Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Working together to make Reading town centre a safer place for all

Council press reelease:
An innovative scheme aimed at providing reassurance to people with disabilities has been handed a Promoting Community Safety Award by Association of Business Crime Partnerships (ABCP).

Reading Business Against Crime (RBAC) is a partnership between town centre shops, Reading Borough Council and the Police and given the award was awarded for its Safer Places Scheme which provides a series of 'safe places' across the town centre where people with learning disabilities can go for help and assistance if they need it.

Local businesses have taken part in awareness campaigns as part of the scheme and posters, as well as communications boards, have been made available to shops across the town centre. Businesses have also been provided with information on how to best to serve customers with a learning disability.

Safer Places aims to increase the ability of some of the most disadvantage members of the community to access Reading's thriving town centre and helps businesses understand the needs of their disabled customers better.

In addition, RBAC was recently assessed by the ABCP for The Safer Business Award, which is the nationally assessed standard where partnerships are judged to ensure that their work is adhering to the Data Protection Act, 1998. It also aims to raise partnership management standards even further. RBAC passed this with a distinction and was awarded a Safer Business Award.

Reading Borough Council's Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods and Housing, Cllr Rachel Eden, said: "This is a stamp of approval for the work that the council and business have done together to ensure that residents and visitors to Reading with learning disabilities feel safe in our town centre. We hope that everyone who uses our popular shops, theatre and other entertainment feels welcome and can enjoy our facilities."

Cllr Ruhemann, Chair of the Access and Disabilities Working Group, said: 'This scheme has been reported to the Access & Disabilities Working Group, and members very much welcomed it and hoped it could be extended to others besides those with learning disabilities. We want a town safe for all.'

If any shops, pubs or businesses would like to join the Townsafe Radio Scheme, please contact Reading Borough Council Townsafe Radio Team on 0118 9373123.