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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-04-11

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Anti social behaviour and criminal damage over Halloween the in Merseyside Area

MERSEYSIDE Police can confirm they experienced a 20% increase in calls on 30 October 2017 afternoon and evening compared to the same period in 2016. The force saw an increase of almost 400 more calls, between 2pm and midnight, many of them about criminal damage and anti social behaviour. During the evening there was a reduction of nearly a 3rd in reports of criminal damage to bus windows with a total of 19 incidents reported. Officers patrolling communities throughout Merseyside arrested 24 people for a variety of low level offences and seized dozens of fireworks.

On Tuesday, 31 October 2017, fell 10% compared to the same period in 2016.  The force recorded a total of 1504 calls for service during the Police operation between 2pm and midnight, a fall of 172 from 1676 calls for service in 2016. Reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage saw a 7% reduction from 312 in 2016 to 291 this year. A total of 10 people were arrested for a variety of low level offences; compared to 16 arrests in 2016; along with a total of 15 seizures of fireworks were made during the operation. In total 840 youths attended alternative activities organised by Merseyside Police and partner agencies.

Commander for the policing operation, Chief Inspector Chris Hitchell said:- "This time of year is always busy for us. We know that anti social behaviour is of concern to people, particularly those who are elderly or vulnerable, and I want to reiterate my message that we will take robust action against those found committing anti social or criminal behaviour. I want to make it clear that it is not acceptable to throw objects at people, vehicles or homes, commit criminal damage or abuse or intimidate people."

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service reported a significant reduction in deliberately set fires, with crews attending 45 incidents in comparison to 64, in 2016. There were 2 separate incidents of damage to 3 Fire Engines in the Kirkby and Belle Vale areas. This damage resulted in the engines being taken out of service for the remainder of the night.

Station Manager Paul Kay, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Arson Reduction and Incident Investigation lead said:- "We are pleased to see a reduction in ASB fires in comparison to 2016. However it is absolutely unacceptable that Firefighters have come under attack in the course of their duty. These attacks put Fire Crews who risk their lives for their community at risk of serious harm and the damage was such that the Fire Engines had to be taken out of service for the rest of the night. This could have had serious consequences and added to pressure on our limited resources, not to mention the financial cost. I would ask people to consider the whereabouts and activity of their children and for those that did this to think about the very serious consequences of their actions. We will continue to serve our community. Help us help you, please show respect to Firefighters."

Chief Inspector Chris Hitchell said:- "The run up to Sunday, 5 November 2017, will continue to be a busy period for ourselves and our partners, but we remain committed to tackling nuisance and antisocial behaviour. The people who are intent on carrying out acts of criminal damage or causing a disturbance in their communities are very much in the minority and I would ask that people continue to enjoy the festivities safely and responsibly over the coming days. A massive amount of effort and planning has gone into the policing operation for this period and we will continue to have increased high visibility patrols over the Bonfire Night period. We will also work closely with partner agencies and take swift action against the small minority who are intent on causing trouble. I would continue to urge people in the period leading up to 5 November 2017 to have respect for other people and their property and remind people that it illegal for those under the age of 18 to buy, carry, or use fireworks and under the Explosives Act of 1875 it is illegal to let off or throw a firework in a public place. If your child is under 16 then you will be liable for payment of any fine.  A massive amount of effort and planning has gone into the operation and I would like to reassure the community that we will continue to have increased high visibility patrols over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period."

Anyone who would like to report incidents of anti-social behaviour or criminal damage can call Police on:- 101 or use the online reporting tool, on the Merseyside Police website.  If anyone believes they have information about the illegal sale, use or possession of fireworks, please contact Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service on:- 0800 731 5958 or Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111.


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