the move with a brand new Vauxhall Astra Sport
BARNTONDALE, an inclusive
Activity Centre based in the heart of rural Wirral, has recently
been donated an Astra Sports Tourer from Vauxhall's Grace and Favour
Fleet. The car is for any transport needs the centre has, allowing
Barnstondale to put the money it would have used on transport
towards causes that directly benefit visitors from within the local
community. Barnstondale is a registered charity. Whilst fortunate
that visitor fees cover overhead costs, it relies heavily on
donations and fundraising to pay for maintenance and improvement
work. This new Astra is the third vehicle Barnstondale has received
from Vauxhall since 2011, when the company held an employee
competition looking for local charities to support. Since then the
cars have been assessed each year and renewed based on the amount of
travelling and work done by the charity.
Commented Cherie Denton, Community Relations Officer at Vauxhall:-
"It is important to Vauxhall that we work closely with our local
community and having the opportunity to support local charities is
just one of the ways we do this. Barnstondale Activity Centre
provides an inspirational environment to help young people develop
essential life skills, which will set them up for the future. We are
pleased to be able to help."
Commented Heidi Hughes, Business Director at Barnstondale:-
"At Barnstondale we provide activities that cater to every visitor's
needs and abilities. When school's visit, we want to make sure all
schoolchildren can come; regardless of their financial situation. So
that no one misses out, we have an allocation of money that is
earmarked specifically to pay for children whose parents may not be
able to afford their child's visit otherwise. Thanks to Vauxhall's
donation, and the saving that we are making on transport costs, we
are able to ensure even more children from Merseyside are able to
enjoy coming to Barnstondale. This kind of help is invaluable and we
appreciate Vauxhall's ongoing support."
Barnstondale offers an all encompassing activity experience,
whatever the needs or physical ability of visitors. As well as being
an overnight getaway destination with three large, American style
log cabins, Barnstondale also hosts many groups, schools and charity
organisations from across Merseyside, for away days and activity
weekends. As a registered charity Barnstondale raises money to help
fund places for children who would never be able to afford to visit
otherwise. This allows them to experience the activities on offer
such as climbing, abseiling and team building exercises. For
more information visit:-
barnstondale.org or call Heidi
Hughes, Business Director at Barnstondale on:- 0151 648 1412.
set to transform Liverpool empty homes
UP to 50 young people from
Merseyside will learn building and construction skills through
refurbishing 10 empty homes, as part of a new scheme from the
national youth charity Ambition and delivery partner Cospa.
The ambitious initiative involves professional tradespeople
mentoring local young people in a range of building and renovation
skills. Young people will be supported to gain vocational
accreditations, with access to further training, work placement and
apprenticeship opportunities with local employers beyond the
project. Once renovated, the Toxteth properties will be managed by
Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust and returned to the community
for use as affordable housing.
Helen Marshall, Chief Executive, Ambition commented:-
“Strengthening communities and developing young people's skills is
at the heart of this new project, which seeks to find an innovative
solution to the prevalence of empty homes and high youth
unemployment in the North West.” The scheme is funded by the Department of Communities and Local
Government and Nationwide Trust. There are more than 114,000 empty
homes in the North West. Work on the derelict Victorian properties
began last month and is due to be completed in March 2015.
Warning issued following bogus
Police steal from Elderly
MERSEYSIDE Police are
appealing for elderly and vulnerable people across Merseyside to be
on their guard after a series of incidents in St Helens. The
incidents relate to men posing as Police Officers have called people
on the telephone and asked them to withdraw cash from their bank
accounts. During the 1st, on Tuesday, 2 December 2014, a woman in
her 70s, from St Helens, was called on the phone by a man who said
he was a Detective Constable from Hammersmith Police. He told her
someone had tried to get access to her bank account and she needed
to draw the rest of the money out so that it could be checked for
fingerprints! The woman went to her bank and drew out a substantial
amount of cash. She took it home and almost immediately the phone
rang again and the same man said there was a courier at the door to
collect the money. When the victim opened the door, a man who's
described as Asian was stood outside. He said he was a courier
acting for the Police and took the money away. A similar incident
happened the next day, in which a woman in her 80s, from Clock Face
was targeted. The offender again claimed to be from Hammersmith
Police and told the woman to get a taxi to the bank. The woman did
this, but luckily the bank were concerned about her and only gave
her £2500. When she arrived home the Offender called again and told
her a courier was waiting to collect the money. When she opened the
door, again a man described as Asian was waiting to take the money
away. 2 other incidents have happened where a man posing as an
Officer has called people and said there may be a problem with their
accounts. In each case the person became suspicious and refused to
give any details or hand over any money. There have been similar
offences across the Country over recent months, including in the
West Midlands and London, and officers from Merseyside Police are
working with other forces as part of an investigation into all these
incidents. Officers have also visited banks across St Helens and are
working closely with them to help prevent this sort of crime.
Superintendent Louise Harrison said:- "All these offences are
very similar and we believe they are all linked. I would like to
reassure people that incidents like these are comparatively rare but
when they do happen they can have a big effect on the victims.
Offenders are usually very plausible and can pose as a range of
officials, not just police officers. However, any genuine official
would never call people over the phone and ask them to withdraw
money from a bank account. If anyone does, never give out any
personal details and never hand anything over. We are also working
with the banks and I know their staff are on the look out for
suspicious transactions or anyone who they believe may be the target
of offences such as these. The offenders are extremely cunning and
tell victims not to divulge why they want the money. Being alert and
getting to the bottom of these reasons could stop them becoming
victims." Merseyside Police is also issuing the following
crime prevention advice in relation to people who call at your door,
including any people posing as officials. Also if you get contacted
and a caller claims to be from the Police he/she should have a
warrant card and this can be checked by calling Merseyside Police
on:- 101. If the caller leaves and you are still unsure about
their credibility, write down the details of the person and the
registration number and type and colour of vehicle if you know it
and contact us on:- 101. Anyone with information about these
incidents can call detectives in St Helens CID on:- 0151 777 6013 or
Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111.
Survey will help
set anti crime priorities
LIVERPOOL residents are
being asked to identify what crime, disorder and anti social
behaviour they are most concerned about.
Citysafe, the community safety partnership, is carrying out a survey
which will help them set their priorities in tackling these issues
over 2015. The survey can be found
It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.
The questionnaire is completely confidential and your details will
Councillor Emily Spurrell, Mayoral Lead on Community Safety, said:-
“We want to know what is important to our residents about
crime and anti social behaviour to help us shape our community
safety actions in the future.
Local people's views are very important in identifying priorities so
I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the
The survey will remain open until Tuesday, 23 December 2014.
The Citysafe partnership is made up of a number of agencies
including Liverpool City Council; Merseyside Police; Merseyside Fire
and Rescue Service; National Probation Service Merseyside;
Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company; Liverpool's Clinical
Commissioning Group; Registered Providers; the universities; local
businesses and representatives of the voluntary sector.
4 men arrested
in connection to distraction burglaries in Sefton
MERSEYSIDE Police have
confirmed that 4 people have been arrested in connection with a
number of distraction in Sefton recently. 3 men, aged 39, 51 and 60,
were arrested recently on suspicion of committing distraction
burglaries committed against elderly residents in the area. A 24
year old man was also arrested on suspicion of fraud offences
relating to cold calling. All 4 men were questioned by detectives
and have been released on Police Bail pending further enquiries.
Detectives at Sefton CID are investigating all the incidents, which
have generally involved a bogus repair man or men tricking people
into handing over cash after falsely claiming roof tiles were loose
or damaged. As part of an on going operation to tackle this type of
crime residents are being advised to be vigilant and officers are
working closely with the local authority, housing associations and
tenant groups. Police and Trading Standards in the area are
reminding all residents across the borough to take basic, simple
steps to ensure that they don't fall victim to this kind of
burglary. Inspector Suzanne Demomme, said:- "This type of
crime is despicable; victims of distraction burglary can suffer
terribly both emotionally and physically and it can seriously affect
their trust and faith in people afterwards. It is vital people
remember to check the identity of any stranger who calls at their
home, genuine callers will not mind waiting. Help and support is
available from the police, local authorities, and utility companies
so please make sure you use it. I would also ask that people keep an
eye on who is visiting, or knocking of the doors, of their elderly
or vulnerable neighbours. Most importantly, if in doubt keep them
out! In these cases the offender or offenders have targeted mainly
elderly people who live alone and keep cash in their house by posing
as tradesmen. However in these cases it has clearly been a con and
the caller is not a genuine Council repairman at all and there has
not been any work necessary on the victim's property. These
criminals are extremely callous individuals who will think nothing
of stealing someone's weekly pension, someone's life savings, or
treasured family jewellery, leaving their victim heartbroken at both
the intrusion into their home and the loss of their belongings. I
would urge everyone in Sefton to be mindful of this issue and to not
only be vigilant when answering their own doors to cold callers, but
also to look out for their neighbours , particularly if they are
elderly or vulnerable in some other way. People should never feel
uncomfortable or awkward about using their door chain first and then
asking the caller to wait outside while they ether call the company
they say they are from or verify their identity in some other way.
We are also working with local housing groups, such as One Vision,
and tenants associations to organise crime prevention awareness
discussions to provide practical and useful advice. Our advice will
always be that if you have any doubts at all that someone is not who
they say they are, do not open the door to them, ask them to wait
outside or even leave and call a friend or relative or the Police
for advice.” One Vision Housing working with SmartWater have
now confirmed the planned introduction of forensic marking kits into
their properties in the area. The high-tech security kits contain a
UV fluid that contains a unique code and is painted onto valuables.
If those valuables are stolen and later recovered, they can be
returned quickly to the owner. SmartWater also acts as a deterrent
to would be burglars, as it can easily pin them to a crime scene if
they are caught with the UV fluid on their skin or clothing. Kevin
Parkinson, Community Safety Manager at One Vision Housing, said:-
"We have been informed about certain distraction burglaries
taking place in the Sefton area and we are reminding residents to
check for identification before allowing anyone access to their
home. If a repair has been scheduled by our maintenance team you
will have been notified beforehand, so if a workman arrives at your
house unexpectedly please call us on:- 0300 365 1111. Also, in
response to a number of boiler thefts from our properties, we have
been marking our heating systems with an innovative traceable
forensic product from Smartwater. It will allow us to trace our
boilers and link criminals to the individual crime scenes."
A full investigation into these incidents is still on going. Anyone
with information that could help detectives with their enquiries is
asked to call Sefton CID on:- 0151 777 3014 or Crimestoppers on:-
0800 555 111. To report a crime in progress always call:- 999. In a
non-emergency call:- 101.
CRIME PREVENTION ADVICE
Many people who call at your door are genuine but some are not.
Therefore it is vital to take precautions when you answer the door:-
► Burglars won't go to the trouble
of breaking in if they can just knock and be invited in. So always
be on your guard when anyone you're not expecting; a man, a woman or
even a child; turns up at your door.
► Bogus 'officials'
may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the Council, the gas
board, the health authority or other organisations and businesses.
► Bogus 'dealers' may
offer to buy your antiques, furniture or jewellery, at what seems to
be a good price.
► If you want to sell something,
choose 1 or 2 genuine dealers to value it or ask a friend or
relative for their advice.
► Bogus 'workmen' may
say that they need to come in to check something or make urgent
repairs. You also need to be careful of callers who offer to make
building repairs or tarmac your drive. Often they'll ask for money
in advance; they may even offer to drive you to the bank to withdraw
money to pay them.
► If you need any building work
done, get several written quotes from reputable firms, then decide
which one is best. If in doubt, talk it through with a neighbour or
someone in your family.
► Genuine callers will normally make
an appointment first and will carry identification with their
If you get contacted and a caller claims to be from the Police
he/she should have a warrant card and this can be checked by
calling:- 101. Don't let them in when making the call!
ALWAYS PUT THE CHAIN ON...
If someone calls at your door:-
► Check to see who it is by using
the spy hole if you have one, or look through a front window.
► Always put the chain on before you
open the door. (If you don't have a chain it's a good idea to get
one - they don't cost much).
► With PVC doors, it can be
difficult and costly to fit a door chain. Check with the
manufacturer before you buy a PVC door, that a chain will be fitted.
► FIRE SAFETY - only put on
your door chain as you answer the door; don't keep it on all the
time as this could delay your exit in case of fire.
► Look at their clothing. Some
official callers will have a uniform bearing their organisation's
name or symbol.
If you don't know the caller, ask to see their
identity card. Check it carefully, and keep the chain on while you
do this. Genuine callers won't mind if you close the door while you
► Some public utility services (eg.
water, electricity, gas) operate a password system. Contact your
local branch to find out more.
► If you're still not sure, ask the
caller to come back later. You can then check their story by phoning
the organisation or company they claim to represent. Look up the
number in your own telephone directory. Don't rely on the telephone
number on their card; it may be the number of a crook's partner.
► Bogus callers sometimes work in
pairs. Beware of one distracting you while the other steals your
property. The best practice is not to let them in.
► Ensure your back door is locked if
you are answering the door to someone you don't know.
► Watch out for anyone who says
they're in a hurry. Don't let them pressure you. If in doubt, call a
neighbour or friend.
► If you have any suspicions at all,
don't let them in.
► If you're still not happy, phone
the Police; dial 999 and tell them what's happened. And tell your
► Always put the chain on and use
the spy-hole before you open the door.
► Never let anyone in unless you are
absolutely sure they are genuine.