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Liverpool charity to mark Mandela Day by bringing communities together in 'hope and healing'

LIVERPOOL charitable organisation Mandela8 is marking Mandela Day this year by encouraging the public to take part in a whole week of activities aimed at promoting community cohesion and highlighting those who have been affected by the ongoing pandemic.

The group behind the new Nelson Mandela memorial in Princes Park had originally planned for a visit from Mandela's family to mark its opening this July, but sadly plans had to be put on hold due to both construction work and travel being so adversely affected by the lockdown.

Adapting to the country's current situation, the charity decided they would instead use the week; commencing 13 July 2020; to recognise the not only the pain and suffering that local communities are going through but also provide a space for organisations to recognise the work their staff and volunteers have done to help people during Covid-19.


Amongst the suggested activities for the public to get involved in where calls for community choirs to entertain residents in lockdown (whilst engaging in social distancing) as well as litter picking and planting trees.

Participants are encouraged to spend 67 minutes of their day taking part in their chosen act of kindness; 1 minute for every year of Mandela's public service; as part of this #My67Minutes campaign, sponsored by Torus Foundation.

A special memorial section of the Mandela8 website will also be reserved for submissions from the general public, allowing them to post tributes and photos of loved ones who have been lost during the pandemic.

Chair of Mandela8, Sonia Bassey, said:- "2020 has been a year of significant world events so far and Mandela8 has been truly moved by the country's response to Covid-19 and the murder of George Floyd; an atrocity that has shown us all around the world that in many ways we still live in an Apartheid state. This also reinforces the need for us all to celebrate each other for our differences and contributions we all bring to society. The week will also be a chance to reflect on current affairs, the rising tensions and the impact of racial hatred on our lives and enable people to celebrate the positive contribution Black people and people from other cultures around the world bring to society, and how we must work together to bring about lasting change and healing. Aptly, Nelson Mandela himself was in lockdown for 27 years, and came out of it to ask for peace and reconciliation; our programme this year is 1 of remembrance, recognition, hope and healing."

Kate Shone, Managing Director of Torus Foundation, said:- "Torus Foundation are really pleased that Mandela8 have expanded their My67Minutes programme this year and we're really proud to be the campaign's main sponsor. This pandemic has had a huge impact on us all and we hope that the people of Liverpool and the wider community will join Mandela8 to remember their loved ones and thank those who have worked tirelessly during these unprecedented times."

PCC welcomes calls for great resources and focus on roads Policing

MERSEYSIDE'S Police Commissioner Jane Kenned has said she welcomes a national report which urges a stronger focus and greater resources to be allocated to roads Policing. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has released the results of its national inspection which found that spending on roads Policing has dropped by 34% nationally since 2012. After a steady decline in the number of roads deaths since 1979, the figures show that since 2013 the number of people killed nationally has plateaued and is now starting to slowly increase again. The report, which calls for a greater emphasis to be placed on roads Policing across England and Wales, has been welcomed by Merseyside's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy, who made:- 'working with partners to improve road safety' 1 of her Policing priorities in 2017. Since then, Merseyside has bucked the national trend - recording a year on year 10% annual reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on its roads, while introducing a range of initiatives to help protect vulnerable road users, including:- motorcyclists, cyclists, elderly road users and young people. You can read the full HMICFRS roads Policing report online at:- JusticeInspectorates.Gov.UK. Reacting to the news, Jane said:- "Every death or serious injury on the roads of Merseyside is 1 death too many. Far more people are killed on our Region's roads than lose their life to serious and organised crime. That means road safety needs to be taken very seriously and it's why I decided to make it 1 of my Policing priorities 3 years ago. When I made that announcement in 2017, nearly 600 people had been killed or seriously injured on our roads in the previous year. We are on track to get that figure down to less than 400 this year, but my ultimate vision is that no one dies or suffers life changing injury on our roads. While Merseyside was not inspected for this report, I welcome the push from inspectors for a clear and pressing focus on roads Policing nationally to reduce the number of deaths, greater resources to be allocated and the need for clearer guidance from the Home Office and Department of Transport. Here on Merseyside, our Roads Safety Partnership and the force's Roads Policing Unit have worked tremendously hard to reduce the number of people who have been killed or suffered life changing injuries over the last 3 years, while other Police areas have been registering an increase. Our roads have been quieter during lockdown, but Officers have been out patrolling key routes through the Region, running proactive enforcement operations and stopping drivers for flouting speeding and other traffic laws. Between March and May this year, 120 people were prosecuted for speeding offences, including cases where drivers were clocked at 103mph in a 50mph zone and 100mph in a 70mph zone. During this time, more than 250 people were arrested in connection with drink or drug driving offences. High profile operations have also been put in place to tackle the anti-social and dangerous use of bikes and have clamped down on Taxi drivers who take to our roads under the influence of drinks and drugs or in unsafe vehicles which are putting passengers in jeopardy. Merseyside Police have launched an online portal to enable the public to report incidents to them and upload their own video footage. Cyclists can also report near misses using the Collideoscope website which is helping us to identify 'hot spots'. A host of initiatives are also up and running with the aim of better safeguarding some of our most vulnerable road users, including 'safe pass' operations to protect cyclists and courses to improve the safety and awareness of senior road users and novice drivers. The force has also invested in new technology, such as the 'Ranger Concept Device' which is used to tackle speeding in hotspot areas which have been previously difficult to enforce. In the 1st 17 weeks since it was introduced, this top of the range piece of kit assisted Officers in capturing 2,621 speeding offences. The funds recouped from these potentially life saving operations are then reinvested in resources and operations to make our roads even safer; from breathalyser kits to Kid's Court sessions and Bikesafe workshops. It is important to highlight, as this report does, that making our roads safer is not solely a job for the Police. While enforcement of the law to improve safety on our road network is crucial, better engineering of our roads and greater education of road users are vital if we are to reduce the danger to the public who use the roads and we need the collective support of all our community safety partners if we are to achieve this."

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