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Issue:- 28/29 October 2009

Driving down crime in Liverpool!

LIVERPOOL is hitting the road to help people stay safe.  The council is set to commission a specially branded Community Safety bus, which will tour the city giving out advice on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.

It is just one of a string of projects to be funded by the government’s Safer and Stronger Community Fund over the next year.  The scheme is designed to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and improve the quality of life for local people.

The £217,000 grant will also be spent on projects such as:
• Installing better locks and other security devices at the homes of burglary, domestic violence and hate crime victims

• Using hi-tech portable knife detectors to prevent people carrying weapons into pubs and bars

• Environmental security measures such as bollards and fencing to section off roads and pieces of land

• Security for small businesses such as CCTV, roller shutters and grills

Councillor Marilyn Fielding, Liverpool’s executive member for safer, stronger communities, said:- “It is important we spread the message about how people can keep themselves safe and what we are doing to tackle crime and disorder.  The new vehicle will enable us to get out and about into communities and give out tips and advice.

This funding enables us to take relatively simple measures which will make a big difference to the quality of life for people.  We have made massive strides in making Liverpool a safer place to live, work and visit and crime is at the lowest level for a long time.  However we are not complacent and we recognise that we need to build on our recent successes by doing even more.”

To maximise the impact of the funding, it will be pooled with Merseyside Police funds.

Liverpool is one of the safest cities in the UK according to Home Office statistics – and Merseyside has the 3rd lowest metropolitan crime rate in the country, just behind Northumbria and South Yorkshire.  Burglary is at the lowest level for more than 2 decades, and over the last 3 years criminal damage and violent crime have fallen by 40% and robbery by 33%.  Car theft has dropped by almost half since 2006 – and just last week a study by the self proclaimed 'respected' website Money Supermarket, that revealed that Liverpool is not even in the top 20 for car insurance claims.

Nice’n’Naughty are Champions of Europe

JENSON Button isn’t the only recent British winner of a major international trophy because Nice ’n’ Naughty also kept the flag flying by winning the coveted European E-line award for Best Retailer of 2009. The good news was announced at a prestigious gala dinner in Berlin attended by all the leading players in the European adult industry. This is the 2nd year in succession that Nice ’n’ Naughty has been recognised on the European stage, having been voted Best Retail Chain in 2008.

Nice ‘n’ Naughty directors, Simon Prescott and Trish Murray, received the award on behalf of the company. Afterwards a delighted Simon commented:- ‘I’m over the moon about this. In football terms, it’s like winning the Champions League two years running. Also like football, our business is a team effort and the people who deserve this accolade most are the Nice ‘n’ Naughty staff. It’s thanks to their professionalism and commitment that we’re now being seen as a top retailer, not just in the UK, but also Europe. It’s amazing when you think about the quality of the opposition we’re up against. I’d like to dedicate this award to our staff and it was an honour to receive it on their behalf’.

Trish Murray also emphasised the importance of awards such as E-line from a customer perspective:- ‘Being able to show customers that we are recognised as the best in our industry gives them confidence that they are buying from a reputable and professional company. We have always striven to create a welcoming and enjoyable shopping experience for all our customers, of both sexes and all sexualities. I feel that winning the E-line is an endorsement of our approach and an affirmation to customers that, by shopping at Nice ‘n’ Naughty, they’re going to get choice, good value and friendly, helpful service’.

At a time of cutbacks in the industry, Nice ‘n’ Naughty has expanded its retail chain to 15 stores with branches in Manchester, Liverpool (2), Bolton, Warrington, Wigan, Southport, Chester, Aberystwyth, Bangor, Newcastle, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton and Wednesbury.

Euro MP backs Kick Out Knives Save Lives campaign

LOCAL Euro MP, Arlene McCarthy has added her voice of support to The Gary Dunne Campaign: Kick Out Knives And Save Lives.

Arlene who worked closely with Gary Dunne’s family following his tragic murder in March 2006 said:- “It is a real tribute to the family that they have chosen to turn their grief and heartbreak into a positive campaign. I am very proud of the work they are doing in Gary’s memory and proud to have got to know them as friends over the last 3 years.  Knife crime on Merseyside is currently higher than the national average. In addition to introducing a range of tougher penalties for knife crime, the Government is running a £7million programme of action, targeted at knife crime hotspots including Merseyside. The Gary Dunne campaign adds a vital local dimension to the overall strategy to end knife crime.   I will continue to back the Dunne family and give them support to make this campaign a success.”

The campaign was launched at a special event on Friday 23 October at the Devonshire House Hotel. Presented by Rossie from Radio City with Britian’s Got Talent Finalists MD Productions, Live band Elevation and comedian Adam Staunton.

The Campaign is supported by:-

Liverpool & Everton Football Clubs, Radio City, The Liverpool Echo, The Devonshire House Hotel, E.RexMakin & Co Solicitors and many others.

Background on Gary Dunne:- 

Gary Dunne, 22, from Old Swan, was stabbed to death by a gang of youths in Benalmadena, Malaga, on 2 March 2006.  In July 2008 Arlene arranged for the family to present a petition signed by over 40,000 people to 10 Downing Street along with the family of Gary Dunne. In November 2008 the Prime Minister directly intervened with the Spanish Prime Minister to raise the case and gained the support of the Spanish Prime Minister in ensuring Gary’s body is return home.  In March 2009 Gary’s body was finally returned to the UK for burial.

Knife Crime Statistic (Merseyside):-

· There were 757 knife or sharp instrument offences in Merseyside 2007/08 (the average for England & Wales is 515)

· 22% of all violent crimes.

Tackling Knives Action Programme:-

* A range of tough penalties have been rolled out to get across the message that carrying a knife is unacceptable, including doubling the maximum sentence for carrying a knife from 2 to 4 years, giving teachers the power to search pupils for weapons in schools and increasing the use of stop and search.

* ACPO guidance makes clear that anyone over the age of 16 caught in possession of a knife can now expect to be prosecuted on the first offence. Those under 16 can expect a formal final warning coupled with a knife education scheme to help them understand the potentially devastating consequences of carrying knives.

* Revised guidance issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council on 1 August states that the starting point for sentencing a level 1 (for the least serious offences) first time adult offender caught in possession for a knife who pleads not guilty should be 12 weeks in custody.

* In June 2008, the Home Secretary outlined plans to focus a programme of action on knife crime hotspots and announced an initial investment of £2 million.

* The 10 areas taking part in the Tackling Knives Action Programme are: London, Essex, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Merseyside, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Nottinghamshire, South Wales and Thames Valley.

* The programme, which was given an extra £5million in March 2009, is delivering tough enforcement combined with education, prevention work and information campaigns designed to keep youngsters on the right track.

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