Sefton Fund Knife Wands to make Nightlife Safer

Knife wands are the latest piece of equipment being funded by Sefton Safer Communities Partnership to ensure the local night time-economy in the borough is as safe as it can be.

Thanks to the funding, Merseyside Police Community Officers and Targeted Police Teams, as well as local bars and clubs in the Sefton area, will be supplied with knife wands to help them identify people carrying dangerous weapons and keep club-goers from harm.

The wands will go towards enhancing safety in the area and cracking down on the number of serious and fatal stabbings that happen on our streets.

Councillor Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said:

“I’m delighted that through the Sefton Safer Communities Partnership we have acquired these extra security measures.

“The purchase of knife wands will help reassure our residents and visitors that Sefton is not only an enjoyable place to experience our vibrant night time economy, but also a safe one too.

“Many of our wonderful bars and nightclubs already have very good security in place but these wands will be of great benefit as both a deterrent and a symbol of reassurance.

“These wands and the wider Op Sceptre national campaign will compliment tactics already in place including weapon sweeps, knife arches, test purchasing and high visibility police patrols.”

Superintendent Matt Boyle said:

“These wands will act as a deterrent to those carrying weapons and a reassurance to the community that we’re doing everything we can to prevent knife related crime in the area.

“Liverpool City Council have already funded a roll out of the wands towards the end of last year following the tragic death of Sam Cook. Reports show these tools have been received really well and are key in keeping our communities safe.”

Merseyside is one of a number of police forces across the UK taking part in a week-long operation (Op Sceptre) aiming to highlight the work regularly being done across the county, and nationally, to combat the issue of knife crime.

As a police force, we’ll continue educating the public on the dangers of carrying knives in the hope this ensures people can safely enjoy being out and about in the Sefton town centre and surrounding areas. I’m proud to be supporting Sefton Safer Communities Partnership as they roll out a further 45 wands and I hope this gets the message across that it isn’t acceptable to carry a knife.”

Anyone that would like to report any forms of knife crime is asked to contact us via our social media desk @MerPolCC or call 101. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Pupils rewarded for Anti-Scrambler Bike Project

On Tuesday, 9 February, Merseyside Police will host a prize-giving event which rewards Sefton schoolchildren who have been involved in an anti-scrambler bike education project during the Autumn term in 2017.

The project was set up by Constable Alan Thompson from Bootle Neighbourhood team, Sefton Council, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and aims to highlight the impact off-road bikes have on local communities in Sefton.

The five schools involved are:

  • Hatton Hill Primary School, Alwyn Avenue, Bootle
  • Lander Primary School, Pennington Road, Litherland
  • All Saints Primary School, Chestnut Grove, Bootle
  • The Grange Primary School, Waterside, Bootle
  • English Martyrs Primary School, School Lane, Litherland (will not be at the event)

Early in 2017, Year 5 pupils at the schools received education on the dangers of off-road bikes and impact they cause in their communities. Assemblies have been given to each of the primary schools from Merseyside Police, Sefton Council Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and Alder Hey Hospital. Once the pupils returned to school to begin their Year 6 studies, they each designed and filmed a 90-second video. They have also taken part in a trip to Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre and an awareness day in the Yorkshire Dales, where demonstrations were given on how to use bikes appropriately at designated locations.

The 15 winners of the video competition will be presented their certificates by Andy Grant, former Royal Marine, motivational speaker, athlete and star of ITV show Paragon and Pete Price, DJ from Radio City, before the grand unveiling of the top-secret children’s prize, a ski trip to Scotland. Their videos will also be used in a publicity campaign in the Sefton area.

Merseyside Police Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: “We know that these bikes can cause significant nuisance, stress and danger to members of our communities across Merseyside, and we will continue to stand alongside our partners and communities in our commitment to eradicating the problem. We strongly believe that education and engagement is vital, so that parents, guardians and future generations understand the impact and harm that we see on a regular basis. Together, we can all make a difference to make our streets safer.

“We hope that by getting involved in this exciting project, these young people have learned some valuable lessons to share far and wide, and that they enjoy tonight’s event and their reward.”

Merseyside Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “I’m delighted to see this great local initiative running for a second year.

“Nuisance bikes are a blight on the whole community. That is why it is so important we engage with young people from an early age to make them aware of the potential dangers and help steer them away from getting involved with the anti-social and illegal use of bikes. It is clear from the videos which have been produced that, once again, the pupils involved have shown real enthusiasm and energy for this project. Their work will be used to send out a strong message about the harm these bikes can cause.”

“I congratulate the winners and all the young people who have taken part, as well as the officers and staff who have worked on this fantastic campaign.”

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “It is really pleasing to see so many Sefton school pupils being recognised like this through such an important project.

“Our local communities have told us how scrambler bikes are a problem for them and through this initiative important messages about the risks and dangers of using them have been learnt.

“It is also another great example of partnership working and engaging with our communities to make Sefton a safer place for everyone.”

New Year, New Challenge? Become a Volunteer!

Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner is inviting anyone looking for a new challenge for 2018 to consider becoming an independent custody visitor.

Cllr Emily Spurrell is looking to recruit more volunteers to be part of an important scheme which sees members of the community check on the welfare of people detained in police custody.

The Independent Custody Visiting programme was established following the investigation into the Brixton riots in 1981 and is now the responsibility of Police and Crime Commissioners to operate in their respective areas across the country.

The scheme sees volunteers undertake random, unannounced visits of police cells to check on the conditions and make sure those being held are being cared for appropriately.

There is currently a committed team of 23 volunteers who dedicate their time to the scheme, but the Deputy Commissioner is now looking to get up to 10 more people involved.

The volunteers visit the region’s custody suites in pairs, at varied times of the night and day, throughout the year. Once on site, they check on the welfare of those detained and the conditions within the suite and produce a report for the Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, and her Deputy. They can then raise any issues directly with Merseyside Police.

Emily said: “Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) carry out an important public duty which provides reassurance to the public, the police and to me that we are detaining men and women here on Merseyside properly and caring for them appropriately.

“Detainees are potentially vulnerable and visits by our ICV volunteers are a key protection for them and a vital part of our criminal justice system, ensuring their legal entitlements and rights are respected.

“This is an interesting and rewarding role where volunteers can make a real difference within their community and get an insight into how our police system operates. By volunteering for this scheme, people can play their part in promoting the highest standards of policing. This is a fantastic opportunity for people who are looking for a new challenge for the New Year.”

The ICV scheme in Merseyside has been in operation since April 1984, when 20 members of the public were trained as visitors.

Last year, Merseyside’s ICV volunteers made a total of 265 impromptu trips to custody suites in the region, offering to see more than 2,300 detainees.

ICVs must have good observational and thinking skills, strong ethical principles and be able to maintain confidentiality. They should also be comfortable challenging authority if required. Ideally the volunteers will also come from a range of backgrounds, ages and experience.

Volunteers must be over 18 years old and live or work in the Merseyside area. Full training will be given. It is expected that volunteers make one visit a month.

How can I apply?

If you would like to apply to be an ICV, please complete the application form and equality and diversity monitoring form below and forward to the OPCC via email or post at the contact details below by Friday 2nd February 2018:

Application Form

Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside,
Allerton Police Station,
Rose Lane,
Liverpool,
L18 6JE

Tel: 0151 777 5155

Email: OPCC.ICV@merseyside.pnn.police.uk

For more information, please refer to the recruitment pack below:

Recruitment Pack

You can also find out more about the ICV scheme here. If you any have any other queries, do not hesitate to get in contact with the OPCC on the email address or telephone number provided.

Merseyside Police introduce ‘The Herbert Protocol’ for missing or vulnerable people.

Merseyside Police would like to introduce you to The Herbert Protocol – an initiative named after George Herbert – a War veteran of the Normandy landings – who lived with dementia.

‘We appreciate that caring for people with dementia is challenging – and that planning ahead and keeping safe is really important.  More than 60% of people living with dementia can at some point start to “walk about”.  Whilst this may only be into the garden or street and returning a short time later, people can get lost and go missing; leading to feelings of confusion, fear and vulnerability – particularly at night time or at times of extreme weather.

As part of making reasonable life adjustments, we want to help by putting a system in place that will help to give the emergency services the best possible information should there be a need for them to become involved in a search for someone with dementia.

Don’t trick or mistreat during Halloween and Bonfire night!

Merseyside Police is encouraging young people, families and businesses to play their part in helping to keep their communities safe over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.

Officers will be patrolling local neighbourhoods to ensure people can enjoy the festivities in their area safely but Merseyside Police cannot do this alone.

Have you been affected by crime?

A message from Jane Kennedy, Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner

“Being a victim of crime can be an extremely upsetting and distressing experience and I understand how important it is that, in their moment of need, a victim gets the help and support they need to cope, and eventually recover.”

“Since 2015 I have been responsible for commissioning some of the support services that are on offer to victims of crime here on Merseyside. This includes support for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities – survivors of sexual offences, child sexual exploitation, domestic violence and hate crime. I am now at the early stage of planning the services that I will commission for 2018-2021 and I want to make sure I am providing the right support, at the right time, for the people who need it most.”

“That’s why I am urging anyone who has been affected by crime (or has decided to seek support for an historic offence) in the last three years to share their experience of the support they received with me to help ensure I commission the right services for victims in the future.”

“I don’t want to second guess the needs of victims and that’s why your views are so important. By listening to your feedback and experiences I can get put the right services in place to help those who are most in need.”

“It is only takes 10 minutes to share your views through a short, anonymous, online survey. By taking part, you will be playing a vital role in ensuring even better care and support for victims in the future.”

“Your help is really appreciated.”

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/merseysidevictimexperiencesurvey

The deadline for taking part is Saturday 16th September.

 

Merseyside PCC releases £45,000 to help young people make right choices

Community groups which work to divert young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour are being given the chance to bid for grants for projects running during the autumn half-term, thanks to Merseyside’s Police Commissioner.

Jane Kennedy has confirmed that she is once again releasing a round of funding from the Police Property Act Fund (PPA), which allows money raised from the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police to be used for good causes.

It is the eighth time the Commissioner has invited community organisations, charities and groups to apply for a vital cash boost of up to £5,000 grants for grassroots initiatives which are working to help young people to make the right choices. A total of £45,000 is available from the fund for one-off grants for organisations which are committed to improving community safety, reducing crime or supporting victims.

Jane has already awarded nearly £288,000 through the PPA to organisations that are making a difference in their communities. Since July 2015, the fund has been used to concentrate on youth engagement initiatives.

The Commissioner said: “I am pleased to once again open up the Police Property Act Fund for bids of up to £5,000 to organisations which are working to make their communities safer and better places to live by engaging with young people.

“Many communities across Merseyside traditionally see a rise in criminal and anti-social behaviour during the autumn half-term, particularly around Bonfire and Mischief Night. Historically, it is also a particularly busy time for the police and the fire service. Through these grants, I want to help alleviate these issues and prevent local young people from making mistakes they may regret in the future.

“Once a young person gets a criminal record it can blight their future prospects. If we can prevent them from making mistakes at a young age we can look forward to their positive contribution to their neighbourhoods.

“I want to see these grants used to support projects that complement the excellent diversionary work carried out by Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, ensuring that young people can enjoy the autumn festivities in a safe and enjoyable way which is properly supervised.”

Last year, more than 12,000 young people were able to join organised activities run through 22 different initiatives funded through the PPA over the Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations.

Jane added: “Local people know their communities best. They know what works when engaging with their young people and I am looking forward to reviewing their ideas and initiatives for ensuring everyone can have a safe and fun Halloween.”

The PPA fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, (CFM) on behalf of the Commissioner. CFM holds funds from individuals and organisations as donors who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside.”

All applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation for Merseyside by 5pm on Monday 21st August. Please visit their website http://www.cfmerseyside.org.uk/funds/police-property-act-fund to apply.

New road safety strategy for the Liverpool City Region given the green light

The Liverpool City Region’s Road Safety Strategy 2017-2020 was approved at today’s Liverpool City Region Combined Authority meeting.  This three year strategy aims to reduce the number of those killed and seriously injured on Merseyside’s roads.

The plan outlines the methods and measures that will be used by partners who make up the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership – Merseyside District Councils, Merseytravel, Merseyside Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service, Highways England, and the health sector.  This has also been shared with the Cheshire Road Safety Partnership covering the Halton borough, who will be adopting a similar approach.

The measures and methods used to help achieve safer roads include education (promoting road safety messages through targeted campaigns and training), enforcement (ensuring road users adhere to safety measures that have been implemented, particularly driving at a safe speed) and engineering (identifying and introducing remedial measures to improve road safety and ensuring new highway projects operate safely).

Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport portfolio lead for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said “We all have a role to play to ensure our roads are safer and the number of accidents and injuries on our roads are reduced.  We can play our part, but we also need our residents and road users to play their part too by listening to and taking on board the information around road safety awareness and adhering to road safety law, particularly around speed limits and to not be distracted whilst driving, for example, by using your mobile phone.”

The strategy also includes targeted action plans to keep cyclists, motorcycle users, senior road users and pedestrians safe on and around Merseyside’s roads.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram added “I want the Liverpool City Region to be safe for all road users, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians alike and through collaborative working, we can achieve more by pooling our resources and expertise.  Through this strategy, all agencies and road users have shared goals to work towards reducing the number of casualties and fatalities on our roads.”

Jane Kennedy, Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, said “Every death or serious injury on the roads of Merseyside is one too many. By working together to manage education, enforcement and engineering, we hope that Merseyside’s roads will be safer.

“From an enforcement perspective, Merseyside Police will play its part by ensuring those disregarding road safety are robustly dealt with through the appropriate penalties, but we can reduce the need for enforcement action through better education, awareness and understanding the consequences if people continue to flout the law.”

Take a look at the full strategy here.

‘Is it worth it?’ – anti-scrambler project

Merseyside Police and Police Commissioner are delighted to be working with Amelix Youth Projects in their Merseyside school tour ‘Is It Worth It?’, which will aim to raise awareness about the dangers of off-road motorbikes.

The tour is visiting schools across Merseyside in the lead-up to the summer holiday period, during which incidents of anti-social behaviour involving scrambler and other motorbikes are known to increase.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said:

“I hear repeatedly from people across Merseyside about the heightened anxiety and fear that the illegal use of scrambler and off-road bikes causes in our communities.

“Such bikes are noisy and dangerous, as recent incidents have shown. They are a nuisance to decent, hard-working people, they endanger the safety of innocent road users and pedestrians and they are being used to carry out serious crime.

“That is why it is so important we engage with young people and make them aware of the consequences of getting involved with the anti-social use of bikes. This production is portraying this important message to hundreds of teenagers across Merseyside at a critical time, before they leave school for the summer holidays. I hope it will prompt any young person thinking of using a scrambler bike to ask ‘Is it worth it?’”

Chief Inspector Gary O’Rourke leads Merseyside Police’s Operation Brookdale campaign, which tackles the illegal and nuisance use of off-road motorbikes:

We know that off-road bikes can cause significant nuisance, stress and danger to members of our communities and we are committing to taking all possible measures to eradicate the problem, short and long term. We need to work together to discourage young people from reckless behaviour on our roads, which endangers other road users, pedestrians and the riders themselves.

“A key part of this is education and engagement, working closely with schools and our other partners. Projects like ‘Is It Worth It?’ are about helping to steer young people away from getting involved in such dangerous behaviour, as we see the massive harm that this behaviour can cause, from nuisance through to serious injuries and deaths on the roads.

“The school tours are designed to be fun, interactive and memorable for the pupils so that the messages about the consequences for them and the community they are part of really stick. Peer pressure can work both ways – we want them to avoid the temptation to get onto that scrambler bike but also persuade their friends not to as well.”

“I am sure the hundreds of young people who see this show on Merseyside will learn a great deal, and share this learning within their families, friends and the wider community.”

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:

“We’re really pleased to see this fantastic Merseyside-wide initiative being launched in Sefton, as we know that our local communities tell us that this is a problem for them.

“The idea of using innovative and interactive school workshops will bring the issue to life ensuring that the important messages, about the risks and dangers of using scrambler bikes, is easily understood and remembered by the young people.”

Merseyside PCC urges Government to listen to public concerns on police cuts

Politicians across the North West of England have come together to call on the Government to reverse years of policing austerity in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester joined Police and Crime Commissioners for Merseyside, Lancashire and Cheshire in writing to the Home Secretary to ensure that the public’s concerns about police cuts are top of the Government’s agenda. Citing recent attacks and the erosion of neighbourhood policing that provides vital community intelligence they said,

“As Home Secretary you have the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that police forces across the country are properly resourced so they can keep people safe and tackle crime. We are asking that you ensure that this is a priority for the Government by making a clear commitment to reverse austerity in policing in this year’s Queen’s Speech.”

Across the four forces more than £385 million in savings have had to be found since 2010 with a further estimated £90m to be found by 2020. This has meant a reduction of more than 4,000 police officers and 1,500 fewer police staff across the region.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “I have lobbied central government for more funding for our police service for years. It is has now got to the point that Chief Constables and senior policing leaders can no longer stay silent and are speaking out.

“The need is real. It is time ministers listened.

“The thin blue line is stretched like never before and further cuts are damaging all frontline services. The government needs to stop these cuts and, instead, consider how to invest in the service which works so hard to keep us all safe, all of the time.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “We urgently need a wholesale review of police funding in the light of the changing times we are living in. Our police forces have absorbed the brunt of cuts as best they can since 2010, but more savings still need to be found and officer numbers are tumbling. As we see the terrorist threat at its highest ever level, and an increase in violent crime, our thin blue line has become dangerously overstretched.

“In Greater Manchester alone we have 2,000 fewer police officers patrolling our streets. This level of pressure cannot be sustained and, without a doubt, Greater Manchester Police needs more officers. Our Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has said that officer numbers are currently at the low end of reasonable, which to me means borderline unreasonable.

“The tragic events of recent months have highlighted just how important the police service is to the safety of our people, and this is an area that cannot simply be pruned back beyond recognition. But even prior to these terror attacks, policing was struggling to cope with the day-to-day demands placed on it. The Government must act now and reverse the cuts before our police service becomes unviable.”

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said, “I hear from people and officers across Lancashire about their concerns about the resources available to the police to do their job and keep communities safe.

“The Government need to listen to these concerns and commit to reversing austerity in policing in the Queen’s Speech this week.

“Despite promises from Ministers around ‘protecting’ budgets Lancashire receives less money every year from the Government to deliver a policing service. My message to the Home Secretary is that this needs to change and we need to start re-investing in policing, not cutting our budgets further.”

In Merseyside, savings of £84 million have had to be found since 2010 with more than £18 million additional savings estimated to be needed by 2021/22. This has already meant a reduction of more than 1,000 officers in seven years.

To read the full letter Click here.

Merseyside Police Commissioner joins LCR Combined Authority

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has joined the region’s Combined Authority to provide expertise on criminal justice.

Jane Kennedy has joined Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s team as a co-opted member to provide strategic support over the next three years.

A raft of Mayoral advisers will also join the authority, which consists of  the Metro Mayor, the six Local Authority leaders, the Chair of the City Region LEP and the Chair of Merseytravel.

Metro Mayor Rotheram has appointed an initial group of advisers to support his administration on areas including; Higher Education, Voluntary and Community sector, Natural Environment, Social Housing Growth, Homelessness, Mental Health and the Visitor Economy.

The appointment of Mayoral advisers is about utilising independent strategic advice from talent across the Liverpool City Region who will support the bold programme and vision of the Metro Mayor.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “I am delighted that the Combined Authority has unanimously agreed to co-opt Jane Kennedy. The Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner will provide a strong voice for the criminal justice system within the current structure – a logical extension of her current responsibilities which includes serving as Chair of the Merseyside Criminal Justice Board and the Merseyside Community Safety Partnership.

“I am also thrilled that such a talented group of individuals have agreed to work with me to help broaden the scope of the devolution deal and implement the convening powers of office. The role of the advisers is about utilising experts from right across Merseyside and Halton who are doing pioneering work in their fields to improve business opportunities and the lives of ordinary people.”

Commenting on her appointment to the Combined Authority, Jane Kennedy said: “I welcomed the invitation from Steve Rotheram for me to join the Combined Authority as a co-opted member. It demonstrates his intention to broaden the membership and expertise of the Board.

“I will do my best to assist the on-going development of the regional structure, whilst working closely with my colleague David Keane, Cheshire PCC, to ensure the interests of all the people of the city region are represented with regard to policing, victim support and criminal justice matters.

“I look forward to working with Steve and his colleagues on the cabinet to drive public service reforms for the benefit of people across the region.”

Speaking about supporting the Metro Mayor as an adviser, Luciana Berger MP said: “I look forward to championing mental health across the Liverpool City Region as one of Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s new advisers. It is a huge task and one that I am delighted to have been asked to push forward.”

Mayoral Advisers

Janet Beer – Higher Education

Professor Janet Beer took up post as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool in 2015 after 7 years as Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University. Professor Beer is Chair of the Board of the Equality Challenge Unit. She is also a Board member of UCAS and a Trustee of the British Council.

Kate Farrell – Homelessness

Kate Farrell is Director of Crisis Skylight Merseyside – a homeless organisation that supports thousands of people each year.

Rev Canon Dr Ellen Loudon – Voluntary and Community Sector

Rev Canon Dr Ellen Loudon is Canon Chancellor at the Liverpool Cathedral. Dr Louden was appointed the Director of Social Justice for the Diocese of Liverpool and is currently the Area Dean and Vicar at St Luke’s Walton.

Gideon Ben-Tovim OBE – Natural Environment

Gideon Ben-Tovim OBE is Chair of the Innovation Agency, having previously served as Chair of the Liverpool NHS Primary Care Trust and Chair of NHS Merseyside. He is also Chair of Nature Connected, the Liverpool City Region Local Nature Partnership.

Barbara Spicer – Social Housing Growth

Barbara Spicer CBE is Chief Executive of the Plus Dane Group. Ms Spicer is a Commissioner at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and was formerly Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency.

Luciana Berger – Mental Health

Luciana Berger has been the Labour Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree since 2010. She has also served as a Shadow Minister for Mental Health.

Sarah Wilde McKeown – Visitor Economy

Sarah Wilde McKeown is the chair of the Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy Board and a trustee of the Royal Court Theatre Trust. She is also the Managing Director of Liverpool Public Relations agency Influential.

Sefton’s Beach Safe 2017 initiative sails into action

The Beach Safe 2017 campaign is under way. The initiative by Sefton Council in partnership with Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue and the National Trust will promote safe use of the beaches along Sefton’s 22 miles of coast.

They are encouraging people to be aware of potential risks and dangers of being on the beach, as well as being respectful to the environment and other beach users. The Beach Safe campaign is an annual summer collaboration of partners hoping to ensure everybody stays safe and enjoys our beautiful coast.

The campaign is comprised of several safety messages from checking high tides and cleaning up after your dog, to not having BBQ’s and remembering to wear sun screen.

A Sefton Council spokesperson said,

“We are delighted to work with partners again to deliver these important messages. We want all beach users to be safe and to have a great time enjoying the Sefton coast. We ask that beach users be respectful to each other and the environment.”

 

Merseyside Communities back 4p plan to protect local policing

More than 84% of respondents to a public consultation have supported a proposal to protect local policing from on-going government grant cuts.

A total of 1120 people responded, either in person or online, to the consultation undertaken by the Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, to find out whether residents would be prepared to contribute a little extra to protect Merseyside Police’s budget from a government shortfall.

Despite the government’s promise to protect police budgets, when confirmation of the police grant was provided to Police Commissioners it was confirmed that Merseyside Police was facing a further reduction of 1.4% to its grant – the equivalent of £3.3m

In their calculations, ministers assumed local taxpayers would help to make up the difference by paying more through the ‘police precept’, part of the council tax. Even making the biggest increase possible – of 1.95% – less than half the money lost by the grant reduction will be clawed back, just £1.4m.

While the government expected taxpayers to make up the difference, the Commissioner has spent the last two weeks consulting local people to find out if they would be willing to contribute a little extra to limit the impact of these cuts and protect police officer jobs.

The results revealed that 84% of people were willing to approve an increase to the Police Precept, with just 15% of the public saying they were not prepared to pay more and 1% of people being unsure.

The increase work out as 4p a week, or £2 a year, for a Band A household – the amount paid by the majority of taxpayers on Merseyside.

Even after this small increase, the police element of Council Tax bills on Merseyside will still be among the lowest in the country.

Jane said: “While the Government arrogantly assumed taxpayers would be willing to pay more, I wanted to actually ask local people their views.

“Once again I am overwhelmed by the public’s support for their local police service. While the Government are clearly not willing to provide the funding the police need and deserve, the vast majority of local people are prepared to contribute a little extra to protect Merseyside Police. This shows just how highly people value their police.

“It is now my responsibility to work with the Chief Constable to get the most out of every pound we spend and deliver the most effective and efficient service we can with the resources we have.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation – including the small minority who did feel they are taxed enough. I know everyone is feeling the pinch at the moment and I ask people to pay more extremely reluctantly.”

During the consultation, the Commissioner held a community roadshow event in each local authority area, with two in Liverpool, in order to hear the views of many people as possible. She also conducted an online survey on her website.

A total of 938 people said they would be prepared to contribute a more, while 173 people said they did not think it was reasonable to ask tax payers to pay more for police services.  9 people were undecided.

The Commissioner will now present her proposed budget to the Police and Crime Panel today (Thursday, February 2nd) for consideration and approval. In order to balance the budget, the Force will need to make a further £8.3m of savings next year.

 

Police and Crime Panel approve Merseyside PCC’s budget plan

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner’s proposals to balance the region’s police budget in the face of on-going government grants cuts have been approved by the Police and Crime Panel.

The Panel considered and unanimously approved Jane Kennedy’s plans to offset the impact of a £3.3m funding shortfall caused by a Government cut to Merseyside Police’s grant funding.

Her proposal included increasing the police precept, collected as part of the Council Tax, by 1.95%. While Government ministers assumed that taxpayers could pay more to offset the shortfall in the grant they provided, Jane only included this increase after consulting with local people.

More than XXX people responded to the consultation, with XX% of respondents supporting the proposal to pay slightly more in order to protect local policing. The increase works out as 4p a week or £2 a year for a Band A household – the amount paid by the majority of tax payers on Merseyside.

Now the Police and Crime Panel have signalled their endorsement of the Commissioner’s plans, she will ask the region’s local authorities to implement the increase this April.

Even with this extra contribution by local people through the police precept, the Commissioner and Chief Constable will still have to find £8.3m of savings next financial year in order to balance the budget.

Jane said: “Asking people to pay more is something I do extremely reluctantly, but my consultation clearly demonstrated that people are willing to support their local police service and contribute a little extra in order to protect frontline police services. The Police and Crime Panel have also recognised the necessity of this increase and I’m grateful for their support.

“Merseyside Police has lost more than 1,500 officers, PCSOs and staff since 2010, yet still the government fails to safeguard police budgets and, instead, arrogantly assumed local people, who are already feeling the pinch, can help to make up the shortfall.

“This tied my hands. Without local taxpayers agreeing to pay more our police service would have again lost out and we cannot afford to lose any more.

“I thank the public for playing their part in protecting our police service and helping to keep our communities safe.”

 

PCC backs charity campaign to help protect older people from financial abuse

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, has joined Action on Elder Abuse in urging older people and their families to learn how to spot the signs of financial abuse.

Data from the charity suggests that as many as 1,553 older people in Merseyside may currently be experiencing financial abuse.*

Typical financial crimes perpetrated against older people include fraud, forgery or embezzlement; the misuse of proxy decision making powers; ‘doorstep crime’, e.g. bogus tradesmen and postal, phone or internet scams.

Jane Kennedy, Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside, said: “Sadly, elder abuse is a big problem and one that can take place anywhere, even in the victim’s own home. In many cases the perpetrators are known to the victim and may even by the person who has been trusted to care for them.

“All of this can make the reporting of these crimes very difficult, which is why I am working with Action on Elder Abuse to raise awareness of the issue and highlight steps the public can take to combat it.

“It is vital that we draw attention to this problem and bring these often hidden crimes out into the open. I urge anyone who is either being abused themselves or suspects a loved one may be at risk to be vigilant and report it to the police or to Action on Elder Abuse’s confidential helpline.”

The PCC and Action on Elder Abuse have said that older people can help keep themselves safe by:

  • Checking bank statements regularly and tracking receipts
  • Reducing how much money can be taken from an account at any one time
  • Having a copy of the bank statement sent to someone trustworthy to check
  • Limiting the use of ‘chip and pin’ to control money
  • Keeping important documents and valuables out of sight
  • Never letting anyone into your home unless you can confirm their identity or they have made an appointment
  • Only booking work on a house through ‘trusted trader’ schemes
  • Treat anyone asking for your financial details unsolicited with suspicion and note that banks will never ask you for your account number or pin details.

In instances where an older person is not in a position to protect themselves from financial abuse (e.g. they have dementia), the charity advises that families and loved ones stay vigilant to spot the signs that abuse may be taking place. These include:

  • Signatures on official documents that do not resemble the older person’s own
  • Changes in banking habits (e.g. large sums of money being withdrawn)
  • The inclusion of additional names on bank accounts
  • Abrupt changes to, or the sudden establishment of, wills
  • Sudden and unexplained transfers of assets to a family member or someone outside the family
  • The unexplained disappearance of funds or possessions
  • The deliberate isolation of an older person from friends and family, resulting in a carer having total control.
  • The sudden introduction of a Power of Attorney document that places control with an unknown Third Party

The charity is urging anyone who has concerns that they, or someone close to them is being financially abused to call its confidential helpline (080 8808 8141) which can offer support and advice and support on all aspects of elder abuse.

Action on Elder Abuse Chief Executive, Gary FitzGerald, said: “Unfortunately, older people are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse and there are far too many people who seek to exploit them. Financial abuse can take many forms – it’s everything from carers or family pilfering money to phone scams and having Power of Attorney misappropriated. Very often, the perpetrator is someone close to the older person, such as a relative or carer.

“So we want to equip older people to protect themselves where appropriate and for those who love them to spot the signs that their older friend or relative may be being abused. Talking about things such as internet safety and ‘stranger danger’ is something we do routinely with our children. It’s about time we took the issue of abuse of older people just as seriously.”

Action on Elder Abuse operates a confidential helpline (080 8808 8141) offering advice and support on all aspects of elder abuse.

AREA ALL OVER 65 NUMBER OF OLDER PEOPLE LIKELY TO BE EXPERIENCING ABUSE
Knowsley 24,644 147
Liverpool 70,039 420
Sefton 61,809 370
St. Helens 35,384 212
Wirral 67,007 402
Merseyside (Met County) 258,883 1553

* Figure calculated using UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People Prevalence Survey Report (O’Keefe et al 2007) and ONS data.

Action on Elder Abuse is a UK-wide charity with a presence in all four nations. It aims to protect and prevent the abuse of vulnerable older people by raising awareness of the issues, encouraging education and giving information and support to those in need.

It has the only national freephone helpline (Elder Abuse Response) dedicated to this cause, open Monday to Friday between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm on 080 8808 8141 for confidential support and information.

For more information, please visit www.elderabuse.org.uk

 

Police launch festive crackdown on drink and drug driving

MERSEYSIDE Police has launched its annual Christmas drink and drug driving campaign, urging motorists to have ‘None For The Road.’

Officers from the Roads Policing Unit and colleagues across the force will be stepping up patrols throughout the month-long campaign, which runs until Sunday, January 1.

They will be paying particular attention to areas across Merseyside in the evenings and early in the morning, to target those who are risking driving the morning after drinking or taking drugs the night before.

During last year’s Christmas drink and drug driving campaign, officers carried out a total of 7,925 breath tests in Merseyside.

A total of 224 (3%) of all drivers failed the test and were arrested. During the same period, drug impairment and drug tests were carried out, with 66 drivers being arrested.

Sergeant Paul Mountford, of Merseyside Police’s roads policing unit, said: “The numbers of people drink driving on our roads are falling because it has become socially unacceptable.

“We were encouraged last year to see 97% of the people we tested were driving responsibly. Anyone considering taking stupid risks needs to remember that people who drive at twice the current legal alcohol level are at least 50 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision.

“During last year’s campaign, it was disappointing to see a slight increase in motorists drug driving. Therefore, as well as roadside breath tests, our officers will again be undertaking drug impairment tests. Drug testing is now routine at the roadside in Merseyside and cannabis and cocaine are the two most common drugs used by drivers arrested in Merseyside. We have a very high detection rate in these cases of 98%.

“I also want to warn people about the risks of using medicinal drugs. Always read the instructions on the packaging carefully or speak to your GP or chemist. Taking certain medicines with alcohol can severely affect a person’s driving and if the label says ‘do not operate machinery’ that means do not drive.

“Our message to drivers is not to drink or take drugs and then drive, just simply pre-plan your evenings out, use public transport or have a designated non-drinking driver.

“We are all entitled to use the roads safely, be it driving, walking, or cycling.

“ If you know or suspect that someone is drink or drug driving, do not hesitate in reporting them anonymously via Crimestoppers. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and your actions could be saving lives at the festive period and throughout the year.”

Safe Skills bid to prevent online grooming across the Liverpool City Region

A ground-breaking project between police, councils and child protection experts to help protect young people from being sexually exploited is being launched in Merseyside.

‘Safe Skills’ will be offered to schools throughout the country with the aim of giving children and teenagers the knowledge and ability to spot older people trying to groom them online and in person.

The project, which has been tested in St Helens Primary, will be delivered to schools in Liverpool, St Helens, Wirral, Sefton and Knowsley with the aim of encouraging every institution in Merseyside to incorporate it into their curriculum.

The package will develop young people’s resilience to protect themselves against these risks by using films, role plays and interactive activities about grooming behaviours and controlling relationships.

Merseyside Police has been working with young person’s charity, Ariel Trust, in Liverpool as well as safeguarding experts from all five local authorities, who have helped to fund the scheme, as well as the NSPCC to create the free educational service.

Ariel Trust Director, Paul Ainsworth, told JMU Journalism: “Even though there are many different resources out there for raising awareness, there are questions about how much they can actually change behaviour.

“The reason why the Safe Skills project is unique is because it has been developed by children in Merseyside for children in Merseyside and helps give them the relevant and proactive skills and strategies to know how to behave if they are in a risky situation.”

YouTube: Ariel Trust

Detective Superintendent Dave Brunskill, from Merseyside Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People Unit, said: “Sexual exploitation exists in lots of different forms and it is not always obvious to the victim when it first starts happening. Groomers use the cloak of anonymity the web provides to hide who they really are and the real reason they are befriending them.

“Once they have won the victim’s trust, they can exploit them for sexual or financial gain and the consequences for that young person can be dreadful.

“The pilot in 17 schools in Merseyside earlier this year was really encouraging and, thanks to support from the five local authorities and the pilot schools themselves our ambition now is to embed Safe Skills into as many schools in Merseyside as possible so that each and every child is better protected from harm.”

Mini Police Join National Campaign To Warn Speeding Drivers

Merseyside Police Mini Police have carried out a campaign to warn speeding drivers in Bootle and Litherland as part of National Road Safety Week.

Members of Hatton Hill Primary School Mini Police stopped around 20 vehicles on Hatton Hill Road yesterday morning, using the speed gun and issuing warning letters and posters to drivers, advising them to stick to the speed limit.

Later on, members of St Monica’s Catholic Primary School in Bootle carried out a campaign near to their school, stopping a further 10 vehicles to issue advice.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Jon Coote said: “When our young Mini Police stop drivers, the dangers of speeding really hit home. We are so proud of the excellent work the Mini Police are doing with us since their introduction.

“If yesterday makes people think twice about their driving, especially near to schools, the roads will be much safer for everyone.”

Plans for new Merseyside Police Headquarters unveiled

The PCC has today unveiled plans for a new headquarters for Mersey Police on a key gateway into Liverpool.

Following a year-long evaluation of all the options, Jane Kennedy’s preferred choice for the future of Merseyside Police headquarters is to develop a new purpose-built headquarters on a site on Scotland Road in Everton ward.

Even by conservative estimates, building a new headquarters will be £780,000 cheaper than refurbishing the existing police headquarters in Canning Place. A more efficient and environmentally-friendly new build headquarters will also be £380,000 a year cheaper to run and maintain, helping the organisation to save £15.5m compared to the cost of keeping Canning Place over the next 40 years.

The new headquarters will consist of a four-storey building with a single-storey annex, housing nearly 850 officers, PCSOs, and staff in largely open-plan offices, as well as providing meeting rooms, a lecture theatre and break-out spaces. It will be located on a predominantly brownfield site, largely owned by Liverpool City Council and bound by Scotland Road, St Anne Street and the approach road to the Queensway tunnel. It is also adjacent to the Force’s existing St Anne Street site.

Jane said: “It has been a complex and thorough process to get to the position where I can make this decision today. Extensive evaluations have been undertaken which confirm that building a new headquarters on Scotland Road is the most effective, efficient and economical way to ensure that Merseyside Police is able to tackle crime and protect our communities now and for years to come.”

Take a look at the full details here:
http://www.merseysidepcc.info/36/section.aspx/35/plans_for_new_merseyside_police_headquarters_unveiled

Merseyside Police work with partners to Tackle Drug Dealing and Antisocial use of Scrambler Bikes in Litherland

Merseyside Police has been working with the community and partners in Sefton to tackle organised crime, drug dealing and the antisocial use of scrambler bikes in the Litherland area.

During a week of action open land searches have been carried out together with searches of three addresses in Daley Road.

A 38 year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply and a 21 year-old female was issued with a cannabis warning.

A Volvo motor car was also seized and a 17 year-old male was arrested in possession of cannabis and wraps of cocaine and heroin and a large quantity of cash was seized.

Two scrambler bikes – a Yamaha and a Honda – were also seized.

Sefton Superintendent Dawn McNally said: “This is about working with the community and our partners to tackle organised crime, drug dealing and anti-social use of off scrambler bikes, which have caused a danger to road users and misery to residents of estates in Litherland.

“We are committed to removing these problems from our communities but we cannot do it alone. We need to know who are the people riding and storing these scrambler bikes. I want to assure the public that information supplied to us will be acted upon.

“The community can expect a continued police presence in the area over the next week and I would urge members of the community to contact the Police on 101 or the confidential Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 with any information which may assist us in tackling these problems.”

PCC launches new service to improve care for vulnerable adults in police custody

Vulnerable adults in Merseyside will be given improved care when they are detained in police custody thanks to a new scheme commissioned by the region’s Police Commissioner.

Jane Kennedy stepped in after being made aware by Merseyside Police about the delays in obtaining Appropriate Adults to support people with learning disabilities, those in mental ill health or those who present as particularly vulnerable and who are being held in police cells.

Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, which regulates the actions of the police service, Appropriate Adults are required when vulnerable detainees are being booked into custody and also when they are being interviewed, either after being arrested or when they have voluntarily attended at a police station.

Despite this, Merseyside Police were reporting that vulnerable people were often being forced to wait to be dealt with because of a shortage of available Appropriate Adults in the region. These delays make them even more vulnerable and worsen their situation.

In partnership with the Force, the Commissioner has developed a new service to address these concerns. Following an open selection process, the Commissioner has today announced that she has appointed The Appropriate Adult Service (TAAS) to provide Appropriate Adults for all detained vulnerable people, seven days a week for a six-month pilot period.

Appropriate Adults are specially trained individuals who can assist vulnerable detainees to understand the custody process. They provide independent and impartial support and act as advocates, ensuring that detainees understand their rights, are treated fairly and assist with communication between the person and officials.

During this pilot programme the Commissioner, Merseyside Police and other partner agencies will evaluate the service in order to determine how a long term service should work. TAAS already provide this service in other police force areas and have a 100% record in meeting all referrals.

Jane said: “If a vulnerable person is detained, the first action of the police is always to try and find a suitable family member, carer or guardian who can provide care and support. Sadly, not everyone has someone on hand who can provide that level of help.

“In those cases where a vulnerable adult has no support, an Appropriate Adult can be a real lifeline. So I was concerned to hear that Merseyside Police were finding there were often significant delays when trying to obtain somebody who could step in to act as an advocate for them.

“It is imperative a vulnerable person has the right help and support and is dealt with as quickly as possible. People who have learning disabilities, are experiencing mental health problems or are particularly vulnerable should not be detained any longer than absolutely necessary.

“By commissioning The Appropriate Adult Service to provide this service my aim is to reduce delays and unnecessary stress for vulnerable people, make sure they understand their rights and in turn improve the care they receive.

“I am pleased that The Appropriate Adult Service are now co-ordinating this service on Merseyside and I would like to recognise and thank those who give their time and energy to support others at often a difficult time.”

An Appropriate Adult should be someone who is completely independent of both the police and the detained person. They should have a sound understanding of, and experience or training in, dealing with the needs of someone who is in mental ill health or has a mental disorder.

Merseyside Police’s Chief Superintendent Carl Krueger said: “Merseyside Police would welcome any additional support to assist the vulnerable people in our communities.

“We understand that being detained in custody can be a stressful experience and any delays can make the situation feel even worse for a vulnerable person.

“Having this extra support at hand means that vulnerable people can be dealt with quicker and they are not detained any longer than they need to be.”

The Commissioner has provided £50,000 to provide this service for a six-month pilot period so that the level of need can be assessed in the short term. She will look to work with the region’s local authorities so a long term pan-Merseyside service can be established.

Find out more about the Appropriate Adult scheme here.

Paddlers and Swimmers Urged to Stay Safe During Warm Weather

Merseyside Police is reminding people of the importance of staying safe around open water during the fine weather.

Two young children had to be rescued by an adult at Crosby Marina in Sefton earlier this afternoon after getting into difficulty while paddling.

The boy and the girl were taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital as a precaution. They will be kept in overnight for observations.

The circumstances of how they came to be in trouble in the water is being investigated by the police.

Chief Superintendent Claire Richards from the Sefton command team, said: “More than 400 people drown each year and around 60 per cent of victims are children. Yet many of these tragedies could have been prevented if some simple precautions had been taken.

“The Royal Life Saving Society UK offers some really important advice to people looking to enjoy a swim or a paddle at one of Merseyside’s many beaches, lakes or pools this summer.

“It is really simple stuff like keeping an eye on your children at all times and closely supervising them when they are playing near or in water, educating yourself about the local safety advice before you go for a swim or a paddle, and only do so in designated areas.

“It is possible to drown in just a few inches of water and we need to respect that fact and be mindful of the precautions we should all take before we can enjoy ourselves.”

For more information visit http://www.rlss.org.uk/water-safety/water-safety/

More victims to get answers as PCC confirms restorative justice service will run for second year

A service that helps victims of crime to get answers from offenders will be run for a second year, Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has confirmed today.

In 2015, Jane Kennedy announced that she would be working with Merseyside’s Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) and not-for-profit community interest company Restorative Solutions to raise awareness of restorative justice and increase its use in the region, giving victims in Merseyside the chance to come face-to-face with offenders and make them realise the consequences of their crimes.

Following confirmation of Ministry of Justice funding, the Commissioner is now enabling the service to continue to run for a second year, through 2016 and into 2017. Following a rigorous tendering exercise, Jane has announced today that the CRC and Restorative Solutions will once again deliver a victim-led restorative justice scheme across the whole of Merseyside.

Jane said: “Restorative justice gives victims the chance to be heard, to get answers and to get a sense of closure. Giving victims who want to the chance to come face-to-face with those who have committed crimes against them and can help them to find a really positive way forward and even give them back some control over their anxieties.

“While restorative justice may not be for everyone, the aim is to ensure any victim of crime who feels this approach could benefit them is able to find out more, discuss their options with an experienced and accredited practitioner and decide if it really is for them. That’s exactly what the CRC and Restorative Solutions are providing on Merseyside.

“Not only that, but they are raising awareness to make sure more and more victims of crime know that this is a path they can take if they feel it could help them.

“I am pleased that the CRC and Restorative Solutions will continue to deliver this service for people across Merseyside, no matter where they live.”

Merseyside CRC and Restorative Solutions will continue to work closely with Merseyside Police and all the Commissioner’s criminal justice partners to deliver this service over the next 12 months, with the four key aims of increasing access; working with criminal justice partners to increase the number of restorative justice referrals; improving awareness and understanding of restorative justice and its benefits and delivering a high quality service focussed on the needs of victim and delivered by a trained facilitator.

Through this service, restorative justice is available at all stages of the criminal justice process, including pre-conviction and even in cases where a victim has not reported an offence to the police.

Restorative justice should always be voluntary and only takes place after both the victim and offender agree and a trained facilitator has assessed the case as suitable. This means a lot of careful preparatory work is required before a victim and offender meet. Victims also have the opportunity to withdraw at any point.

In February, the CRC hosted a major conference at the Anglican Cathedral which aimed to give the public a wider understanding of restorative justice and the impact it can have, both on the victim and the offender. Those who attended heard of the “tremendous benefit” a restorative justice conference had for a woman who chose to meet her partner’s killer, helping her to come to terms with what had happened.

Merseyside CRC’s Head of Operations and Development John Quick said: “We are so pleased to have been re-commissioned to deliver victim led Restorative Justice  in Merseyside for the next 12 months.”

The CRC and Restorative Solutions have previously delivered specialist restorative justice training to specific teams within Merseyside Police. This training aimed to equip PCSOs with greater knowledge and understanding of restorative justice to enable them to identify the cases where a victim would benefit from participating to help them cope and recover.

You can contact the Restorative Justice  team on 08452660761 or Email rjenquiries@merseyside.probation.gsi.gov.uk

 

Grassroots organisations to benefit from Merseyside PCC’s fund to cut crime

Twelve grassroots organisations which work to cut crime and protect communities on Merseyside have been awarded a share of more than £132,000 by the Police Commissioner.

Jane Kennedy received dozens of bids from community groups, charities and third sector organisations after opening up applications for grants from her Crime Prevention Fund for the third year running. A total of 116 bids were submitted for grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 with the total combined value being requested amounting to more than £1.7m.

The aim of the fund is to help local groups protect their communities, by stopping problems before they occur, reducing the opportunities for crime and by preventing people from becoming involved with anti-social and illegal behaviour.

Today, Jane has announced the 12 successful organisations which will each be given a share of this round of funding to make a difference in their neighbourhoods. Many of the organisations focus on preventing young people getting involved with crime and raising their awareness of key issues.

Among the successful organisations were the Royal Court Liverpool Trust who were awarded £20,000 to continue to run their hard-hitting drama Terriers. Terriers has received rave reviews from schools for helping to raise awareness among young people of the dangers of getting involved with gun and gang crime.

The Commissioner also awarded £15,000 to the Ariel Trust to help run their ‘It’s not OK!’ project aimed at providing resources to support teachers to deliver preventative education to young people on a range of issues, including domestic, homophobic and online abuse.

The funding will also go to Breckfield and North Everton Neighbourhood Council (BNEC) to help them deliver their Making Waves project which delivers both outreach and centre-based services for young people living in areas of high deprivation. £18,000 was allocated to BNEC to help run a free gym and fitness sessions, as well as gun and knife crime awareness workshops.

A scheme to improve the skills, lives and well-being of unemployed young people in some of Liverpool’s most deprived areas will also benefit from the grants. Employability Solutions received £9,000 to help run their ‘This is my Story’ project which focuses on tackling gun and gang related problems in the Speke and Garston area

Other successful projects will look to increase awareness of forced marriage in schools which have been identified as having high-risk students, a scheme to prevent repeat incidents of domestic abuse, increase knowledge and awareness of abusing legal highs and substance in schools, colleges, workplaces and youth clubs across Merseyside and a scheme which supports serious substance misusers to recover from addiction.

The funding will also be used to support Liverpool Pride by providing funding for its ‘COME OUT of the shadows’ campaign which will see popular landmarks across the city lit up to help build awareness of LGBT issues. The project will initially see the Three Graces, the Radio City Tower and the Wheel of Liverpool illuminated.

Jane said: “Once again I received a staggering response to my invitation for bids for my Crime Prevention Fund.  The number and quality of the bids I received demonstrates the wealth of fantastic initiatives taking place across Merseyside to prevent and tackle crime and keep our communities safe.

“I am delighted to announce that 12 organisations will this year benefit from a cash boost from the Fund. Each of these organisations are taking an innovative approach to addressing the issues they have identified in the communities they serve. They each showed genuine passion and a real drive to make a difference.

“Providing these small grants to prevent crime before it occurs can have a huge impact in the long term by helping to deter people, especially young people, from entering the criminal justice system, reducing the number of victims and making our communities better places to live.

“I look forward to seeing all these projects being delivered over the next year.”

Organisations who applied for the funding needed to show how their project would work to tackle the objectives set out in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. These include tackling serious and organised crime, preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, providing a visible and accessible neighbourhood policing style, supporting victims, protecting vulnerable people and maintaining public safety.

Applications needed to demonstrate how the initiative would deter individuals from committing crime, reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system, or lower reoffending. They were also assessed to see how well they would protect vulnerable communities. The fund was administered by Liverpool CVS and Sefton CVS.

Successful projects

 Scheme  Funding (£)
 Ariel Trust (It’s Not OK)  15,000
 Breckfield & North Everton Neighbourhood Council (Making Waves)  18,000
 Community Safe  12,000
 Employability Solutions  9,000
 Evolve Tackling Legal Highs & Volatile Substance Abuse  6,000
 Genie in the Gutter  6,000
 Liverpool Pride Lighting Strategy  4,460
 Merseyside Youth Challenge  5,000
 Moving On With Life & Learning Ltd  4,000
 Royal Court Liverpool Trust Ltd (Terriers)  20,000
 Savera Liverpool  14,300
 WEB Merseyside  18,260
 TOTAL  132,020

Schoolchildren Support Police Campaign To Clampdown On Scrambler Bikes

Schoolchildren in Sefton have given their support to Merseyside Police’s campaign to stamp out the antisocial use of off-road and scrambler bikes.

Primary schools in the Bootle, Seaforth and Litherland areas were selected to take part in workshops jointly run by neighbourhood police officers, anti-social behaviour unit staff from Sefton Council and Alder Hey hospital staff.

At the completion of the workshops Year 6 pupils were asked to design a poster on the theme of ‘anti scrambler bike use’.

The best ten posters were chosen by a panel of judges.

Funding for the project was obtained through the Chief Constable priority fund, community engagement fund and Sefton Council.

The 10 winners of the competition – who are from Bedford Primary School and Lander Road Primary School, both Bootle, and Rimrose Hope CE Primary school In Seaforth – will attend a presentation at Bootle Town Hall on Thursday 25 February – which will be attended by the Mayor of Sefton, local councillors, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, former Everton FC players and representatives from Merseyside Police.

The prize for each of the 10 winners will be a PGL adventure weekend at Winmerleigh Hall in the forest of Bowland.

Neighbourhood inspector Ian Jones said: “The issue of scrambler bikes is one that that Merseyside Police takes very seriously and we will do everything we can to take them off the streets and find the people responsible for using them in an illegal, dangerous or antisocial way.

“Many riders don’t give a moment’s thought to the consequences of their actions and the misery they bring to decent law-abiding members of the community.

“We felt it was important that we engage with schoolchildren at a younger age to make them aware of the dangers of using off road bikes and the associated links with gangs.

“The posters they submitted for the competition are evidence that they feel very strongly about the issue.

“By involving partner agencies and the community we hope that we can get the message across and combat this problem.”

Councillor Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “We were delighted to work in partnership with our many different agencies to tackle the problem which scrambling and anti-social behaviour can cause.

“This initiative enabled us to engage with young people before they could get involved with such anti-social behaviour and it got them thinking about the issues surrounding this.

“Congratulations to everyone involved as the project enabled many young people to use their time in a positive way.”

Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Sue Murphy said: “I’m delighted to have been invited to present the awards to the winners of this competition and meet the young people who have been involved with Merseyside Police’s campaign.

“The Commissioner and I have heard repeatedly from people across Merseyside about the suffering and misery that the dangerous and illegal use of these bikes causes in our communities. That is why it is so important we engage with our young people from an early age and make them aware of the potential dangers and consequences of getting involved with anti-social use of bikes.

“It’s clear from the posters that the youngsters have created that they have really understood these messages and are keen to show their support. I congratulate the winners and all the young people who have taken part, as well as the officers and staff who have worked on this effective campaign.”