Vera Baird

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Newcastle Safe Haven Van Parks Up at New Home

18th May 2017

With rejuvenation work soon to begin to transform Newcastle’s Bigg Market, Northumbria Police, Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird DBE QC and partners North East Ambulance Service, have teamed up with local stakeholders to find the most suitable new home for the City’s Safe Haven Van.

From Friday, 19th May, the van will be situated on the paved area outside the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas, on the intersection of Mosley Street and St Nicholas Street, (opposite Tupp Tupp Palace and Subway).

As before, police officers will be joined by partners from the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), St John’s Ambulance and Newcastle’s Street Pastors, who come together to help revellers stay safe.

The Safe Haven Van, which is jointly funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner and NEAS, is a recognised service where people can go to seek medical assistance or for help if they are feeling vulnerable or lost. It operates between 10pm and 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Commissioner Vera Baird said: “The Safe Haven Van is a fantastic facility that offers a safe environment for people who need help and assistance during a night out in the city centre. Alongside medical assistance people also have the opportunity to speak to a police officer in confidence, about any matters of concern that have arisen during their night out.

“I’m confident the new location will be just as beneficial to city-goers as the last and am grateful to the Dean of Newcastle and the Cathedral Church of St.Nicholas for their support in relocating the facility to its new, central location. Anyone unsure where the van is now located can just ask one of our valued Street Pastors.

“I continue to give my assurances that Northumbria Police will continue to do everything within their power to help keep local residents and visitors safe on a night out and the Safe Haven Van will continue to play a crucial part in helping achieve this.”

North East Ambulance Service Chief Operating Officer, Paul Liversidge, added: “As a team we are available in Newcastle city centre over weekend nights to support people who may have hurt themselves or become vulnerable so it’s important that people know where we are.  Our team from St John Ambulance are available for anyone who might need medical support.”

Newcastle City Centre Chief Inspector, Dave Pickett, said: “The Safe Haven Van is a key asset in the city, helping to support vulnerable people on a weekend. We are wanting to publicise the new location as much as possible to help ensure people know where to go when they need our help.

“The Safe Haven Van is a well-used facility – it’s a focal point allowing us to engage with people out on the streets. We’ll be at the new site on Friday, and will be operating exactly as before. Our aim is to pass on as much safety and crime prevention advice as we can and to work with our partners and local businesses to make sure everyone enjoys a safe night out in Newcastle.”

The Dean, the Very Reverend Christopher Dalliston, said:  “The Cathedral is delighted to “host” the Safe Haven on its precincts. For centuries St Nicholas has been a place of sanctuary and care the vulnerable is really important to us. We hope the new location will be able to ensure the fantastic work of the Safe Haven can continue to flourish.”

Newcastle Street Pastor Co-ordinator Paul Waugh, said: “The Safe haven is a blessing to the city of Newcastle. Safe and Warm, especially when the temperatures drop.  This is a Good example of the Services working together, for the people who visit the city in the evening and at night.”

Safe Haven is a city centre reception unit in Newcastle that is jointly funded by the Police Crime Commissioner and North East Ambulance Service.  The centre offers a safe place where vulnerable patients can wait in a secure environment for transport to home or hospital as appropriate and be treated for minor injuries.  Having a facility in a central location, staffed by the ambulance and police services, with support from St John Ambulance, reduces the demand on emergency services and accident and emergency departments over busy weekend nights.  Safe Haven is open from 10pm until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights and is now located outside the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas, where it will remain during and after the works.