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Joint plea to public to continue to be sensible and respectful at Sefton’s beauty spots

A number of organisations across Sefton are joining forces to remind people to continue to be sensible and respectful if they choose to spend time outdoors during the warm weather.

The agencies who make up the Sefton Coastal Landscape Partnership include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, British Transport Police, HM Coastguard, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and other key partners.

Today (04 August) the partnership launches a campaign covering many of the issues faced on the Sefton coast.

Since restrictions were lifted allowing people to spend more time outside, we have seen a rise in the number of people using local beaches, parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve and many of Sefton’s beautiful beaches.

The advice remains that everyone should maintain social distancing at all times.

People also should check in advance of visiting places like National Parks and beaches to make sure they are prepared for visitors.

We are also asking people to remain respectful and protect our public spaces.

During the recent nice weather, the partnership has received reports of excessive littering and fires and BBQs being lit as well as people parking illegally and inconsiderately by blocking driveways and residential roads.

Mark Shaw from Sefton Council’s Green Sefton service said:

“Our beaches are tempting but they are not able to cope with high level of visitors at the moment.

“For those few who do visit our coastline at this time, they are advised that stringent parking restrictions are in place, all rubbish must be taken home and BBQs are strictly prohibited along the entirety of the Sefton coastline.

“At this time, we need people to think about their safety and the safety of others, as well as the wellbeing of our communities and Council staff.”

Sefton Chief Inspector Mike O’Malley from Merseyside Police said:

“We continue to work closely alongside our partners to deal with all issues on Sefton’s beautiful coastlines, and this August – with many choosing to holiday in this country due to travel restrictions – will be no different. We want all visitors to enjoy a safe, relaxing and enjoyable time, and show consideration for those who live in these areas.

“During spells of good weather this year we have had reports of excessive littering and fires and BBQs being lit as well as people parking illegally and inconsiderately by blocking driveways and residential roads.

“Anyone acting antisocially should expect to be dealt with by police in a robust manner, and we will also support other agencies in their work.

“I want to reassure those affected by anti-social behaviour, underage drinking and other issues affecting the communities of Sefton that we will again make a co-ordinated effort to prevent such incidents from occurring.

“Throughout August, officers will be on foot, in vehicles and on quad bikes across the Sefton coastline including Formby, Ainsdale and Crosby beaches, as well as parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve.”

PC David Baier from British Transport Police said:

“Everyone wants to enjoy this gorgeous weather and may head to the coast but it’s really important that people continue to social distance and wear compulsory face coverings when using public transport.

“These may be strange times, but the same rules apply regarding anti-social behaviour – we won’t tolerate any abuse of passengers or rail staff and we’ll continue to take a robust approach to anyone who breaks the rules.”

ENDS

Beaches in Sefton during COVID19

As our beaches, coastal towns and villages continue to see a high number of visitors despite our pleas for people not to drive to Sefton’s beaches, we’ve  seen a few messages asking why we don’t close the beaches.

We manage 22 miles of coast. Aside from a couple of hundred yards at Altcar Rifle range, it’s completely open access with  hundreds of individual access points, little footpaths and other ways to walk on.

There is no way we can ever ‘close’ the beaches.

What we are doing is stopping access to the car parks, and are working with our partners at Merseyside Police to restrict access to roads.

Ultimately we need people to please listen to our advice and warnings to stay away from our beaches during this time.

 

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. 

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