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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
Covering the news in and around Merseyside


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Updated over every Wednesday night.   Your news...   Your words...

Issue:- 17/18 March 2010


MERSEYSIDE Police Detectives investigating an attempted robbery on Sunday, 24 January 2010, have released CCTV of a number of youths who may be able to assist officers with their enquiries.

The incident happened at around 5pm on Sunday, 24 January, when the 13 year old victim was riding on his bike in the Chavasse Park area with a friend. He was approached by 5 or 6 older youths who blocked his path. He was threatened by the group and told to give up his bike. When he wouldn't give them his bike, he was punched several times by one of them. He managed to ride away and report the incident to security guards, who reported the matter to Police.

One of the offenders is described a white, 5ft 4" tall, of average build with dark blond / reddish hair. He was wearing a dark coloured coat with his hood up. A second youth is described a white, 15-16 years old, 5ft 6-8" and of medium build. He had short brown hair and was wearing a dark coloured tracksuit.

Merseyside Police would appeal to anyone who recognises the youths on the CCTV images or the youths themselves, to come forward and contact officers on:- 0151 777 4811 or Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111, as they may have information that could would assist with enquiries.


IF you have had a missed call from a number that starts 076 or 070, don't call them back!   These numbers are often premium rate scams. If you return it, you can expect a premium rate charge on your bill. The 076 number can cost around 50p per-minute to ring, and on some mobile providers, this could be more. PhonepayPlus (formerly known as ICSTIS) who are the regulator for phone-paid services in the UK and an agency of Ofcom said that:- "Unfortunately, it looks like 076 numbers are now being used for the same kind of 'missed call' scams that have previously been operated in 2009, on the 070 number range. There is growing evidence of this and we will consider using our Emergency Procedure to shut down any service that is operating this type of scam. We have zero tolerance for these 'ghost' line calls that not only harm consumers, but also damage the industry." To avoid the 'missed call' and other phone rip-offs, the answer is that if you don't recognise the number then don't ring it back. For more information about PhonepayPlus who help consumers with queries about premium rate, go to:-

Also be aware of other current phone rip-offs...

0800 and 0808 - These are seen as Free Phone numbers, but these numbers are not free on most UK mobile networks

084 - Non geographical numbers (NGN), previously known as Lo-Call or Local rate, are used all over the place now, billed as 5p per minute numbers. These numbers are often used by Help lines run by charities, businesses and even the UK government! But be warned.... using 0844 on some phone networks and mobile networks could cost far more. 084 calls on some networks are billed at the same rate as a standard calls, and that could be higher than the 5p per minute you expected the bill to be at. On others, the call could cost you cost as much as 40p per minute as from some mobile networks!

Have your say... have you been caught out by a premium rate 'missed call'? Send us your views to us by emailing us to

Below is a very good site that lists call charges and costs for 07, 070, 0844, 0845, 0870, 09 numbers on most UK networks:- and to find out more about the PhonepayPlus visit Wikipedia and for Ofcom visit  Ofcom are the UK's independent regulator and competition authority for the UK's communications industries.

Food for thought:- "Banks & phone Bills"

OK, I hate banks and also annoying phone calls from marketing groups etc. so I have thought of an idea to get cash back from them. After reading the press releases over the last few months about calls using 076 and 0844 numbers.   I have decided to find out if it is legal to do this. I will keep you posted if I find that it is!  I often find myself on the phone to some annoying call centre, on hold for hours and that got me thinking. Why not sign up for a Premium Rate Telephone Number?  If I did then the call centre calling you, say the bank or sales company, would be paying you for your time!  They do it to you, so why not turn the tables on them?

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