We get the
message – The 1st non-emergency text number launched for North West
FOR the 1st time, rail
passengers across the North West can report incidents to Police via
text, following the launch of a new non-emergency text number by
British Transport Police (BTP).
The new text short code, 61016, will give passengers an additional
tool to report incidents in real time wherever there is a mobile
phone signal. The number is designed to capture low level,
non-emergency incidents, similar to the non-emergency 101 phone
number used by local forces.
Chief Superintendent Peter Holden, NW Area Commander,
said:- "By creating a text capability we are looking to give
passengers greater accessibility to British Transport Police which,
in turn, should mean rail users are more likely to report incidents,
such as anti-social behaviour. This will us a better understanding
of the nature, number, time and location of incidents which may
previously have gone unreported. The service has been implemented
following extensive consultation with train operators and will not
only give BTP a more rounded picture of the level of crime and
disorder on the network, but will also give rail staff another way
of reporting their concerns and alerting Police to potential
BTP Deputy Chief Constable, Paul Crowther said:-
"BTP aims to be as open and responsive as possible and this is
the next logical step for us. Text messaging is a quick and everyday
way to communicate and passengers want to be able to contact us this
way. By encouraging passengers to also report incidents via text, we
hope we will get a more complete picture of the sort of low level
but all too common incidents that affect people's journeys across
the network. However, text messages should never be sent in an
emergency situation as there are no guarantees that they send
correctly or are received promptly."
The 61016 text number will be monitored 24/7 and
whilst it is not for reporting emergencies, there will be the
capaCity to send a policing response if required.
DCC Crowther added:- "Low level anti-social behaviour, which
we know often occurs on trains later at night and when people have
been drinking, is undoubtedly under reported. Passengers tend to
accept or ignore the minority who make the journeys unpleasant for
everyone else. We hope that the ease of being able to send a quick
text message will encourage more passengers to report incidents when
they occur. By building up a more accurate picture we can better
focus our resources."
David Sidebottom, Passenger Focus director, said:- "Passengers
tell us that they generally feel safe on the railway, however, they
will welcome this initiative as it will provide them with an easy
way to highlight the problems they come across."
CONTRACT SIGNED FOR NEW
JOINT POLICE AND FIRE COMMAND AND CONTROL CENTRE
JANE Kennedy, Merseyside's
Police and Crime Commissioner, on Wednesday, 6 March 2013, signed a
contract that gives the go-ahead to the development of the area's
new joint Police and Fire Command and Control Centre.
The centre will be based at the Fire and Rescue headquarters in
Bridle Road, Bootle and will be a mixture of new build and
refurbishment of the current building.
The co-location of the Fire and Police Control room functions will
provide an exciting opportunity to deliver a more efficient and
effective service to the public. They will share site infrastructure
and facilities with the potential for sharing of technology
solutions in the longer term.
When planning permission is granted building work will be undertaken
at the site and this will bring benefits to the local area. The
contractor for the site, Kier Construction, will be recruiting
apprentices from the local area and also targeting local contractors
to work on the site. This will help in ensuring that local people
benefit from employment and training opportunities, especially
supporting young people who are keen to work in the construction
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane
Kennedy, said:- "It has taken a lot of hard work from both
organisations and the former Merseyside Police Authority to reach
this stage and I would like to thank everyone involved in driving
this project forward. This collaboration will not only provide a
more efficient service to the Merseyside community but it will also
be a more cost-effective way of meeting ongoing service delivery
needs in what are very challenging financial times. It is vital that
a major contract of this type should bring benefits to the local
area and we're delighted that this will be happening. This is
another example of successful partnership working and I'm thrilled
that young people in the area will be able to gain valuable
experience by working on this development."
Councillor Dave Hanratty, Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue
Authority, said:- "This Merseyside solution will provide
opportunities for long-term partnership working and savings as well
as real benefits for our mobilizing and command and control
Gary Winterskill, Managing Director, Kier Construction – Northern,
said:- "The Joint Control Centre project is a really good news
story for Kier, in what is our 100th year of working in Merseyside.
We're delighted to have designed and developed the scheme from its
inception in collaboration with the JCC client team and look forward
to working with many local suppliers in the Bootle area to deliver
The project is due for completion in Spring 2014.