Campaign for safe open spaces this summer

The authorities launching the anti-social behaviour crackdown
The authorities launching the anti-social behaviour crackdown

St Helens Council is keeping residents safe this summer by launching a crackdown on anti-social behaviour in parks and open spaces.

The town hall is teaming up with Merseyside’s police and fire services and Helena Partnerships to encourage people to report nuisance behaviour as the evenings get warmer and lighter.

We can stop even more people committing anti-social behaviour in their tracks and send out a firm message that this will not be tolerated in our borough

Coun Lisa Preston

The authorities are cracking down on anti-social behaviour issues including off-road biking, arson, neighbourhood nuisance, dog fouling and littering.

This year’s campaign also includes a new clampdown on so-called proxy sales of alcohol, with Merseyside Police working with the council’s trading standards and licensing teams to combat adults buying booze for under-age children.

St Helens Council’s cabinet member for community safety, Coun Lisa Preston, said: “One of the main purposes of our SafeSpace campaign is to get as many eyes and ears out into our communities to report anti-social behaviour taking place in our parks and

open spaces.

“With the public’s help, we can stop even more people committing anti-social behaviour in their tracks and send out a firm message that this will not be tolerated in our borough.”

St Helens local policing inspector Matt Drennan added: “This is a continued response to community concerns about anti-social behaviour in the green spaces of St Helens, including the use of off-road motorbikes, which we know causes distress, damage and danger.

“I want to thank the public for all the information they have provided on areas of anti-social behaviour, and ask that you continue to do so, so we can take swift action in the right areas.

“As the summer months go on, there will naturally be an increase in visitors to our parks and all members of our community should feel they can visit our green spaces without fear or intimidation.

“We will have officers on push bikes and on foot making high visibility patrols in the areas, as well as specially trained officers on quad bikes when required, which enable them to cover ground not accessible by car quickly and safely.

“Previous operations have seen arrests and dispersal orders, all of which have reduced anti-social behaviour and nuisance, and

this year will see the same response.”

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s arson team said it was committed to reducing the number of fires deliberately set and would actively investigate any incident thought to be suspicious.

To report anti-social behaviour, contact Merseyside Police on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress or call independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

To stop off-road vehicle nuisance in its tracks, the authorities need descriptions of bikes and riders, information about where the bikes are being stored and names if possible.

For more information about the Safer Spaces campaign visit www.safersthelens.org.uk/safespace