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.

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.”

BBC issues warning today – Button batteries pose ‘deadly’ risk to toddlers

Today the BBC issues a stark warning about the dangers of button batteries, with coverage on BBC Breakfast, the BBC website and the 6 O’Clock News.

What’s the problem?

If a button battery, particularly a lithium coin battery, gets stuck in a child’s throat or gullet, the battery’s energy makes the body create caustic soda (the chemical used to unblock drains).

This can burn a hole through the throat and lead to serious internal bleeding and death.

Lithium coin batteries are the most dangerous as the higher voltage means more energy is released, creating more caustic soda. The reaction can happen in as little as two hours.

Button batteries are found in many products that can appeal to young children, including remote controls, nightlights and novelty cards.

How you can help

Please help the CAPT get the word out as widely as possible.

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.”