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Issue:- 09/10 December 2009


MERSEYSIDE Police in South Liverpool carried out a major crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Allerton on Friday 4 December 2009. Local Neighbourhood Policing Teams, led by Sgt Andy Wiggins, undertook a variety of pro-active policing approaches targeting anti-social behaviour in the run-up to Christmas, including high visibility patrols in the area. As a result of community intelligence, officers executed a warrant in Allerton under the Misuse of Drugs Act and arrested a 17 year old man on suspicion of possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply. Police seized a quantity of what is believed to be Cannabis as well as associated drugs paraphernalia.

Officers also concentrated on illegal road users and worked alongside Taxi Licensing, Council Parking Enforcement Teams and Citywatch.  By using CCTV to quash the anti-social use of vehicles in the area, 42 fixed penalty notices were handed out, 15 motorists were reported for road tax offences, 45 were given speed warnings, 43 people were fined for parking offences and 46 motorists received warnings for other driving misdemeanours.

Some 49 taxi drivers were stopped with nine vehicles found to have defects leading to the suspension of three drivers. The enforcement continued into the evening when 12 pubs and off licences were targeted by uniformed officers, who focused on adults buying alcohol for youngsters in a major clampdown on under-age drinking with 64 stop-checks carried out.

PC John Erskine, of Merseyside Police's Alcohol and Tobacco Unit, said:- "Under-age drinkers use a variety of means to obtain alcohol and often approach people outside shops asking them to get it for them. We want to make adults aware that there is a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal conviction for anyone buying alcohol for under-18s."

Police also have the power to confiscate alcohol from adults if they are found to be drinking with those who are under-age. Inspector Andy Wignall, of Childwall, Church and Mossley Hill wards, said:- "Friday's operation was in line with our Total Policing strategy and is part of our plan to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in south Liverpool in the run up to Christmas. It is vital that people can get safe taxis home over the Christmas period as well as feel safe on the roads and on our streets. We are acting on community intelligence provided to us and urge anyone with further details to call us or Crimestoppers in confidence on:- 0800 555 111. We can assure residents that we will not tolerate offenders whose actions affect the quality of life for others and we will take positive robust action against them."

The increased patrols will continue throughout the Christmas period.

Email us your views on this Christmas campaign to our news room email address:-

European Parliament Delegation denied access to the Gaza Strip

A cross-party delegation from the European Parliament, including Sir Robert Atkins MEP for the north west of England, was due to continue its programme with a visit to Gaza on 9 December 2009, a visit which had been approved by the Israeli authorities.

Yet Israel had until the afternoon of the 8 December 20099 to granted final permission for all members of the delegation to travel. However, some three hours later entry for all members of the delegation was rescinded ’on security grounds’, without further explanation.

Sir Robert said:- "We insist on a full explanation of the security risks claimed by Israel. We received the news of the cancellation with bewilderment and dismay. It is extremely curious that the cancellation came within a few hours of the announcement of the EU Council statement re-affirming Europe’s strong position in favour of an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and an end to settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem."

The inconvenience caused to the delegation is minor compared to the constant tension and harassment to which Palestinians live with in the occupied territories including house demolitions and evictions in East Jerusalem, and the appalling conditions under which the people are living in Gaza as reported to the EP delegation by ECHO, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid office.

The mission in the Gaza Strip was three-fold. Firstly, to check on the humanitarian conditions under which the people of Gaza are living in view of the continued restrictions being implemented by Israel. The delegation was due to have a meeting there with Mr John Ging of UNWRA. Secondly, to urge the PLC members we were due to meet that reconciliation with their colleagues and elected members in the West Bank was essential to make progress on the establishment of a viable Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. Thirdly, to check on the effectiveness of EU expenditure in the area. This mission was clearly as much in the interests of Israeli security as it was in the interests of the Palestinian people.

Being denied access to Gaza does not improve the relationship between this Israeli government and the European Parliament. By denying elected members of the European Parliament the opportunity to meet our democratically-elected counterparts of the PLC is an unacceptable interference in the democratic process, and is contrary to international law.

Sir Robert went on to say:- "We have already been in touch with the President of the European Parliament on this matter, and will be raising these matters in the European Parliament, with the European Council, and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs. We do not intend to let this matter rest. Peace in the Middle East cannot be won by starving, or destroying the will, of 1.5m people in the Gaza strip, 50% of whom are young people. All it does is harden support for extremism."

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