Active bystander or responder - Camden Rise

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How to be an active bystander or responder

This is a guide for residents of all ages across Camden, produced by Regent’s Park Young Guardians and Community Champions as part of a ground-breaking project supported by Fitzrovia Youth in Action and Camden Council’s Detached Youth Team with funding from the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit.

They would like everyone in Camden to learn how to be an ‘active responder’ or an ‘active bystander’. These resident-led resources below will help us all to do this.

ARC

  • Assess safety: When you see someone in trouble, ask yourself: “Can I help safely? Is there still danger? Do I need someone else with me to support?" If you cannot be an ‘active responder’ be an ‘active bystander’.
  • Report: Tell someone, e.g. a trusted adult / authorities. This helps identify if others have similar experiences and for services to prevent other incidents. See contacts below.
  • Care: Ask if they are OK and what they might need. If you can't do this, that's ok - report what has happened so that someone else can check on the victim if possible.

The 5 Ds

If you can be an active responder, there are five ways you can intervene safely - the 5 Ds:

  • Direct. Directly intervene by calling out negative behaviour. Tell the person to stop, ask the victim if they are OK or deliver first aid. Don’t aggravate the situation - remain calm and state why there is an issue.
  • Distract. Interrupt, distract or redirect the situation. Come up with ways to get a victim out of a situation - start a conversation with the perpetrator, have friends intervene, use any excuse to get the victim away to safety.
  • Delegate. Speak to someone you trust who might know how to deal with the situation. Get someone else to step in - e.g. Ask Angela in a venue. Call community safety, another authority or Crimestoppers – see contacts below. In cases of an emergency, where an immediate response is needed, contact the Police on 999.
  • Delay. If the situation is too dangerous to challenge, move away. If you can, wait for the situation to pass, then ensure the victim's safety. Report when safe to do so – it’s never too late to act and let an authority know what has happened. In cases of an emergency, where an immediate response is needed, contact the Police on 999.
  • Document. Make a note or record facts such as the description of the person, time, place and what you witnessed. This might help to stop these situations from occurring again.

Remember - never put yourself in danger. Only intervene if safe to do so.

If someone is injured – follow AS ALERT

Regent’s Park Young Guardians were trained by Street Doctors to use AS ALERT to help remember the following potentially life-saving steps, especially if someone is bleeding or has been injured by a weapon.

  • Ambulance. Call 99 immediately
  • Safety. Assess – are you safe to step in? If not, remain near
  • Apply pressure. If they are bleeding, find where from and apply pressure to reduce blood loss
  • Lie them down. If they are not already, get them onto the ground
  • Elevate legs. This can help blood still get to vital organs
  • Reassure. Talk to them and help calm them – this is important for their breathing
  • Temperature. Blood loss or internal bleeding can make someone very cold. They may look sweaty but very pale.

Keep applying pressure and reassuring them. Report any additional information to authorities so the victim can get support.

Who to contact

As an incident is happening:

After an incident has happened:

  • Camden Community Safety to report issues around antisocial behaviour and to request advice and assistance - call 020 7974 4444 or report online
  • Dial 101 for non-emergency police
  • Your Local Police Safer Neighbourhood Team – e.g. for Regent’s Park, they can be contacted on 020 7161 9354 or RegentsPark.SNT@met.police.uk. Also visit Camden Safer Neighbourhoods Team
  • Local Ward Housing Office on 020 7974 4444, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, for Camden Council tenants and leaseholders
  • Camden Youth Detached team - if any incidents involve young people, email dyt@camden.gov.uk or call 020 7974 2180
  • Speak to your building caretaker who can log it on their system.

Other useful contacts

Contacts for young people

Thank you for using these resources to help your community

These resources were co-produced with young people volunteering as Young Guardians in Regent’s Park Estate between 2022 and 2024. The resources were also used during contextual safeguarding training sessions that the young people designed and delivered in 2024. 

Short animated films – Keeping our community safe, parts 1, 2 and 3

These three short animated films, produced as part of the Young Guardians and Community Champions programme, help to show what being an active bystander or active responder means in a real-life scenario:

You can also find out more about contextual safeguarding and what it means in this short film, also produced as part of this programme:

Or visit Fitzrovia Youth in Action’s website

Credits and acknowledgements

This project and resources have been co-produced between young people, Fitzrovia Youth in Action and Camden Detached Youth Team, who are part of the Council’s Integrated Youth Support Service, with funding from the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit.

The project is also part of the Regent’s Park Estate Young Guardians and Community Champions programme, led by Fitzrovia Youth in Action in partnership and collaboration with residents. The Camden Community Champions programme was originally funded by Camden and Islington Public Health. The black and white photos of young people on the Regent’s Park Estate were taken with local young people, who worked with photographer Louie Stewart.

Four young people looking at their surroundings.