This is the latest crime prevention/domestic abuse information for Families from Merseyside Police.
Please see the images below. Text has been copied so that the information can be translated.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented public health emergency and the ongoing requirement to stay at home is an essential part of the national effort to fight the virus.
Being at home should be the safest place for us to be and for the vast majority of people, this is true. Sadly though, Merseyside Police is aware that spending more time at home means some people in our communities may become more vulnerable to certain types of crime.
This leaflet contains crime prevention advice on: domestic abuse, online safety for children and, fraud and cyber-scams.
We know that criminals will adapt and attempt to exploit the current situation, both online and in person. There may also be people that are concerned about the circumstances they find themselves in whilst spending more time at home.
We would like to reassure you that Merseyside Police and support services are still available to help you, day and night.
The advice in this leaflet is relevant to a wide age group, so it may be appropriate to discuss the contents with other members of your household. If you are social distancing from family members and friends who you think need to be aware of the advice please call them on the phone and discuss it with them.
We are all in this together. If we look out for each other, we can ensure we all stay safe at home.
It’s a challenging time for everyone at the moment. However, for those who may be experiencing control and abuse behind closed doors, the current restrictions may leave them with feelings of further fear and isolation.
Domestic abuse isn’t just physical. It can be psychological, sexual, emotional or even financial and can affect anyone.
If we know the signs to look out for and where to get advice, we can help keep people safe.
If you are concerned about someone you know or live near:
• Ask them if they want to talk, listen to them, and assure them it’s not their fault.
• Let them know you are concerned and encourage them to get help from the support services available.
• You can offer to contact a support service or someone they trust, on their behalf.
• If you think someone is in danger, report it immediately to the police.
If you are suffering abuse at home, remember:
• You are allowed to leave the house during lockdown and could get help whilst out.
• If you need to leave, plan ahead - have a bag ready with the things you need such as phone, clothes, money or medication.
• You are not alone – you will be listened to and helped.
• It’s never your fault.
Help and advice is available from national support services, and organisations throughout Merseyside.
National support services
National Domestic Abuse Helpline www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)
Men’s Advice Line www.mensadviceline.org.uk 0808 801 0327 (Mon & Wed, 9am to 8pm. Tue, Thu & Fri, 9am to 5pm)
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline www.galop.org.uk 0800 999 5428 (Mon, Tue & Fri, 10am to 5pm. Wed & Thu, 10am to 8pm)
Childline www.childline.org.uk 0800 1111 (9am to Midnight)
Women’s Aid Live Chat Link chat.womensaid.org.uk (Mon to Fri, 10am to 2pm)
Local support services
Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service 0800 084 2744 / 0151 263 7474 (Mon to Thu, 9am to 5pm. Fri 9am to 3pm) www.liverpooldomesticabuseservice.org.uk
South Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service 0800 083 7114 / 0151 494 2222 (9am to 4:30pm) www.sl-domesticabuseservices.org.uk
Savera UK Tackling domestic abuse within black and minority ethnic communities 0800 107 0726 / 0151 709 6586 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm) www.saverauk.co.uk
Family Safety Unit 0151 666 4914 (9am to 5pm)
Wirral Women’s and Children’s Aid (Wirral Refuge) 0151 643 9766 (24 hours)
Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid (SWACA) 0151 922 8606 (Mon to Thu, 9:30am to 5pm. Fri 9:30am to 3pm) www.swaca.com
Sefton Independent Domestic Violence Advisory Service 0151 934 5142 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm)
The First Step Project & IDVA Service 0151 548 3333 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm)
Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub 0151 443 2600 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm)
Safe2Speak Support and advice 01744 743200 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm)
Safe2Speak 24hr helpline Emergency assistance with accommodation 01925 220541 (24 hours)
Due to the current restrictions, it is more likely young people will be going online to chat with friends, play games or do school work. Spending more time online, however, can increase their risk of being targeted by criminals who use the internet for the purposes of online abuse, grooming and exploitation.
To help protect the younger members of your household while they are online, follow these steps:
• Encourage them to talk to you about how they use the internet and show you what they do - ensure they know they can come to you for advice.
• Have an agreement in place and set boundaries for their internet use, such as when and where they can use their devices and for how long.
• Check age ratings that come with games, apps, films and social networks to confirm whether they’re suitable.
• Activate parental controls on your home broadband and all devices including mobile phones and game consoles. Safe settings can also be activated on sites such as Google, YouTube and iPlayer.
• Get to grips with the blocking and report functions on any gaming sites and ensure they know how to use them too.
• Make sure they are aware of the risks of sharing images online and that you both know how to remove content should you need to.
For more detailed advice and information, visit ThinkuKnow.co.uk.
If you know or have concerns about someone who might have been a victim of online abuse, you can report it to the police at www.ceop.police.uk.
Avoiding fraudsters and their scams
Criminals are exploiting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and could attempt to coax you into buying goods or services that don’t exist. They may contact you by phone, email, text, on social media, or even call at your door.
Follow these tips to protect yourself from being scammed:
• Stop and take a moment to think before parting with your money or personal information.
• It’s ok to decline or ignore any request. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
• The police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw / transfer money, or ask you to reveal a password or PIN.
• Do not click on links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails.
• Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and suspicious text messages to 7726.
• Be wary of anyone who calls at your door unexpectedly - do not let them in. Ask for ID and keep the door closed while you verify who they are. Call 999 if you feel threatened or in danger.
• Confirm callers or requests are genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations directly.
• Stay secure online by keeping your phones, tablets and laptops updated with the latest software, apps and operating systems.
If you think you’ve been targeted by a fraudster, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk.
Contacting us, reporting crime or an emergency
Merseyside Police is here 24/7, with officers and staff available to help and support you during these unprecedented times. If you need to report a crime or anything suspicious, please contact us:
• on our website www.merseyside.police.uk
• use social media - Merseyside Police CC (Facebook) or @MerPolCC (Twitter)
• or call 101
In an emergency, always call 999.
If it’s an emergency and you are unable to talk – call 999 and either press 55, or make a noise, such as tapping the handset, coughing, crying or even talking to an offender. These actions will alert the attention of the BT operator.
If you have any information on a crime and you would prefer not to speak to police, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org