‘Safe Space Sussex’ is an online directory of local victim services, created by Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne. In response to the ‘lockdown’ and concerns raised around crimes like Domestic Abuse, this site has been upgraded and a campaign has been launched on social media (@SussexPCC) to help victims covertly reach out for help whilst stuck in isolation – search #SafeSpaceSussex.
With the entire country in lockdown, many services have expressed their concerns about victims of crime not feeling able to safely reach out for help. They have seen a decrease in engagement from victims with reports of crimes (like domestic abuse) made to Sussex Police, reducing by around 4%.
It’s vital that residents are aware of the support that is still available if they need it. Safe Space Sussex has been equipped with a new search tool so that within 10 seconds, victims of any crime can find the service they need. It also has a ‘leave site now’ button that users can press to quickly exit the site.
Tailored guidance will be shared across social media community groups on how victims can access the new website covertly, using incognito tabs, as they may be living with their perpetrators during ‘lockdown’ and their search history may be monitored as a result.
Victims can also covertly let Sussex Police know they are in danger. The ’55’ technology is in place for those too scared to speak, to alert a call handler to the fact they need help by pressing 55 on their mobile phone once they’ve dialled 999.
There is still help and support available for all victims of crime during the COVID crisis.
If you find yourself in an emergency where you think you or others may be in immediate danger dial 999. Sussex Police are always there for you when you need them. Don’t suffer in silence.
If you would prefer not to contact the police you can report a crime anonymously via Crimestoppers online: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously or by calling 0800 555 111.
www.safespacesussex.org.uk has all the information on support services who can help any victim of crime across Sussex.