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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 10 March 2010

Keeping crime off the doorstep

A series of crime prevention road shows, organised by Liverpool’s Community Crime Fighters, gets under way.  The Community Crime Fighter programme is an initiative by Citysafe, Liverpool’s community safety partnership. It involves people taking an active role in tackling crime and anti social behaviour in their neighbourhood.  The first 2 road shows will focused on dealing with bogus callers who gain access to property to steal. Typically they pose as a council or utility official. This type of crime can have long lasting emotional effects on the victim and it is quite often under-reported due to embarrassment. It can also be difficult to detect from a policing point of view due to the ‘travelling’ nature of the crime.  These road shows target over 55’s and the next will be located at Liverpool Lighthouse on Friday, 18 March 2011, from 1pm to 4pm.  These events have been supported by a number of agencies who will give crime prevention advice and guests will be entertained by the Evergreen Drama Group who will perform a play about bogus callers.  Councillor Ann O’ Byrne, cabinet member for community safety, said:- “Thefts by bogus callers can have very severe effects on their victims. It is a particularly callous type of crime as the callers tend to prey on elderly people.  The road shows will give reassurance and advice on how we can stop this type of crime.”


AS we a letter reported to us in February about the War Memorial in Southport Town Centre being taken over by litter and jobs, but action is now being taken. We have found out that many other areas are full of waste dumped by fly tippers and other people, but the tide is turning. Sefton Council has been out and about collecting evidence over the last few weeks in an attempt to bring the fly tippers to justice and to help clear up the streets. If you have seen any areas you would like highlighted to the council, please let us know by emailing our news desk to and also if you have any views on the issues around the drunks, also let us know.

Samaritans launches Facebook drive to encourage support for suicidal friends

SAMARITANS have teamed up with Facebook to create a pioneering new scheme allowing the 30 million people on Facebook in the UK to get help for a friend they believe is struggling to cope or feeling suicidal.  People concerned about a friend will be able to tell Samaritans via Facebook’s Help Centre, where they can report specific content such as status updates or wall posts. Facebook will then put Samaritans in touch with the distressed friend to offer their expert support.  This initiative runs in tandem with an awareness campaign through Samaritans’ Facebook Page, giving advice on supporting vulnerable friends such as how to spot the signs of distress and how to start a difficult conversation. Also on the Page will be messages from high profile celebrities backing the campaign.  Catherine Johnstone, Chief Executive of Samaritans, said:- “Through the popularity of Facebook, we are harnessing the power of friendship so people can get help. As a friend you are better placed to know whether someone close to you is struggling to cope or even feeling suicidal.   We want to remind people that if a friend says that life isn’t worth living, they should always be taken seriously. Facebook is a part of daily life for so many of us and we must make sure that people online have support when they need it.”

Facebook’s Director of Policy for Europe, Richard Allan said:- “We're pleased to welcome the expertise of a great partner in Samaritans. They will help to make our robust reporting system even more effective, as friends are encouraged to look out for one another on Facebook as they do in the real world. This supplements the number of ways to get help already available on Facebook, from our Help Centre to the reporting tools we offer.”

Samaritans’ volunteers have welcomed the initiative. Sandra Forrester, director of Samaritans’ Northampton branch and part of the team responding to the Facebook referrals, said:- “It is a brilliant idea that we team up with Facebook as it is another way for vulnerable people to know that we are here to support them, and that they aren’t alone.”

Samaritans is running a Facebook advertising campaign to encourage people to “Like” their fan Page where they can find updates on the charity’s work and how to become a supporter.


MERSEYSIDE Home Watch and Merseyside Police have produced a new crime prevention video. The video features 'Debbie' a recent burglary victim in Sefton, who explains how not locking her front door properly allowed burglars to break into her home.  "In this video she reminds every resident to make sure they use all their locks correctly and tells those with UPVC doors to always turn the key after lifting up the handle to make sure they keep crooks out. Unfortunately, not everyone in Sefton is in Home Watch and therefore do not receive these helpful messages. If you are interested in joining the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, please come along to the next meeting." said Sefton Home Watch member, Margaret Jepson.   To see the video you can log on now to the Merseyside Police website.  For more information and dates, please contact Sefton Home Watch member, Margaret Jepson, via email.

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