Safeguarding is top of the agenda across West Yorkshire (2 Oct 2017)

Tackling mental health, raising awareness of domestic abuse and providing awareness on doorstep crime and scammers targeting the vulnerable are all topics covered as part of West Yorkshire's Safeguarding Week.

Starting Monday (OCT 9), all the local safeguarding boards and community safety partnerships across the region have joined forces with West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson and West Yorkshire Police (WYP) to hold workshops and events aimed at informing the public and professionals about how to protect the most vulnerable across the region.

Facebook Live broadcasts will be held throughout the week, starting with Mr Burns-Williamson and Superintendent Darren Minton, from WYP's Safeguarding Unit, on Monday (9 Oct) highlighting the work being done to keep people safe.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: "Safeguarding is 'everyone's business' and is central to the work of police and partners so it is only right we come together this week to highlight how we can help safeguard the vulnerable adults and children in the region.

"Safeguarding people was considered the greatest priority by people responding to my "Your Priorities, Your Plan" consultation with 70% of people saying it was important to them.

"I would urge people to get involved and contact their local authority to see what is on offer in their area for them to get support, learn about protecting themselves and others, and above all know the services are there for them when they need them."

Kirklees are starting the week with an event on Young Persons Suicide Prevention and Awareness, with Bradford opening the week by hosting a public conference aimed at people who use services, carers, volunteers, and members of the public. The event will be focused on prevention addressing adult abuse, fraud and door step crime.

The Leeds Safeguarding Children Board, Leeds Safeguarding Adults Board and Safer Leeds partnership have organised a week of training and workshops on a variety of safeguarding issues, including Female Genital Mutilation and protecting children in sport as well as a course exploring the issue of consent, which is aimed at college students.

Calderdale are holding a 'marketplace' launch event at the MBi Shay Stadium with keynote speakers and where organisations can network and share good practice.

Wakefield Council will be holding a launch event in the city centre cathedral precinct on Monday 9 October.

This will be open to the public and is a chance for people to come down and have a friendly and informal chat about various safeguarding topics.

Held annually, the week aims to ensure Safeguarding is 'everybody's business' educating the public and professionals on safeguarding topics including domestic abuse, mental health, cyber crime, forced marriage, child neglect and honour based abuse, and includes messages throughout the week on social media on how to stay safe.

Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson, said: "Safeguarding is at the heart of everything West Yorkshire Police does.

"We have specialist safeguarding units in each of our five policing districts and despite cuts to our overall policing budget, this is an area we continue to invest in in order to increase our resources.

"Safeguarding is not something that one agency can do alone, and we work closely with local authorities, other organisations and charities to support victims and educate communities.

"This initiative will help increase awareness around safeguarding and I would urge members of the public to contact their local authority to find out what support is available to them, how they can protect themselves and others, and how they can get involved in this year's Safeguarding Week."

Councillor Tim Swift, Calderdale Council's Leader, said: "We're all responsible for looking out for vulnerable adults and children in our communities. The Council is happy to be involved in Safeguarding Week to raise awareness of how everyone can help protect people and what to do if they have any concerns."

Dr Mark Peel, independent chair of the Leeds Safeguarding Children Board, said: "Safeguarding covers such a wide range of important and complex issues which affect many different members of our society, so it is vital that we join forces to make sure as many people as possible understand how they can help and support those in need.

"The whole region coming together to host a series of events focussing on safeguarding provides a fantastic opportunity, not only for ourselves and our partner agencies to showcase the work they do to protect and safeguard all people in West Yorkshire, but also for people from across the region to get a much better understanding of some very serious issues."

Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council's Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "Safeguarding Week provides an important way to share ideas and learn from each other. It is a great opportunity for all our partners and safeguarding boards to come together to ensure children and adults in the district live safely."

Councillor Pat Garbutt, cabinet member for Adults & Health at Wakefield Council, said: "Safeguarding is everyone's business, and this week reminds us that we all have to take responsibility in looking out for the most vulnerable people in our society.

"Wakefield Council is committed to protecting people who require safeguarding. However, we need everyone's assistance to help us ensure the wellbeing of those who need it most.

"You don't have to be absolutely certain if you suspect that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk. Anyone can speak in confidence to our Social Care Direct team who will be able to look into it and help find the right course of action.

"Social workers always look into a variety of evidence and your report will just be one piece of the puzzle - however, it may be a vital piece."

Sheila Lock, Independent Chair, of Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board, said: "I think it is really important that we raise the profile of what we are trying to do and get across that sense that Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility. Safeguarding Week with all the districts in West Yorkshire is the perfect platform to do so."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2017