Council Leader David Baines
Council Leader David Baines

Labour’s David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, has committed the Council to working with the Police and other partners in the fight against antisocial behaviour.

There has been a wave of reports of antisocial behaviour, intimidation and criminal damage in St Helens town centre and other parts of our communities in recent weeks, and Cllr Baines is clear that our community won’t stand for it.

Writing in this week’s St Helens Star, he says:

“Like all other residents I’ve been concerned and shocked to hear so many reports of antisocial behaviour in the town centre and other areas in recent weeks.

There is absolutely no excuse for young people or anyone else to behave in this way. First and foremost those involved – and their parents – need to take responsibility for their actions. Our community won’t stand for it, and we’ll do what it takes to make our public areas safe for all residents.

Merseyside Police have my full support in their efforts to stamp out such behaviour, but they’re doing their jobs with fewer resources and officers than they had 12 years ago when the Tories came to power. I wrote here recently about the funding pressures faced by our local Police, with a budget gap of £14m in the next five years and a gap of £2m in the coming year.

More than a decade of cuts imposed by the Conservatives have inevitably had a negative impact, leaving our communities more vulnerable to crime than we would otherwise have been.

We need a government that properly funds our Police and other essential services.

As a council we will continue to support the Police. In recent weeks, we have continued funding for a town centre warden to engage with young people; carried out ‘Stay Safe’ joint operations between Community Safety, Police and Social Care services to identify and safeguard young people at risk of harm; deployed an Outreach team across the town centre on weeknights and weekends; deployed wardens across the town centre when Saints have held home games to give reassurance to people parking in the town centre for the games; and we are holding regular meetings between the Police, Children’s Social Care and Youth Justice teams.

Throughout April we’re also running the SpringWatch campaign, with the Council’s Community Safety Outreach Team increasing their presence in local parks and open spaces alongside Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, talking with residents and signposting young people to positive activities on offer for them with local community and voluntary organisations.”

Residents are asked to report antisocial behaviour via direct message @MerPolCC on Twitter, message police on Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’, call 101, report online via @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK, and of course in an emergency dial 999.

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