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Staying safe

In this section you will find information and services that can help you look after your own safety when out and about or in your home, guide you on where to get support if you are a victim of crime or abuse and how to report concerns if you are worried about someone.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I report concerns about an adult or child?

Children and adult safeguarding logos

Everyone has a responsibility to safeguard children, young people and adults who may be at risk of abuse, if you need to report it in an emergency, please call: 999 or if there is no immediate risk, call the police on: 101

If the situation is about the safety or welfare of a child (or young person) contact Together for Children on 0191 561 7007 (available 8.30am to 5:15pm Monday - Thursday, 8.30am to 4.45pm Friday) or via their website here.


Everyone has a responsibility to safeguard children, young people and adults who may be at risk of abuse.  If there is no immediate risk, call the police on 101 if it is an emergency, please call 999.

If you are a member of the public and worried about your own safety or about the safety of someone else, please contact the Safeguarding Adults Team using their online form.

If you have concerns about the safety or welfare of a child or young person contact Together for Children on 0191 561 7007 (available 8.30am to 5:15pm Monday - Thursday, 8.30am to 4.45pm Friday)

How do I get help if I am in a crisis?

This is one of two schemes that make up Sunderland City Council's local welfare provision scheme.  The scheme is intended to help vulnerable people who:

  • do not have short-term resources to be able to meet certain needs themselves following;
  • an emergency or crisis

The scheme supports people with a crisis or emergency and can provide help with:

  • food
  • utilities (gas/electricity)
  • travel costs
  • clothing

Details of eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Council's Crisis Support web page.

How do I report anti-social behaviour?

Find out what is classed as anti-social behaviour, who is tackling it, how you can report it, and what standards of service you can expect to receive from Sunderland City Council. 

The Safer Sunderland Partnership consists of a group of organisations including the City Council, Northumbria Police and landlords all working together to tackle anti-social behaviour.

You can help solve problems in your area by reporting anti-social behaviour to:

  • Northumbria Police on 101 if you are experiencing or witnessing anti-social behaviour which requires a Police response or on 999 if the behaviour is very serious and there is a risk to your safety
  • Your landlord, if you are a social housing tenant:
    • Gentoo by calling 0191 525 5000 (or 0800 028 4445 outside normal opening hours)
    • Home Group on 0345 141 4663
    • Bernicia on 0191 238 3800 or 03448003800 24/7
    • Anchor on 0845 140 2020
    • Two Castles on 0191 2614774

If you are thinking about reporting anti-social behaviour, it may help to record the incident.

More information about anti-social behviour and how to report can be found on the Council's Anti-social behaviour web page.

What can I do if I don't feel safe in my home?

If you feel unsafe in your home, there are things you can do to feel more secure.

Please look at our list of services and advice in this Staying Safe section. 

Alternatively if you need support moving around your home please look at our list of services in the Help to live at home section.  Here you will find equipment and technology that can help you manage in the home

Falls prevention
Falls are the number one reason older people are taken to the emergency department in a hospital. 

If you would like to know how to make your home fall proof, you can find more information on the the the Age UK website.

Fire home safety checks
Firefighters can visit your home, where you may be at the greatest risk from fire, and offer advice on Fire Safety, tailored specifically to your needs and where necessary fit free smoke detectors.

We are currently targeting our resources at those households most at risk, but will attend to you as soon as possible if you request this service. 

Further details can be found on the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue website.

Domestic abuse - psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional

Domestic abuse or violence is a crime - if you're in immediate danger, call 999.

Support can also be sought through the English National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

My Sister’s Place’ provides support services to women over 16 years who are or have suffered domestic abuse. Visit or call 01642 241 864.

The Respect Phoneline is a confidential helpline for domestic violence perpetrators, male or female, wishing to address their violence and abuse. Call freephone 0808 802 4040 Monday to Friday.

Hart Gables aims to provide support and inclusion to lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender individuals of all ages, and the wider community in the Teesside area. Visit or call 01642 675509.

Arch is a specialist provider of free, confidential sexual violence support services across Teesside, offering support to men and women over 14 who have suffered rape or sexual abuse at any time in their lives. Visit or call 01642 822331.

Tees Valley women’s Centre is the only “women only” space in Teesside, providing a holistic approach to all women’s issues. Visit or call 01642 296166.

What can I do if I am homeless or at risk of being homeless?

There are ways you can prevent yourself from becoming homeless you can find out more information on the Council's Homelessness web pages.

If you need housing advice or at risk of becoming homeless it's important that you seek advice as soon as possible. Details of how to do this can be found on the Council's Homeless services web page.

If you are aged 16-17years and homeless you can find more information on the Together for Children's web pages.

How do I get help if I am a victim of abuse?

If you are a victim of abuse or know somebody who is, there are a number of support services that can help with recovery.  Please look at our list of services in the Domestic and sexual abuse services.

What is Hate Crime?

Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person or property because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s:

  • disability
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity

Should I report hate crime?
By reporting them when they happen, you may be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else.  You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can better respond to it.

How do I report hate crime?
There are several ways you can report a hate crime, whether you have been a victim, a witness, or you are reporting on behalf of someone else:

1. In an emergency

  • call 999 or 112.
  • If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. However, you will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergencySMS first. See the emergencySMS website for details.

2. Contact the police

  • You do not have to give your personal details, but please be aware the investigation and ability to prosecute the offender(s) is severely limited if the police cannot contact you. Contact your local police force, either by telephone or by visiting your local police station, details can be found on Northumbria Police website.  

3. Report online

4. Self-reporting form

  • You can download the self reporting form and send this to your local police force. The forms, including an Easy Read version, can be found on the 'Report a hate crime' page.

5. Third party reporting centres

  • Local agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Community Voluntary Services etc can also report the incident on your behalf and provide you with advice and support. The 'Organisations that can help' page has a list of those organisations that may be able to help you.
  • Stop Hate UK provide confidential and independent Hate Crime reporting services in various areas in the UK including a 24 hour helpline.

6. Crimestoppers

  • If you do not want to talk to the police or fill in the reporting forms, you can still report a hate crime by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or via their website at (opens in new window). You do not have to give your name and what you say is confidential. It is free to call.
  • You can give us as little or as much personal information as you wish. But please note:
  • With your details... the incident can be investigated fully and you can get the service you deserve and the support you need.
  • Without your details... the report will be used for monitoring purposes to get a true vision of what is happening.

I'm ready to report - please take me to the reporting page

Where can I go for support and advice as an asylum seeker?

We understand that moving into a new area with new people can be very scary. That is why we have put together a Welcome Pack that includes all the information you need to help you settle into life in Sunderland. In here, you will find a list of local and regional organisations providing practical support and advice for asylum seekers, as well as information on Aspen cards, transport in Sunderland, applying for school places for your children, free Wi-Fi hotspots in the city, things to do for you and your family, and much more.

Visit here for the Welcome Packs available in different languages

We hope you that you will feel safe and secure in Sunderland whilst you await a decision on your application for asylum.

Learning English

You can find a list of English classes to help you improve your language skills while settling into Sunderland here.

When you receive your decision

You will either receive a positive or negative decision on your asylum claim and this decision is made by the Home Office who are part of the national government. This can take anywhere around 6 months to a few years. Once you receive your decision, you will be contacted by Migrant Help who will talk you through your decision and advise you on your next steps. There is also lots of support available from the Council, which you can find here.

If you experience any issues regarding your asylum accommodation or require any financial advice, or if you need help with finding legal representation, or anything else, please contact Migrant Help.

Migrant Help
Asylum helpline: 0808 8010 503

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