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Yet another fantastic night at Skies, Southport

THE venue is quickly getting a good reputation for good food, drinks and live music... Skies on Lord Street, Southport, is definitely a welcome edition to the historic High Street. Playing live on 11 September was Jenny Wren, and Bill I Am,,, This event was well attended and had a fantastic friendly, safe, relaxed atmosphere. For more information about the venue, see:- Skies-Lounge.Co.UK and follow them on both Twitter and on Facebook.



Exclusive interview with Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell

PLEASE do play and watch our exclusive interview with Merseyside's Police Commissioner, Emily Spurrell. This interview gave PCC Emily Spurrell her 1st opportunity to inform our readers what she has been doing since she was elected to undertake this crucial role within our Region. We hope, if Covid and time allows, we hope to follow up on this video in early 2022. We would like to thank Emily and her team for allowing us the time to do this video interview. The audio and transcript is below the video and can also be played. For more information about her and also about the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner, along with contact information, please visit:-  Merseyside PCC.Info

Audio Only Player - Interview

Can I get you to introduce yourself, please?

Yes. I'm Emily Spurrell Elected the Merseyside Police & Crime Commissioner.

What is a Police Commissioner for people who don't know what it is?

So the Police and Crime Commissioner is

basically your voice, the public voice, in policing.

They have a key role in setting a Police

and Crime Plan which is basically kind of your priority for the area.

So I've gone out with spoken to

Lots of people have got your feedback

and we've put together the Police of Crime Plan.

I will use that plan to hold the Chief

Constable to account as to how she is delivering on that plan and how she is

working to keep the public and Merseyside safe , also

PCC I also have control of the budget.

So I oversee the money that comes in

from us, as tax players but also from Central Government and I monitor the budget.

on how Chief Constable spends those funds

to Police the streets of Merseyside.

Now, how do you stay apolitical as

the Police Commissioner, if you don't mind me ask ing?

So to be honest it is not an a political role.

So I'm a Labour co-operative candidate.

I was elect ed on that basis . Erm. Obviously new

Try to balance because the Police fundamentally are not political,

they Police whoever needs to be policed across the Region.

So I work very closely with the Police and I make sure that I don't, you know, bring party

politics into my relationship with the Chief Constable and the work

that I do with the Police, but actually fundamentally I'm still a political voice.

So I still use my role as a Police Commissioner to challenge

the Prime Minister to challenge the last Minister to , kind of, you know, challenge the kind

of narrative around, you know, the lack of funding for Police Officers.

So, so, while I go for in Party Politics

into my role working with the Police specifically, I still have a critical

voice and I think it's important I use t hat, urm, to kind of get the right support

right funding in for communities on Merseyside.

Now you started in a very unusual position

with the Lock down. How has that affected your implementation of your policies?

It has been a challenge.

And one of the things I really like about

this role, having done the role previously as deputy,

one of the things I realised was being

able to go to see people and visit communities, visit projects seem a kind

of really good works being done and obviously with a lock down and the Covid

restriction s that was much harder, I think, to get out there to speak people

and actually , seeing the great stuff that happening and within our communities.

So , urm, that was the challenge.

We did lots of online, you know,

conversation s , we managed to speak

to loads and loads of people in terms of getting feedback around. You know.

My Police and Crime Plan priorities

and sign up to the challenges are facing within their communities.

But I definitely, it's not quite same as being able to do it face to face

so I'm really glad that as

things have started to l oosen up a bit.

We are able to go out and see these things, in there, in practice.

What do you think is the biggest problem

facing at the Merseyside Police in the near future?

So there's probably a few issues I think Merseyside Police are going to be facing,

one of which is obviously the recovery from Covid.

We are seeing challenges when the Police

itself in terms of Police Officer mental health and well -being.

It is of capacity in terms of being able

to get out back on the streets and still kind of do the job they usually do.

But also, I think if you look

at the communities themselves, we know that mental health has really

st ruggled. A lot of people's mental health has struggled t hrough lock down and through Covid.

And also I think if you look at the knock-on effect of the funding cuts.

So if you look at the local authorities

and Public Health and our NHS services, the kind of years of austerity that we've had

has meant there is a real gap, I think in some of the capacity that we

need to support people, particularly those individuals with mental health needs.

So I think a lot of the welfare issues end

up falling back onto the Police and the Police do their best.

To me. They recognize when people are

vulnerable and they work incredibly hard to be there and respond . But quite often .

It's not the right place for them.

They're not the right people to do that.

So I think try to work with local authorities and other kind of public

agencies to try and make sure that support there.

for vulnerable individuals to try to reduce the pressure on the Police.

I think is going to be a key part

of the work that are doing working with the Chief Constable.

What projects have you got coming up that you're particularly keen to press on with.

So there's lots of stuff that I want to do.

I think my particular passion and something I'm very keen to talk about is around what

for victims and in particular tackling violence against women and girls.

So you know, when you look at the statistics around domestic abuse, for example,

two women every week are murdered as a result of male violence.

We know that we talk about serious violence and we talk about knife crime and gun

crime and they are actually horrendous issues, but we don't talk about domestic

abusive violence against women in the same way, even though the same if not more people

are dying as a result and why we want to make sure that we're doing everything

we can to keep those victims of abuse safe. M ake sure that we're listening to them.

We're designing the systems with them in mind.

They are confident to come to the Police

because they know is going to get the right support, that we're doing enough

to go after the perpetrators , through, you know, training and prevention and work

programs and rehabilitation or through criminal j ustice outcomes

getting them into Court and getting them locked away

if that's what needs to happen.

I think we just need to be taking it really, really seriously and acknowledge

the scale of abuse and violence against women out there.

With all the things are going on in the press

and the media about Liverpool being a dangerous place and things.

How, how , could you help address the misinformation that's going out?

It's a really good question!

And actually, I've already been doing it

a lot of work around this over the last few weeks.


as , you know, Look down as opened up , as has our, particularly our kind of City Centre night time

and the economy with in Liverpool, that's started to open up again.

And it's been great for me.

So many people coming to stay and enjoy everything Liverpool has to offer.

But unfortunately, we have also seen a

spike in a number of instances, particularly hate crime, for example,

we know there's been a number of attacks against members of the LGBT community.

Now for the vast majority of people coming into our City, they have a great time.

We have a huge amount to offer.

It's a really vibrant place.

We know a lot of people have been coming

to places like Liverpool where they haven't been able to go abroad.

And we really want that we want to get people to come here.

But I think it's also important that we look at what we put in place and if

something does go wrong, something happens that the support is there for you.

So if example, I've been working with lot s of the LGBT community organizations

and groups like Pride, to try and make sure that we're putting in safe spaces.

So if something h appens, here is somewhere you could go where you will be safe

where you will be able to seek support,

where you will be able to report the Police or not,

depending on how you might feel .

Make sure that your kind of looked after

so that it kind of doesn't then and it doesn't kind of take over

and to make a situation into a hope less situation, worse basically,

How do you think the idea

and perception of the Police has changed? And how do you think a s Police and Crime

Commissioner, you could make a difference in making it more accessible?

So I think this comes back to what my role as Police Commissioner is and it's very

much about being that public voice and policing.

And I'm providing a challenge

and the scrutiny of the Chief Constable and the wider, the wider Police Officers

because I think, you know, the vast majority of Police Officers that I've met are totally

committed to the work they do, they can deeply for the communities on Merseyside.

They just wall to make a difference and keep people safe.

And so what I was trying to do is, is, demonstrate , is, is, trying, to help the force.

I guess we transparent around how the making decisions,

How they make sure that they're. How they decide where they're going to put the Police resources.

How they deal with individuals who maybe get things wrong or , you know, on the

odd occasion, whether our Police Officers who may be behaving in appropriately,

How do we move them out and take action while making sure that we're getting

the support in place and that we're , we're, kind of always -on kind of a learning track

for the other Offices to make sure they do the right thing by the people o f Merseyside.

I think it's about that transparency

and about mass in public can see how this is a being made.

So they felt confident, Merseyside Police are

doing every day within their power to keep them safe.

Is there anything you as

Police Commissioner are concerned about that needs to be addressed

In relation to the Police, or more broadly?

Broadly and in relation to the Police.

And well, I talked about the violence to the girl's issue, because I think that is

a big issue for me is that we can do a lot more about.

I think one of my big kind of priorities

as a border piece of work is that victim 's voice and this coming one throughout the whole

Policing system, and the whole criminal justice system.

So actually when a crime happens, you spend a lot of time a resourc e looking at

the perpetrate , the offender, and managing that and how they go through that system.

But I don't necessarily think

we always get it right for the victim.

So you know, something traumatic, it happens, it will happen to them.

And quite often they then have to go through a criminal of the system.

They're reporting to the Police or they go

to Court or dealing with the Crown Prosecution Service.

There's lots of complicated kind of stages that you have to go through,

and I'm not sure we always get it right in terms of, listening to the victim around

how they process through that, putting the right support in place for them.

But making sure that that journey is as simple and straightforward as possible

There's lots of practical things like working with the Courts to put in

facilities where you can pre-record evidence, for example.

So you don't have to wait two years to be

able to see your case to trial, which is what

people having to do and that to us, waiting to be able to give your evidence.

So pre -recording evidence, for example, and now the victim to get their point

across and have that ability for everything recorded at the time , when it's fresh without

the time to fret about it for the next few years.

So it's about talking at how the design system were victims a range of heart

other and we make it stress free as we possibly can do it's.

Anything you'd like at the conversation?

Only that it's just over 100 days into post.

It's a job that I feel really, really , honoured to be able to do.

I've worked quite hard on his hundred days to try and be visible and Proactive

on what people to see the value of this role.

I know there are lots of questions around why we have a Police

Commissioner serving and then I did was a real value in the work that I want to do.

So I get in my plans. Don't get if you will,

to the public is I really want to be out to be visible and I want to you though,

and I want to make sure that feeds into the work that I'm doing.

So you do have things you do want to get touch with me about.

Please do get in touch and I really want

to be that and kind of voice for you and have that two-way conversation.

If people do want to get in touch, what is the procedure?

Lots of ways you can get into with our Twitter, which is Merseyside PCC.

You can do it via Facebook, which is Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner and we can go for a website

which is Merseyside and I fact they are here, aren't they?


You can see them here.

And very last one.

Have you got any surveys or anything

coming up that people should be aware of and make a note of?

So we just completed our consultations

around the Police and Crime Plan and also the Safer Women's Survey.

So it was just completed that and our currently analysing it.

We will be going out with some other

volunteering opportunities and so people are interested in getting more involved.

We're going to be looking for custody visitors who help us make sure

that entertaining custody of being well looked after.

And there will be more information about that , so keep an eye out.

I haven't got anything else Plan a consultation imminently.

But there was that be lots coming out from the next year or so,

so I would encourage people to keep an eye on all the more social media.

Thank you and good luck. Thank you...

Did you know?   The Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) role post was created in November 2012, following an election that saw a British politician, the former Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Kennedy, elected as the inaugural PCC. Jane held this office from 2012 to 2021. Emily Spurrell was then elected to the post in 2021.

Formed in 1974 Merseyside Police Force is responsible for policing Merseyside, an administrative area in the North West of England. The Service covers an area of 647 square kilometres, with a population of around 1.5 million. Merseyside Police is split into 5 local policing teams:-- Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Liverpool. Each area has a combination of community policing teams, response teams and criminal investigations units. The Force employs people in a variety of roles that include:- Police Officers, Police Community Support Officers, Police Support Staff, Special Police Officers and also helped by a range of voluntary roles. More information about Merseyside Police, please visit:- Merseyside.Police.UK.


News Report Audio Copy

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