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Police put additional feet on the beat for the first time in nine years

Merseyside Police will be recruiting an additional 80 new police officers and 14 police staff and will be able to stem the loss of approximately 40 officer posts to invest in more police on the streets of Merseyside over the next year.

This means that the force will be able to invest in the creation of a new team to target wanted fugitives and the introduction of a new Cyber Investigations Unit.

The force budget was announced last week at a special public meeting held by Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy and Chief Constable Andy Cooke.

Funding for 40 of the new officer posts has been generated from the increase of the police precept on council tax, following a public consultation held by the Commissioner. Savings that the force has identified throughout the last year, have also generated funding for a further 40 officers and will save approximately 40 police officer posts that were due to be lost.

The force will also bring in an extra 14 police staff in 2019/20.

The new and saved posts will increase capacity on the front line and create dedicated teams of officers and staff to target those who cause the most harm to the communities of Merseyside.

In the last year Merseyside has seen an increase in knife crime, violence and robbery, and the force is still managing the threat that serious organised crime, which includes gun and drug related crime, brings to communities. We want to ensure that we have the capacity to respond to these incidents and put those involved in this type of criminality on the back foot.

To do that we are now in the position to create a Priority Crime Team within Matrix disruption. The sole aim of that team will be to transfer the fear of crime back on to the criminal through targeted, proactive policing.

A centralised Fugitive Team will also be set up to track and arrest wanted criminals and bring them to justice. The team will find those wanted on arrest warrants and who have breached licences and will support the force’s local policing and targeted teams to locate suspects who commit crime in our communities.

Friends Of… groups help make borough sparkle during Year Of Friendship

Friends Of groups have united in a shared love of making sure Sefton stays clean, green and beautiful.

Throughout the Year Of Friendship, Sefton Council and its partners are celebrating groups, individuals and organisations who make a difference and help foster friendship throughout the borough.

For February, Sefton Council has been celebrating the continued hard work of the many ‘Friends Of…’ groups who turn out week in, week out in parks, greenspaces and the 22 miles of Sefton’s coastline to remove litter and make the environment a better place.

The 22 miles spanning between Southport and Seaforth are some of the most iconic, idyllic and important stretches of greenspace and coastline in the UK and are home to a menagerie of fauna and flora.

But it takes a lot of work to make our coastline the sandy success that it is!

The Green Sefton coast and countryside division are supported by hundreds of volunteers, who come under the umbrella group, the ‘Friends of Sefton Coast.’

Between them they give up just a small portion of their time throughout the year to keep our coastline beautiful.

Last year alone an incredible 2,300 people volunteered 5,200 hours of their time over 76 clean-up events that saw thousands of bags of rubbish cleared from our coastline and this continues well into our Year Of Friendship campaign.

Inland too volunteer groups remain hard at work helping perfect our parks and greenspaces such as the Friends of Derby Park, while volunteer gardeners like the Lord Street Volunteers give up their time to help  make sure floral planters are constantly blooming.

There’s always plenty to get your teeth into on both our coastline and in our parks and greenspaces and Green Sefton are always looking for more people to get involved.

To register your interest in forming or joining a Sefton ‘Friends Of…’ group click here.

To find out more about the Year Of Friendship visit www.sefton.gov.uk/friendship.

Next of kin appeal: David Moreland

Police are appealing for help in locating the next of kin of a 69 year-old man who died in Bootle.

David Moreland passed away at his home address on Fernhill Road in Bootle on Monday 25th February.

There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

It is believed Mr Moreland may have relatives living locally and also family in New Zealand.

Anyone with information is asked to email sefton.coroners.office@Merseyside.pnn.police.uk

Sefton launches major bid for Future High Street funding

Sefton Council is bidding for a slice of the £675m Future High Street Fund with bids planned for both Southport and Crosby.

The Future High Street Fund was announced in last November’s budget and aims to support and fund local areas’ plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future.

In this first round, Sefton will include bids for both Crosby village and Southport town centre and builds upon the Council’s ambitions for its town centres encapsulated within its agreed regeneration frameworks and 2030 Vision.

The Future High Street Fund aims to help Councils, their communities and the private sector work in partnership to develop and sustain town centres to enhance their vitality and viability.  The fund also includes the opportunity to bid for part of a £55m Heritage High Street Fund.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Skills and Regeneration, said: “Building on Sefton’s ambitions for its town centres, we are aiming to submit two bids to the Future High Street Fund for both Southport town centre and Crosby Village to help sustain them for the future. The bids will also support Sefton’s and the City Region’s ambitions for future growth.

“For Southport this will build upon Sefton’s success in securing around £10m of Heritage Lottery and Coastal Communities Funding for King’s Gardens, Southport Pier and the recently announced Townscape Heritage Scheme.

“For Crosby this will build on the significant private sector funding by St Modwen into the village centre. If successful, Sefton Council will continue to work in an inclusive way with private sector and community sector partners.”

Formal stage 1 bids for both projects will be made in the coming months with further details issued in due course.

Sefton awarded £500k to help bolster prevention of youth crime

Sefton Council has been awarded half a million pounds for its early intervention programme and ongoing work to prevent youth crime in the borough.

The £500,000 from the government’s Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund with help the local authority to continue in-depth work with parents, carers and professionals around the dangers of children being exposed to gang culture.

The Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund enables keyworkers, community groups, teachers and other professionals working with children and young people at risk, to intervene early on and help stop them from becoming drawn into gang crime, serious violence and the youth justice system.

Sefton Council will now use the £500,000 funding to continue with a range of initiatives, which will see teams work closely with young children who may be directly impacted by crime from an early age.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve been given this grant. This much-needed vital funding will allow us to continue to help families in need to resolve problems that affect them and their community.

“We recognise that investing in people at an early stage, before problems become too serious, will help our families across the borough so they can make positive changes to their lives that will keep them safe and healthy and away from youth or gang crime. This funding will help us support initiatives that focus on early intervention and scaling up whole family working before problems escalate into something much more serious that could have consequences later in life.”

“However, the funding is only short-term and doesn’t substitute for a much needed sustainable approach to local government funding to tackle issues like this in our community.”

The grant is the latest recognition for Sefton Council’s Localities team after their partnership work around gang awareness was praised as an example of best practice by the government’s Victim’s Commissioner, Baroness Newlove.

For more information about Sefton Council’s Localities team and their work around early intervention and prevention, where they offer support at Family Wellbeing Centres, Libraries, Leisure Centres or community bases, please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/localities

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