas to safe zones, while Samaritans volunteers will be in the centre at certain times during the year to hold public awareness days.
The centre has done specific risk-assessments with third party-led health and safety experts.
Deputy council leader Clare Pritchard said: “I’m very pleased that whilst there may be more that they need to do they have decided to move in the right direction by employing some positive measures to address the issue.
“It’s been proven that anything that delays someone who is about to attempt to commit suicide by even a few seconds can make the difference between a life or death situation so this is good news for residents of the town.”
Spokesman for the Samaritans, Guy Roberts said: “Wherever we have initiatives around the country the aim is always the same, which is to make sure anyone with a need to talk about their issues is heard by us.
“We don’t judge anyone and we will listen to them whatever their problem because it is a hugely powerful yet simple tool that can make a life-saving difference.
“From previous and similar work done on the railways involving training and the placing of signs we know that these partnerships work.”
Anyone who would like to talk about a problem can call the Samaritans in confidence on 08457 909090 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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