'Safe Skills' will be
offered to Schools to protect child from being sexually exploited
A ground breaking project between
Police, Councils and child protection experts to help protect young people from
being sexually exploited is being launched in Merseyside.
‘Safe Skills' will be offered to Schools throughout the county with the
aim of giving children and teenagers the knowledge and ability to spot older
people trying to groom them online and in person.
Merseyside Police has been working with young person's charity Ariel Trust in
Liverpool as well as safeguarding experts from all five local authorities and
the NSPCC to create a free educational package to be delivered by primary and
secondary School teachers to their class.
Pupils will get to watch several animated films showing real life scenarios
which they can relate to such as gaming in their bedroom or hanging out in a
local park which are designed to prompt discussions about 'what would you do
next?‘. The films will show how things like talking to a stranger online while
gaming or being encouraged by an older person to bunk off School can put you at
risk if that person turns out to have more sinister motives.
The Schools package will develop young people's resilience to protect themselves
against these risks by using the films, role plays and interactive activities
about grooming behaviours and controlling relationships. Research from the
United States suggests that children are more likely to put into practice skills
for getting themselves out of risky situations if they have learnt them through
role play rather than having just been taught them.
Children will be encouraged to identify opportunities where the character in the
film can take action or ask for support and use communication skills to question
who they really are speaking to rather than accepting at face value what a
stranger online tells them.
The animated style of the films and the scenarios were created following
consultation with young victims of sexual exploitation, the Ariel Trust and
Liverpool City Council's 'Protect' team. Online gaming,
'park life‘, revealing private information online, talking about your
feelings and how a bystander can help were found to be the most important topics
to young people.
The project is being delivered to Schools in Liverpool, St Helens, Wirral,
Sefton and Knowsley with the aim of encouraging every School in Merseyside to
incorporate it into their curriculum so it can be used throughout the academic
Detective Superintendent Dave Brunskill from Merseyside Police's protecting
vulnerable people unit, said:- "Sexual exploitation exists in lots of
different forms and it is not always obvious to the victim when it 1st starts
happening. Groomers use the cloak of anonymity the web provides to hide who they
really are and the real reason they are befriending them. Once they have won the
victim's trust, they can exploit them for sexual or financial gain and the
consequences for that young person can be dreadful. We need to stop this
happening to young people by arming our children with the knowledge and skills
to develop an in built sense of what to be wary of, what to question and how to
seek help. The best way of doing this is getting them talking about it with
their friends and classmates so that wherever they are, be it on their phone in
the playground or on their games console in their bedroom, they know what to do
and how to do it. The Safe Skills resource gives teachers everything they need
to build CSE themes into everyday learning in an exciting and innovative way so
that the children become genuinely interested and learn through role play,
interactive tasks and discussion amongst themselves. The pilot in 17 Schools in
Merseyside earlier this year was really encouraging and, thanks to support from
the 5 local authorities and the pilot Schools themselves our ambition now is to
embed Safe Skills into as many Schools in Merseyside as possible so that each
and every child is better protected from harm."
Paul Ainsworth, director at Ariel Trust said:- "Even though there are many
different resources out there for raising awareness about CSE, there are
questions about how much they can actually change behaviour. The reason why the
Safe Skills project is unique is because it has been developed by children in
Merseyside for children in Merseyside and helps give them the relevant and
proactive skills and strategies to know how to behave if they are in a risky
The scheme has been part funded by the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner,
Jane Kennedy. She said:- "Child Sexual Exploitation is a dreadful crime
which can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims and their families.
It destroys lives and impacts on whole communities. This new 'Safe Skills'
resource has been developed by the Ariel Trust in partnership with Merseyside
Police and many other community safety agencies. It aims to talk to young people
in a language they understand, using real life examples of youngsters who have
experienced sexual exploitation. It shows young people how to spot the tell tale
danger signs of grooming and equips them so they know what to do and who to
speak to if they have any concerns or fears. Our aim is to give young people the
awareness and skills so they know how to protect themselves both in the real
world and in the virtual one, while giving them the confidence to speak out when
they need help. I welcome the launch of this great preventative tool in our
Schools and I thank all those who were involved in creating it for the benefit
of young people on Merseyside."
Merseyside's 5 local authorities have also contributed funding for the
Sefton Borough Council's cabinet member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding,
John Joseph Kelly said:- "Helping young people to become more aware of the
potential risks and dangers when they are on line is a priority. We want to
ensure children are able to spot potential dangers on all online platforms and
know who to speak to should they ever feel unsafe."
For more information about the work of the Ariel Trust visit:-
For advice for young people of all ages about sexual exploitation as well as
advice for teachers and parents / guardians visit:-
13 People sentenced over conspiracy to supply
drugs and firearms offences
MERSEYSIDE Police have confirmed that
13 People, 12 men and 1 woman, have been sentenced after being convicted of to
conspiracy to supply drugs and firearms offences. When all sentences have been
added up, it comes to more than 82 years!
The sentencing follows an extensive investigation by the Matrix Serious
Organised Crime Team into the supply of controlled drugs (heroin, cocaine,
cannabis, spice) by a Sefton based organised crime group who were supplying
drugs across Sefton.
Detective Superintendent Lee Turner, said:-
"13 people have been sentenced for their part in a conspiracy to supply drugs
in Sefton. This group was responsible for thousands of drugs deals on a daily
basis and brought misery to the streets were they plied their criminal trade.
Those involved in the group were also responsible for anti social behaviour
around the Hereford Drive estate and were not averse to using violence and
intimidation to protect their drugs business. Organised crime groups like this,
who deal in the wholesale supply and distribution of controlled drugs, don't
care about the impact that supply of drugs has in our communities. But I would
like to reassure the decent members of our communities that Merseyside Police is
committed to tackling the supply of drugs and we will continue to proactively
tackle criminal gangs who think nothing of flooding the streets with dangerous
drugs in order to profit from other people's misery. There is nothing more that
undermines public confidence than being able to see people visibly profiting
from crime and we are determined to show people like Shiels and his associates
that crime doesn't pay."
Det Supt Turner added:- "Kyle Shiels and Terry Nixon were not content with
dealing drugs in communities across Sefton. With assistance from David McGrady
and Kevin Bell they devised a plan to convey drugs into Her Majesty's Prison
Liverpool, using innovative techniques to get the drugs in to associates who
were in the Prison. Even when Kyle Shiels was remanded to Her Majesty's Prison
Liverpool he continued to arrange for large amounts of drugs and phones to be
conveyed into Her Majesty's Prison Liverpool using Connor McKevitt. They would
try to intimidate Officers who were working in the area following concerns
raised about drug dealing, because they were disrupting their drugs business as
a result of regular stop checks. But the Neighbourhood Officers were undeterred
and continued to build up evidence to support the Matrix investigation in to
this organised group. The message is clear, we are relentless in our pursuit of
those involved in serious organised crime and will continue to do all we can to
put our communities 1st and remove the threat, risk and harm these individuals
bring to our streets."
Area Commander for Sefton, Chief
Superintendent Paul White, said:- "Protecting our communities is a
priority for Merseyside Police and those sentenced were having a real negative
impact on the residents of the Hereford Drive estate and other areas in Sefton.
"There is no doubt in my mind that when the residents, who were affected by the
criminal activities of these individuals, see the photographs of those sentenced
will breathe a sigh of relief. I want to take this opportunity to reassure
residents that when we receive information about drug related crime and gun
crime we will act. In relation to drug dealing, we often have to carry out an
extensive operation, which can take some months, to gather evidence to ensure
that when we get those involved to Court the only option available is a Prison
sentence. But I want to reassure our communities that Merseyside Police is
relentless in its pursuit of those involved in serious and organised crime and
we will do all we can to find those involved and put them before the Courts to
keep our communities safe. We will continue to work closely with our partner
agencies, including Sefton Council, to combat anti social behaviour and
criminality. But we cannot do this without the public. The streets of Bootle,
and other areas, belong to everyone and we rely on our communities to tell us
when there are criminal issues in their area so that we can take positive action
and protect our communities from those involved in criminality. Any information
supplied to us in relation to serious and organised crime will be acted upon."
Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for
Communities and Housing, said:- "As a Council we are committed to putting
our residents 1st and creating safe communities across the borough.
Unfortunately our strong and vibrant neighbourhoods in Bootle have been
disturbed by a number of anti social behaviour incidents and organised crime. I
am delighted that through partnership work with Merseyside Police we are able to
bring those responsible to justice and ensure that our communities remain safe
for our residents."
Merseyside Police 'Once
In A Lifetime' trip winners announced
ON Wednesday, 23 November 2016,
Merseyside Police hosted a prize giving event which rewards those Sefton
School children who have been involved in an education project during the Autumn
term. The project was set up by Constable Alan Thompson from Bootle
Neighbourhood team, Sefton Council, Alder Hey Children's Hospital and the L30
Millions Project, and aims to highlight the impact off-road bikes have on local
The 5 Schools involved are:-
► Lander Road Primary School, Litherland
► All Saints Primary School, Bootle
► St Monica's Primary School, Bootle
► St Oswalds C of E Primary School, Netherton
► The Grange Primary School, Bootle
Children from the Schools have been taken on adventure days,
including a day out at Crosby Lakeside Centre, and in School have designed anti
scrambler bike posters as part of the project. The 16 winners of the poster
competition will be presented their certificates by Tony Bellew, Graham Sharp,
Jamie Carragher and Sefton Mayor Cllr Iain Brodie Brown, before the grand
unveiling of the children's prize, a 'Once In A Lifetime' trip to
a mystery destination.
The posters and calendars will be displayed across businesses in
Sefton to highlight the dangers of illegal and nuisance off road bike use. Local
businesses have also contributed food, drinks and warm clothes for the children.
Sefton Neighbourhood Inspector Ian Jones said:- "This has
been a very successful local project highlighting the dangers associated with
off road bikes and how they can affect our communities. We know that these bikes
can cause significant nuisance, stress and danger to members of the Sefton
community and beyond. We strongly believe that education and engagement is such
an important part of eradicating the problem, working alongside Sefton Council
and our other partners. We hope that by getting involved, the young people have
learned some valuable lessons to share far and wide, and that they enjoy their
rewards. We can't give too much away, but this prize is the stuff of dreams!"
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said:-
"It will be a pleasure to watch these young people, who have shown enthusiasm
and energy for this project, receive their prizes and I can't wait to see the
reaction of the winner when they find out the details of this 'Once In A
Lifetime' trip. This initiative has got the young people really thinking about
the dangers and consequences of using off-road bikes. I often hear from people
across Merseyside about the fear and anxiety the illegal use of these bikes
causes in our communities; that is why it is so important we engage with our
young people from an early age and help steer them away from getting involved in
such dangerous behaviour. I congratulate the winners and all the young people
who have taken part, as well as the Officers and staff who have worked on this
Sefton Council Chief Executive Margaret Carney said:- "We
are delighted Schools in Sefton have so successfully raised awareness of the
dangers scrambler bikes can cause, to individuals and the wider community. The
posters that the children have made are wonderful and send a powerful message to
those engaging in this sort of anti social behaviour. We are so pleased to have
worked in partnership with these wonderful organisations to make this well
deserved trip happen."