Cash boost for community Halloween projects in Sefton

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

Jane Kennedy has announced 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 ninth time the Commissioner has asked 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.

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.”

All applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation for Merseyside by 5pm on Monday 14th September. Please visit their website http://www.cfmerseyside.org.uk/funds/police-property-act-fund to apply.

PCC urges Community Groups to Work Together to Prevent Crime

Organisations which are working to prevent crime and protect communities in Merseyside are being invited to apply for a share of a fund aimed at helping to build stronger, safer communities.

This is the fourth year that Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has opened the Crime Prevention Fund, which is used to help charities, community groups and social enterprises stop problems before they occur, by reducing the opportunities for crime and by deterring people away from becoming involved in anti-social and criminal behaviour.

A total of £135,000 is available from the fund for innovative community safety projects or schemes that will run over the next 12 months. This year the Commissioner is encouraging organisations to work together to submit bids for between £5,000 and £25,000 from the grant and she is specifically inviting applications for projects which focus on tackling serious and organised crime.

Jane said: “Serious and organised crime is, for many people, their greatest concern. It blights our communities, bringing misery and harm and causing decent, ordinary people to live in fear.

“Many organisations and community groups are already working with Merseyside Police and my office in tackling this issue, and I want to encourage and maximise this collaborative approach by encouraging organisations to join forces to bid for funding from the Crime Prevention Fund.

“Local people understand their communities better than anyone and know what will work best to improve their area.  We are fortunate to have a wealth of voluntary and community groups which are working hard to prevent people, especially young people from getting involved in crime. By pooling resources and working even closer together we can all do more to make a difference for communities across Merseyside.

“I’ve met hundreds of people across Merseyside who are really proud and passionate about the places they live in and are committed to keeping them safe and I’m excited to see their proposals for how this funding can be best spent.”

Last year, 13 grassroots organisations were chosen from among more than 70 applications to receive a share of the Fund to help make communities across Merseyside safer. Successful organisations included the Royal Court Trust, which was awarded £25,000 to continue to run the hard-hitting drama Terriers, and the educational charity Ariel Trust who received £15,000 to deliver preventative education to young people on a range of issues, including domestic and homophobic abuse, child sexual exploitation and grooming.

A £10,000 grant was also given 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 to divert them away from crime.

Jane said: “Over the last year, this funding has helped to deliver some really important projects which have made a profound difference in the lives of the people they support. Even a small cash boost can be of huge benefit to many of these grassroots projects and I look forward to seeing what more we can deliver together over the next 12 months.

Any organisation wishing to apply for funding will need to show how their project works to tackle one of the following four priorities set out by the Commissioner; preventing crime and anti-social behaviour; tackling serious and organised crime; supporting victims, protecting vulnerable people and maintaining public safety; or improving road safety.

Applications will also need to show how the initiatives will deter individuals from committing crime, reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system, or lower reoffending. They will also be assessed to see how well they will protect vulnerable communities.

The fund will be administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), an independent charity which assists grant-making and charitable giving. Local groups who would benefit from the funding can find more details on its website here http://www.cfmerseyside.org.uk//funds/crime-prevention-fund

CFM is also available to help any organisation looking to make a bid.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 11th June 2018.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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