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Detective to run half marathon in memory of murdered friend

The sister of a man who was fatally stabbed in Bootle is taking her campaign to end knife crime into schools across the North West, and running a half marathon to raise awareness.

Colin McGinty, from Crosby, was just 21 when he was killed after being chased by four men who detectives believed may have mistaken him for someone else.

Since his death in 2001, his sister Laura Hughes has dedicated herself to trying to spare other families the same heartache.

This year, to mark what would have been Colin’s 40th birthday, Laura has organised a team of more than 60 people to run the Liverpool Half Marathon in May in his memory and to raise awareness about knife crime. They are also taking donations for Radio City’s ‘Cash for Kids’ charity.

Laura said: “I have spoken with an academy trust, E-ACT, which operates 28 schools around the country, to deliver knife crime awareness days. The first will be at Oldham Academy North and for that day, every lesson will have a knife crime theme – so in drama they may be acting out a scene, in art they might be designing posters, and in English they could write a letter or even an obituary.

“The hope is that this will impact the children who go to Oldham Academy North as well as the local community.

“We have also had the backing of Liverpool FC legend Robbie Fowler and on Saturday 13 April, Oldham Athletic AFC will wear ‘In Memory of Colin McGinty’ t-shirts during the warm up ahead of their game against Swindon Town.

“The match will also be dedicated to what we are doing, and we’re thrilled that they have shown such great support for what we are trying to achieve. I’m sure it will all help spread the message that we must all do our bit to end knife crime.”

The runners in the half marathon will include Colin’s friend Detective Inspector Andy McCourt as well as Sergeant Jon Hannan, Constable Kelle Hannan and Detective Constable Emma O’Toole.

Last month a number of the runners got together and completed a 5km run in the city, starting and finishing at the knife angel at the Anglican Cathedral.

DI McCourt said: “As a police officer I am passionate about making our streets safer, and the fact one of my close friend’s died at the hands of people carrying a knife only strengthened my resolve to do everything I can to make sure we rid our streets of knives.

“Two men received life sentences for Colin’s murder, and his death shows the impact the carrying of a knife can have not just on the victim and their family and friends, but also on the offenders.

“This week Merseyside Police, alongside forces up and down the coutnry, is tkaing part in a national week of action to tackle knife crime. But the impact of knife crime on families and the wider community can last 365 days a year for the rest of their lives. It cannot be understated – it is destructive and toxic, and we must do everything we can to raise awareness from an early age and reduce incidents in Merseyside. As a police force, we’ll continue educating the public on the dangers of carrying knives.

“We know we cannot tackle the issue alone and I would urge the community to support and help us by spreading the message that it is never acceptable to carry or use a knife and remind people the devastation it causes.”

LCR Pride Foundation to lead Liverpool City Region bid for Gay Games 2026

LCR Pride Foundation has revealed its intention to bid for the Liverpool City Region to host the 2026 Gay Games, a move that has been backed by the region’s Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram.

The news also comes alongside the announcement of British Paralympian, Claire Harvey MBE, as its newest Patron. Recognised as a world leader in diversity and inclusion and culture, the former LJMU student is now the Director of Culture and Inclusion for EDIT Development.

The Gay Games is a worldwide sport and cultural event that takes place every four years, welcoming more than 10,000 athletes competing in 30+ sports. It attracts tens of thousands of spectators who also attend to take part in the event’s extensive cultural programme, which includes music, visual arts and mass participation events such as fun runs.

Speaking of the announcement of the intention to submit a big for the 2026 Gay Games next year, LCR Pride Foundation Co-Chair, Andi Herring, said: “The Gay Games is a globally recognised sporting and cultural event that empowers and celebrates the LGBT+ community, as well as supporting local regeneration in its host cities.

“The Liverpool City Region has a proven record for delivering large-scale, world-class sport and cultural events, as last year’s wildly successful Liverpool 2018 programme demonstrated.

“We believe that this experience, combined with the foundation’s commitment to collaborative working and making the city region the most LGBT+ friendly in the UK, makes Liverpool City Region the perfect host city for the 2026 games.

“Our bid as the Liverpool City Region will encourage relationship building with local authorities, community groups and sports organisations throughout the six boroughs, as we work together towards a unified goal.”

Co-Chair, John Bird, added: “Welcoming Claire Harvey MBE as a Patron as we embark on this journey will only strengthen our offer to the Federation of Gay Games. We are extremely grateful for her support and recognise how invaluable her expertise will be to creating a bid that we believe could bring the 2026 games to our region.”

To date, only Brisbane in Australia has highlighted its intention to bid for the 2026 Gay Games. Bids will be submitted in 2020 and the successful city will be announced by the event’s sanctioning body, the Federation of Gay Games, at its Annual General Meeting in Hong Kong in 2021.

Speaking in support of the bid, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“Diversity, respect, equality, and solidarity for all are the foundation blocks on which the Games are built, and they are values we share.

“Our region is well accustomed to holding sporting events that attract a worldwide audience.   The Merseyside Derby, Rugby Super League, The Open and the Grand National are regular features in our sporting calendar but never before have we held anything on the scale of the Gay Games.

“I relish the opportunity to build on our strong track record of supporting LGBT+ rights, empowering communities and creating lasting social change. And that is why I am proud to support this bid.”

New LCR Pride Foundation Patron, Claire Harvey MBE, said: “Becoming a Patron of the LCR Pride Foundation as they make this exciting announcement is incredibly special for me, not least because I attended university here.

“I know first-hand the power and benefit that sport can have on a person’s life and on a community. Sport is a vehicle that can bring people together and bridge differences to start a culture change.

“I am backing this bid to enable more people to see the breadth and depth of LGBT+ people who already love sport, as well encouraging more people from the community to access its benefits. I also want to showcase the Liverpool City Region as a diverse and inclusive LGBT+ friendly area, with a strong and positive LGBT+ community.

“One of the great things about being part of London 2012 was the ability to break down fears and myths about disability and, as a participant, feeling like a member of a huge family. I am keen to ensure Liverpool has the opportunity to do the same for Gay Games.”

For more information visit www.LCRGayGames.com or  follow us on Twitter @LCRGayGames or Facebook at LCR Gay Games 2026.

 

CCTV appeal after assault in Aintree

We have issued CCTV stills of a man police believe could have information which would assist an investigation into an assault in Aintree.

It was reported a 61-year-old man was assaulted at his home in Aintree on 13 January this year.

The offender is believed to have befriended the victim and entered his home, before attacking the man. A Rolex watch was also taken during the incident.

The victim sustained multiple injuries including a fractured eye socket in the assault.

Officers are now issuing CCTV stills of a man and are appealing to anyone who recognises him to come forward.

Detective Inspector Paul Speight said: “This was a shocking attack which happened after the offender gained the confidence of the victim.

“It is particularly upsetting to think that he then betrayed that confidence and took advantage of the victim’s hospitality to attack him, leaving him with a serious injury to his eye.

“We are determined to bring the man responsible to justice. As well as causing physical injuries to the victim, he has clearly been left extremely traumatised by this incident.

“We appeal to anyone who recognises the men in the stills to contact police as we continue to investigate.”

Anyone who recognises the man in the images should contact the Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC.

You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 19100012902 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.

Merseyside Police warn drivers to ‘buckle up’

Merseyside Police will be supporting a national seat belt campaign that commences today, Monday 11th March.

The two week campaign will see the Force conducting increased levels of enforcement to address one of the so called ‘fatal’ four’ causes of road death in Great Britain. Nationally, of the 787 vehicle occupants who died in 2017, 212 were not wearing seat belts. This represents a 7% rise on 2016 figures and indicates that non-seat belt use is increasing.

Last year (2018) in Merseyside, 2962 seat belt-related offences were detected including 2,245 drivers, 502 passengers and 127 offences relating to children being unrestrained or not carried in a correct child seat. 2019 drivers completed an online educational course for the offence.

Chief Inspector Tony Jones from Matrix Operations said “Whether a driver or a passenger in a vehicle, using seat belt greatly improves your chance of avoiding serious injury or death in the event of a crash. Our officers enforce this particular offence all year round but we will be re-doubling our efforts during the next two weeks. I would particularly appeal to parents carrying babies and young children in vehicles to ensure that they are securely fastened inside the vehicle, using the correct child seat where appropriate.”

Paul Mountford from the Safer Roads Unit said “Modern car manufacturers invest millions into their making their vehicles as safe as possible. Air bags are a ‘secondary restraint system’ (SRS) and will only be effective if a seat belt is worn.

“It only takes a matter of seconds to ‘buckle up’ but injuries caused by not wearing a seat belt may be life-changing”.

Make sure you’re registered to vote in the Local Elections

Residents across Sefton are being urged to make sure they are registered to vote in time for the local elections this May.

On Thursday, May 2 residents throughout the borough will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at a local level.

Local government elections select councillors, who are responsible for making decisions on running services in your local area. These include housing, education, transport, planning, parks, leisure, fire and public safety, social care and waste management. Across Sefton there are 22 wards.

Vote being cast at a polling station

In order to vote in this important election, residents must be on the electoral register.

The deadline to register to vote in local elections is fast approaching and Sefton Council is asking residents who have not registered at their current address to make sure they are registered in time.

The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Friday, April 12. Anyone can apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. It takes just five minutes and Sefton has had more than 15,000 new registrations in the last 2 years.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Regulation and Compliance, said: “Time is running out to make sure you can take part in the local elections. These elections are an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here across Sefton. Putting it simply, if you’re not registered by April 12, you won’t be able to vote.”

Melanie Davidson, Head of Support and Improvement at the Electoral Commission, added: “If you have recently turned 18 or moved home, it is particularly important that you act to ensure that you are registered to vote. It takes just five minutes online and means that you can take part in this important election.”

If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you will still be registered to vote. If in doubt, check your details by giving us a call on 0345 140 0845.

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