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Council and police team up to prevent crime

Merseyside Police and partners including Liverpool City Council are pledging their commitment to invest in prevention with new force teams and a new force approach to help make the area a safer place to live, work and visit.

Merseyside Police is investing in new teams, in a new force approach, and in new ways of working, alongside our partners, to deliver dedicated work and help all officers and staff be more preventative, with the support of specialist teams.

Prevention is about stopping crime and harm in communities by understanding and addressing the root causes; the reasons why crimes happen; why people commit offences and why they exploit the vulnerable, then thinking about new or different ways to solve problems and stop crime from being committed.

The launch of the initiative (pictured above) has taken place today.

Police have created a new prevention strand, with teams focused on preventative work.

The prevention teams will include:

  • Officers and staff dedicated to designing out crime before it happens. This could be through simple measures, such as cutting back overgrown shrubbery, or bigger projects alongside partners to design new build housing projects that help protect areas from being vulnerable to burglaries and robberies.
  • Investment into a licensing team to specifically target problematic licenced premises across Merseyside to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Additional Police Community Support Officers within our force Missing Persons Unit dedicated to care homes. Statistics tell us that around 73% of missing people on Merseyside are under 18 and around 50% are from care homes (including foster homes). The PCSO’s aim will be to proactively prevent young people going missing by building relationships with them to understand the reasons why they may leave their homes, to try to reduce the likelihood of this repeating pattern.
  • Early Help teams who look to identify and address vulnerability at an early stage to tackle the root causes of problems before they become established.
  • Investment in additional dedicated schools’ officers who will be embedded in schools across Merseyside and supported by education specialists in partner organisations to work with children and young people, build trust and confidence in policing and help divert them from crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • A Prevention Hub to help embed our new approach to prevention throughout the whole organisation to put it at the core of everything we do. We will drive change in Merseyside Police to ensure that we are all proactively thinking about preventing crime and wider harm, as well as responding to it. That might be through signposting to another agency, adopting a longer-term partnership evidence-based, problem-solving approach or equally, taking positive action through arrest
  • Youth Intervention Unit (YIU) to identify young people who are at risk of committing a crime or reoffending and diverting them, with the support of Youth Justice Services, to make better life choices and reach their full potential
  • An Integrated Offender Management (IOM) partnership approach to crime and reoffending threats faced by local communities, providing rehabilitation through positive support and a targeted response to those who continue to offend
  • Problem-oriented policing, which enables a problem-solving approach to be taken to address issues within our communities and find long-lasting solutions

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “We all work hard to make our communities safer, better places to live and work. But I believe we need to invest more in prevention, both in our day-to-day work and in our long-term approach, so we can make a bigger, more sustained impact and help our communities now and in the future.

“Policing has always had a vital role to play in preventing crime and harm, so this isn’t new to us, or our partners, and we have some examples of great work we have delivered in recent months to reduce harm and vulnerability and prevent crime across Merseyside by thinking about how we solve problems and focusing police and partner efforts in the best places to do that. I believe we need to drive this further and faster which is why we are investing in new teams and new ways of working, alongside our partners.

“I firmly believe we have to be more preventative to stop people from losing loved ones; to prevent people becoming involved in, and being affected, by serious and organised crime and anti-social behaviour; and to prevent more people becoming victims of crime in Merseyside. By intervening early and thinking about problem solving we can prevent problems from escalating, improve life chances and support communities in the future, which will make a huge difference to all of our communities across Merseyside.”

Liverpool’s Interim Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Liam Robinson, said “We are committed to doing everything in our power to make Liverpool a safe place for residents and visitors.

“By working in partnership with Merseyside Police and sharing best practice with our neighbouring local authorities, we can tackle those issues that can negatively impact on people’s lives, with a focus on educating and engaging communities and gathering an understanding of why crimes happen.

“I welcome all new measures introduced, and look forward to the dedicated prevention team making a real, positive difference to people’s lives.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “The best way to build stronger, safer communities is to prevent crime from happening in the first place.

“It’s a priority in my Police and Crime Plan and it’s a priority shared by local people – more than 96% of whom told me they want the police to focus on crime prevention initiatives.

“Prevention is at the heart of good policing. So, I warmly welcome this launch, and the work being led by the Chief Constable, to embed this approach within Merseyside Police, putting it at the heart of everything we do. We will be working closely with our partners and, crucially, our communities to deliver this strategy, as we know focusing on prevention has the power to reduce harm and improve the quality of lives for the people we serve.”


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