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Safeguarding calls doubled this Christmas across Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 16:13 29 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:13 29 December 2017

Norfolk County Council headquarters. County Hall Martineau Lane, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Norfolk County Council headquarters. County Hall Martineau Lane, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

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Emergency safeguarding calls have more than doubled and 1,500 tonnes of salt has been used on Norfolk’s roads this Christmas period.

A gritting lorry out on the roads in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtA gritting lorry out on the roads in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Norfolk County Council has operated a 24-hour service over the festive period and said they have had a “significant increase” in safeguarding calls.

The council’s emergency duty team, which responds to adults and children’s social care referrals outside of normal office hours, dealt with 559 referrals (374 adult calls and 185 children’s services calls) from the evening of Friday, 22 December to 9am on 27 December – up from 238 referrals over the same period last year.

The referrals related to a range of issues including mental health assessments and adult and child safeguarding issues, many relating to family breakdown.

Tom McCabe, Executive Director of Community and Environmental Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “With some difficult weather conditions our highways teams have also cleared trees and debris from our roads over the festive period and have been on several gritting runs as the weather has turned colder in recent days.

“Our firefighters, as always, have worked 24/7 to keep people safe, tackling fires and tending to road traffic collisions throughout the Christmas period.”

The council’s Swift and Night Owls services, which provide help for adults with an urgent, unplanned social care need at home, also worked throughout Christmas.

The teams supported 197 people between the evening of December 22 and 9am on December 27. The team helps to keep people in their homes and reduces demands on other emergency services. For example, if someone has a fall but is not seriously injured, Swifts can bring special lifting equipment to help make moving as safe as possible.

With many people travelling to see loved ones over the festive period, the council Highways team also worked around the clock to help keep the roads clear. Between Christmas Day and Wednesday, they cleared 59 fallen trees and one oil spill, repaired a sinkhole and removed debris from carriageways.

Since Boxing Day, Highways Teams have been gritting extensively with some areas being done six times. About 1,500 tonne of salt has been used in that time.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service received more than 30 calls over Christmas Day and Boxing Day, responding to vehicle and building fires, as well as road traffic incidents.

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