CANSafe is a NEW joint initiative between Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire Trading Standards Service, Hyndburn Community Safety Partnership, Hyndburn Children's Trust, Early Break, HARV, Brook, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley CAPSS and other partner agencies agreed locally.
CANSafe is a non-enforcement operation that promotes the safeguarding of young people on the streets or public areas who may be classed as vulnerable or at risk of significant harm. Young people can be considered vulnerable by Police Constables for a variety of reasons and these young people are taken into Police Protection and immediately taken to a Repatriation Point.
Police officers can take children and young people into police protection where a constable has reasonable cause to believe that a child or young person would otherwise be likely to suffer significant harm. The constable may remove the child or young person to suitable accommodation and keep them there.
Examples of when a child or young person may be considered vulnerable include: being in possession of or consuming alcohol; too young to be out on the streets at night; involved in anti-social behaviour; at risk of child sexual exploitation
At the Repatriation Point contact will be made with the child's parents/carers and they will be asked to attend. Early Break staff will be in attendance to provide support, advice and guidance to young people/parents/carers if alcohol or other substances are a factor. The welfare of the child is paramount and the focus of CANSafe is to ensure that the child realises that their actions/whereabouts may place them in significant danger/harm and to make their parents aware of this fact in relation to parental responsibility. CANSafe is an excellent example of joining up existing services without generating the significant costs which multi-agency out of hours operational activity attract.
Although it is too early to fully evaluate CANSafe, two recent operations have led to colleagues speaking to 460 youngsters who were out and about on the streets during the operation. As a result nineteen children aged between 14 and 17 deemed to be at risk were taken to a designated place of safety. This included two school girls who were found drinking alcohol with a group of older males who were all camping in the woods and a 14-year-old boy who was found just before midnight trying to pick fights with older men.
Chief Inspector Julian Platt said:
"Police officers regularly deal with the consequences of young people who have consumed alcohol out on the streets and end up involved in low level crime or anti social behaviour. The CAN project is designed to intervene with these young people early, to seize alcohol and to protect vulnerable young people by removing them from the streets.
The project has prevented young people from committing crime and entering the criminal justice system, which in turn has reduced the number of victims and police demands at busy times. The operation also allows us to make sure young people or families receive additional support where it is needed."
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