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Merseyside Police offer ‘silent solution’ for domestic abuse victims during COVID19 outbreak

Merseyside Police and Sefton Council have reiterated their commitment to keeping all residents safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As households follow the national isolation guidelines at this time vulnerable people in our communities may be concerned about the prospect of remaining at home, particularly victims of domestic abuse.

The emergency 999 system allows for people who are not free to speak to either make a noise or press 55. This alerts the operator to the fact that you need help, and they can then connect to the police.

Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs, from Protecting Vulnerable People, said: “There is no suggestion that there has been a rise in the number of calls in relation to domestic abuse on Merseyside but we aware that we are currently in unprecedented and challenging times and that people may feel particularly concerned about the circumstances they currently find themselves in.

“We want to be able to relieve some of that concern by reassuring people that domestic abuse remains a priority for the Force and our specially trained officers will continue to be there for people to offer help and support and to investigate allegations of abuse thoroughly and professionally.

“We would always advise that if someone is in immediate danger they should dial 999 and speak to an operator but we also accept that in times such as this when households are self-isolating that openly speaking is not always an option.

“The Silent Solution is a service which means a vulnerable person can call 999 and alert us, without making a sound, that they need our help and we will respond.

“If they do not want to contact the police at this time then I would urge people not to remain quiet but to get support from other agencies or speak to friends and family about what is happening.”

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “Our message to anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse could not be more clear.

“You are not alone and you don’t have to suffer in silence – we are always here to offer help and support to anyone who needs it.

“Sefton are working with multiple partners including Merseyside Police and providers of domestic abuse support across Merseyside and we will continue to work togethe for anyone affected by domestic abuse.”

If you have any non-urgent information on domestic abuse – if you are a victim or believe someone you know is a victim – you can contact direct message @MerPolCC on Twitter, ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook or contact @CrimestoppersUK, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Further support can also be found at these national agencies:
Women’s Aid | womensaid.org.uk | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours) https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
Refuge (includes information for men) | refuge.org.uk | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
National Domestic Violence helpline on 0808 200 0247(24 hours)

Police Commissioners seeks your views on funding for frontline policing

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today launched her annual consultation on police funding, asking local people if they would be willing to pay a little more to protect frontline policing.

The consultation follows the Government’s announcement last week which confirmed Merseyside would receive an extra £23m in direct grant to cover the costs of recruiting 200 new officers this next year, including providing items such as uniforms, vehicles, and additional office space and infrastructure as promised by the Prime Minister.

However, the Government have not provided any additional money to cover the increase in the force’s day-to-day running costs, in particular last year’s pay rise. Instead ministers expect Police and Crime Commissioner to raise the local council tax to cover such costs to ensure the budget can be balanced for the next financial year.

The increase in council tax would see the majority of householders on Merseyside – those living in a Band A household – pay an extra 13p per week or £6.67 a year. This would generate an extra £4.8m for Merseyside Police for the year ahead.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “It is my duty to ensure Merseyside Police has the resources to protect you and serve our communities. In recent years this has been difficult and the Government have cut their financial support to police forces.

“During austerity Merseyside Police had its funding reduced by the Government every year, leading to the loss of more than 1,100 officers and many departments being cut to the bone. This has led to a greater reliance on the money local council taxpayers contribute.

“The funding settlement announced last week shows that the Government has listened to Police and Crime Commissioners, police leaders, trade unions and staff associations and finally recognised the damage they have done with 10 years of cuts to policing.

“However, funding pressures still exist and even with the officers promised by the Prime Minister, Merseyside Police will still be short of the number we had in 2010.

“If I don’t take the opportunity to increase the police precept, as expected by central government, Merseyside Police will be left struggling to cover the inflationary pressures it faces, such as meeting the increased pay for officers approved last year.

“I have launched this snap survey to get the feedback of local residents. This is a chance for local people to voice their views and say if they would be willing to support an increase of 13p a week to protect frontline policing. This increase would give the Chief Constable an extra £4.8m to police Merseyside. It does not compare to what we have lost, but it is essential if the Chief Constable is to keep up with the increasing demands he faces.

“I am keenly aware of the impact on local people of an increase to their council tax and I will be taking the public’s opinion into account when I make my final decision.”

Since 2010 Merseyside Police has had to make cuts of £110m. In that time, the size of the organisation has reduced by a quarter, with 1,120 fewer police officers now patrolling the region’s streets.

People are invited to have their say through a short online survey available at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MerseysidePoliceFunding by midnight on Thursday 6th February.

Officers descend on Southport to tackle criminality

Operation Target officers in Southport have taken to the streets this morning  November 7, to target those involved in drug and other serious and violent crime.

 We conducted four warrants in the Bootle and Southport areas targeting those suspected of being involved in the supply of Class A and B drugs. We also conducted roadside operations, plain clothes deployments and high visibility patrols as part of our ongoing #OpTarget disruption. 

 During the activity on the Coastal Road, Southport, four people were arrested for offences including possession of drugs and drug driving. Officers also seized class B drugs and a car that had no insurance.

 Inspector Andy Bragg said: “We’re working very closely with our partners at Sefton Council to put a stop to drug dealing as well as serious and violent crime that often follows this. 

“A key focus of the Op Target campaign has been on tackling serious and violent crime and raising awareness of the dangers of gun and knife crime as well as the seizure of Class A drugs and weapons, recovering stolen goods and apprehending known offenders.

“With the support of our partners, we will continue to carry out this activity which includes warrants, stop searches, roadside checks and open land searches to keep those living, working and visiting Merseyside safe.

“I would continue to urge people to come forward with information about all types of criminality in their area. Passing on information about where weapons are being stored, who is carrying them and who is dealing drugs in your community is essential to allow us to take action.

“Supplying, dealing and taking drugs can be fatal and we must educate young people of the consequences of their actions. We will continue working proactively with other emergency services, various partner agencies and our ambassadors to reassure the public and disrupt those actively involved in criminality.”

 A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “We know the vast majority of residents living in our beautiful borough are upstanding citizens who are proud of where they live. 

“Serious crime of any type has a real impact on our communities and we are committed to ensuring residents across the borough are kept safe and live without the fear.

“We are committed to working closely with Merseyside Police and other partners to deter criminal activity and make sure the minority of people who do break the law are brought to justice.”

 Anyone that wishes to report a criminal offence, or suspects that any wrongdoing is taking place or feel they or someone in their community is at risk, please DM @MerPolCC or call 101, and in an emergency call 999. 

Missing: Mia Powell from Southport

Police are appealing for information to help trace a 17-year-old girl missing from home in Southport.

Mia Powell was last seen at around 7.30pm on Friday, 18 October in Victoria Road, Formby.

She is described as a white female, around 5ft 5in tall, of slim build, with straight blonde shoulder length hair. When last seen, Mia was wearing a blue top, dark trousers with black flip-flops and dark socks.

She is known to frequent trains and stations, particularly Southport, Hunts Cross and Liverpool city centre.

We are becoming increasingly concerned for Mia’s whereabouts and anyone who has seen her, or has any information is asked to contact @MerPolCC, 101 or @missingpeople on 116 000.

Meet the PCC’s new Youth Ambassadors

 Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today proudly presented her new Youth Ambassadors who will provide a powerful voice on policing and community safety issues on behalf of young people across the region.

 Jane Kennedy launched a search for a group of enthusiastic, skilled young people to join her team as Youth Ambassadors in July. After reviewing nearly 40 applications and following two selection days, the Commissioner has today unveiled the 10 successful applications who will become her Youth Ambassadors for the next 12 months.

 The successful applicants are aged between 16 and 22, represent each local authority of Merseyside and are currently studying or employed in a range of roles, including working as a Vulnerable Person’s Advocate for Merseyside Fire Service and a Young Advisor for St Helens Council.

 They also have a wide range of volunteering experience, including supporting children and young people at local youth centres, working with the Young Person’s Advisory Service (YPAS) and the National Citizenship Scheme, as well as giving their time to local hospices and community farms.  

 The new Youth Ambassadors will volunteer their time to support, challenge and inform the work of the Police Commissioner, her office and the wider criminal justice system. The group will meet bi-monthly with Jane and her team and will assist in the creation and delivery of a new Youth Engagement Plan, which they will help to share with other young people by visiting schools, youth clubs and community groups across Merseyside.

 They will also be expected to attend youth engagement events, inform campaigns aimed at young people, act as influencers on key issues and review the criminal justice services offered to their peers to see how they can be improved.

 Jane Kennedy said: “I’m delighted to unveil my new Youth Ambassadors, who will act as my advisors on youth issues in Merseyside.

“I was bowled over by the quality of the applications we received and the 10 successful applications have all proved themselves be passionate, motivated and determined young individuals who will provide a powerful voice for young people on Merseyside. We are privileged to have such an inspiring group of young people working with our office, influencing decision-making on policing and community safety issues at a senior level and ensuring we consider the views of young people as we work to address the key issues which affect them.

“The previous Youth Advisory Group did a great job, sharing their views and feedback with me openly and honestly and providing an effective forum for sharing opinions, but I took the decision to recruit a smaller group of Ambassadors so that the young people involved could take on a more hands on, active role.

“I have no doubt these young people will be real ambassadors for their peers and be a voice for change.”

 In exchange for their time on the scheme, the Youth Ambassadors will receive a range of training and development opportunities.

 The new Youth Ambassador for Sefton is 21-year-old Emily Jones. She said: “I have always had great interest in regards to the police and what they do, specifically for Merseyside. When I saw the voluntary role advertised, I knew that it was something I needed to put myself forward for. As a young adult myself, I feel like I have a greater perspective on topics related to current crime in this area and I also believe that using my voice along with other ambassadors could be beneficial in changing other individuals outlooks on crime across the region.”

 

The new Youth Ambassadors have replaced the Commissioner’s Youth Advisory Group which ran since 2013. The role will last for 12 months and was open to those aged between 16 and 24, who live, work or study in Merseyside.

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