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Issue:- 20 January 2010

Community Safety Cabaret Event

IN February at the ‘The Green Room’ Duke Street, Liverpool, Liverpool Community Crime Fighter Network will be hosting a Community Safety Cabaret Event. The event will be by invitation only and during the afternoon 150 of the most vulnerable residents from across the city will be able to come together to meet others and share experiences in a fun, friendly and relaxed environment. Comedians Sean Styles and Tony Barton will entertain guests and sixties swing singer Tom Spencer and entered into a free prize draw getting the opportunity to win prizes kindly donated by local businesses.

The Community Crime Fighter programme is an initiative by Citysafe, Liverpool’s community safety partnership, designed to harness the energy of those people in our communities who are prepared to take an active role in tackling crime and anti
social behaviour. This is done by acknowledging their commitment and providing them with the necessary support, tools, and training to perform their role.

Currently Liverpool has around 200 Community Crime Fighters. Typically, they are people already active in their community usually through Neighbourhood Watch or as a tenants/residents representative.

Councillor Ann O’Byrne, cabinet member for community safety, said:- “We are delighted that so many people are prepared to be community crime fighters. They are making a real contribution to their community and working in partnership with other agencies to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.”

The cabaret event is supported by various agencies including Age UK, Liverpool City, Council, Citysafe, Merseyside Police,
Mersey Travel, Victim Support and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. They will be on hand to discuss any community safety related issues.

Following this event, Liverpool Community Crime Fighters will host a series of crime prevention ‘roadshows’ the first two of which will focus on ‘bogus callers’.

Liverpool Community Crime Fighters said that:- "A bogus caller is someone who falsely gains access to a property for the purpose of committing theft, typically posing as a utility company or council official. This type of crime can have long lasting emotional effects on the victim and quite often, they are too embarrassed to report it. It can also be difficult to detect due to the ‘travelling’ nature of the crime. The first two road shows will be targeted at the over 55’s and the locations have been identified as those areas suffering the most from this type of crime. These events will be attended by various interested agencies to give crime prevention advice and guests will be entertained by the Evergreen Drama Group who will perform a play about bogus callers using humour to get their message of ‘when in doubt keep them out’."

The aim of the road shows will be to:-

► Increase the feelings of safety for the over 55’s

► Reduce the number of crimes

► Address the issue of under reporting and give people the confidence to report this type of crime

► Give people information as to how they can reduce their chances of becoming a victim

‘Buddy up’ vulnerable attendees with existing local Community Crime Fighters

► Grow the Liverpool Community Crime Fighter Network

► Demonstrate how the Community Safety Partnership is supporting the community and working with other organisations


MERSEYSIDE Police have been voted as one of the top UK’s most ‘gay-friendly’ police forces by a leading national gay right's charity.

Out of 378 employers that entered this year’s Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, the Force placed 24th overall but came second among the police forces to Hampshire Constabulary, which was ranked as the fourth top employer.

Merseyside Police first entered the Index in 2009 and has consistently placed among the top three most gay-friendly police forces.

The Index has been running for the past five years and is the definitive national benchmarking exercise for showcasing the UK's top employers for gay, lesbian and bisexual staff.

This year a record amount of organisations participated in the Index with the number of employers increasing from 352 in 2010 to 378 in 2011. The threshold score to enter the top 100 also rose from 66% to 73%.

Chief Inspector Val Powell said:- "This is the third consecutive year that Merseyside Police has been named as one of the top performing police forces in the UK for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. This is testament to our continuing commitment to provide an excellent service to the diverse communities we serve and it is fantastic to see our hard work reflected in this Index. Each year the competition in Stonewall gets tougher with an increasing number of organisations taking part but we will continue to work hard to make Merseyside Police an employer of choice for all, regardless of sexual orientation, and for the Force to be reflective of all the diverse communities that we serve."

Merseyside Police took part in Liverpool's first gay pride parade last summer and for the last four years has annually flown the rainbow flag for IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) across its police stations. The Force also supported the launch of the City of Liverpool Children Services Anti-Homophobic Bullying Strategy on IDAHO day.

Chief Inspector Powell added:- "It is important to the Force that not only police officers and staff are treated with fairness and equality but that the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community who come into contact with the police, whether as a victim, witness or suspect, are treated the same as anyone else so they have the confidence to report crimes to us enabling us to take action against the offenders. We work closely with the LGBT community to provide support, reassurance and crime prevention advice and seize every opportunity to bring offenders to justice. In 2009, Merseyside Police set up Sigma units - dedicated teams of detectives whose sole purpose is to investigate hate crimes and put those responsible before the courts. Merseyside Police are quite clear - we will not tolerate hate crime and we will continue to work hard to ensure everyone who lives, works in or visits Merseyside finds it a safe and enjoyable place to be."

DC Tracy O'Hara, chairman of GLSN (Merseyside Police's Gay and Lesbian Support Network) said:- "It is important to send out a message to all our staff that we strive towards a workplace free from discrimination and prejudice. Homophobia is unacceptable and a workplace where staff can be themselves, means a more productive workforce and a happier working environment. Although being placed the top Metropolitan Force, our goal must be first place, above all other organisations."

Passengers urged to have their say on InterCity West Coast rail consultation

ANTHONY Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, said:- “It is important that this process produces a deal that puts passengers’ interests at its heart and builds on the high levels of satisfaction passengers currently report. We urge passengers on the west coast to get involved in this process where they can. Passenger Focus will shortly carry out research to understand what existing West Coast passengers think needs to be improved. The findings of this research will form the basis of Passenger Focus’s discussions with Government and companies vying to operate West Coast services from 2012 onwards.”

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