Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership by Charlotte Homent, Community Protection Manager, Cambridgeshire County Council
I work for Cambridgeshire County Council in the Strengthening Communities Service. Whilst we deliver scams prevention work on behalf of Trading Standards, we are very much about engaging with communities and helping them to build resilience from within. That’s why I helped to set up the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership (CAPASP) – to bring together all the right people to support communities to prevent scams and provide support to victims.
CAPASP brings together over 20 local partners, groups and organisations who are all passionate about raising awareness of the financial and emotional harm caused by scams, whilst also providing appropriate support to those who suffer the misfortune of falling victim.
CAPASP believes that prevention is better than cure, and as such, the Friends Against Scams initiative is very much at the heart of what we do. Friends Against Scams provides an excellent opportunity for all partners to spread the word about scams in a consistent and robust way. Our partners are committed to either face-to-face delivery of Friends Against Scams sessions as a SCAMchampion, or promoting the online learning which is helping us to reach more and more of our local citizens and organisations to invite them to join the growing legion of Friends Against Scams.
Many CAPASP partners have now made Friends Against Scams part of their staff mandatory training and part of the staff induction process, ensuring these Friends are better equipped for spotting the hallmarks of scams or victims of scams as they go about their work. We are also committed to registering all partners as Friends Against Scams organisations.
Perhaps one of the most effective ways of recruiting new Friends has been through our ‘5 Simple Steps’ guides and our communications with local communities. The ‘5 Simple Steps’ guides - one version for local councils and one version for community groups - identify some very easy, quick-win steps that local councils and community groups can take to build resilience within their communities to scams. This is very much focussed on Friends Against Scams! And whenever we provide communications to community connectors, articles for local newsletters etc. we highlight Friends Against Scams – in e-mail signatures and in the articles themselves. All simple stuff really, but it’s ensuring residents of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are more resilient to scams.