Safe Zones are making impact in Leighton Buzzard

The Safe Zone scheme is still going strong in Leighton Buzzard as children are aware that shops can help them if they are being bullied.

The initiative launched in September, when Bridge Street cycling shop Dorvics offered its premises as a safe harbour for children, before over 30 shops also pledged allegiance to the scheme via a Facebook page.

Credit: Jane Russell.

Credit: Jane Russell.

And although not all shops are signed up, it seems that youngsters are aware that the town’s businesses can help them, as it was reported that a group of boys went into Wilko to escape a teen gang who were causing trouble .

A local entrepreneur and spokesman for the Safe Zone scheme, said: “I wasn’t there myself, but I heard that a group of three boys were feeling intimated by a gang of ten, and went into Wilko to ask the staff for help and call their parents.

“It’s what the Safe Zone scheme is all about. A few more shops signed up after we last spoke, and we would love to be official partners with Bedfordshire Police and Central Bedfordshire Council.”

Wilko has since signed up to the scheme. A spokesman said: “Helping good causes and supporting great work in our community is at the heart of what we do at Wilko, pulling together with the local communities we serve and enabling hard-working families to be the best they can be.

“This is why our team on the high street at Leighton Buzzard support the Leighton Buzzard Safe Zone Scheme.”

Inspector Craig Gurr, from the Leighton Buzzard community policing team, said: “We welcome initiatives that can help keep people safe and improve community safety.

“However, any official scheme would need to have a number of proper policies in place, around areas such as safeguarding, as well as the support of partners such as the local authority.

“We are due to meet local businesses in the town later in the month and look forward to discussing the idea with them further.”

To find out more about the scheme and see which shops have joined, visit:

www.facebook.com/LBSafeZone/