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Register your business to become an Ashford Safe Space 

What is a Safe Space?

A Safe Space is a designated premises open to any member of the public who may be in need of immediate help and support, by means of assistance in contacting an appropriate carer, friend, family member or emergency services.

Every business arguably has a degree of commitment to its local community. By becoming part of Ashford Safe Spaces, you strengthen this commitment and advertise this through visibility on the Ashford Streetwise App, Ashford Partnership Against Crime media and Ashford Community Safety Partnership media. You will be known as a place where any person within the town may be able to seek assistance - without fear of self consciousness for their predicament.

What is involved?

This scheme is open to those businesses across Ashford town centre, operating in a public-facing setting. A safe place can be a:

  • Shop
  • Office
  • Restaurant
  • Bar or pub
  • Public building such as a library

By becoming part of the scheme, you agree to:

  • Allow your business to be listed on the APAC and ACSP media, Ashford Streetwise App, as well as displaying a specially designed ‘Safe Space’ sticker on your window.
  • Support a person who on arrival in your building may feel vulnerable, unwell, confused, lost or have been a victim of crime by providing a welcoming and safe environment.
  • Establish how you can help that person through practical, efficient means.
  • Contact the emergency services or a family member/friend they may wish you to contact.
  • Look after the person while you wait for further assistance.

Important: This scheme is intended to provide a short-term safe space – you are not expected to provide ongoing support or become involved in any complex situations, and this is actively discouraged.

Your Responsibilities as a Safe Space:

  • Employ your own risk assessment of a situation - if you deem something is unsafe for you and your staff, call 999 immediately - the welfare of your staff and customers is paramount.
  • Have an open area where the member of the public can wait.  This must be an area open to the general public and not a private area. 
  • Best practice dictates a space that has fully functioning CCTV and adequate staff members to provide assistance whilst not neglecting the business of the premises.
  • Body Worn Video must be employed if this is in use in your business.
  • If the person who has asked for help requires a phone, this telephone call must be made in this public area, by means of a cordless phone if necessary.
  • Town Net Radio should be utilised to seek necessary support from the community of APAC members and Ashford Monitoring Centre.
  • Active Bystander Training is preferable but not absolutely necessary.

If you have any immediate safeguarding concerns, a crime is in progress or the person is in immediate danger please dial 999.  For non urgent safeguarding information, please call 101 or use online reporting through www.kent.police.uk or seek signposting through both Kent Police or Ashford Borough Council web pages.

At no point are you expected to replace any assistance provided by any emergency service.  Your business would be offering a channel with which to seek the appropriate support for an individual, not provide this yourself

Why join?

  • Demonstration of ethical responsibility to the community.
  • Be part of a movement in solidarity with our local community.
  • Public awareness that your business demonstrates universal care.
  • Assist in promoting general awareness of disabilities and vulnerable people.
  • Increase the confidence of those living, working, consuming and socialising in our town.
  • Presenting as an approachable business for any member of the community to approach, whether this be for welfare, business or even directions around town!

If this is something you would like to be a part of, please register your interest. A representative of Ashford Community Safety Partnership will then be in touch with further information and an assessment for suitability.

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