People and organisations dedicated to community safety in Knowsley have come together to address the issue of violent crime and anti-social behaviour in the borough.
Senior figures from Merseyside Police, Knowsley Council, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, social housing landlords, St Helens and Whiston Hospitals, and schools across Knowsley gathered at the Serious Violent Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour ‘Summit’ yesterday.
Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council hosted the COVID-safe and socially distanced summit, at the Suites Hotel in Kirkby.
He said: “Serious and violent crime is a blight on communities across the country and sadly, Knowsley is no different. Our residents have had to witness and feel the effects of serious violence and anti-social behaviour, and that is something we want to address.
“No one should feel unsafe or at risk and we need to find new and more effective ways of tackling the issues, preventing people being caught up in crime in the first place and making it absolutely clear to everyone in our community that criminality, of any kind, will not be tolerated.
“As the Council, we recognise that we can’t do this alone and so we have convened this summit and invited along other organisations and people who are also working to tackle these issues too. For our part we are coming to the table with a willingness to work collaboratively and consider new ways of working or new initiatives to tackle the issues head on.
“In addition, subject to final approval by the Council’s Cabinet next week (21 July) we are also proposing to invest £1 million to support this. I hope that gives the strongest possible message to everyone in our community that this is a priority for us and something we want to tackle head on.”
Speakers included Zoe Thornton, Chief Superintendent Head of Local Policing and Superintendent Phil Mullally, who gave specialist insight into the current policing issues that Knowsley faces. Further presentations reflected on education and current approaches to youth work which were then followed by workshops where attendees were invited to share their experiences and ideas for how to introduce new practices that can improve how the issue is tackled.
Cllr Morgan concluded: “There were some really thought-provoking insights and ideas shared today. It was really encouraging to see the passion and commitment of all those who attended and importantly to realise how much we all share the same goal – to improve community safety for Knowsley residents and support the borough’s young people.
“I hope this marks the start of a new phase in how we work together even more effectively and indeed how we can all start to make an impact on improving the lives of the people we serve.”
Temporary Superintendent Phil Mullally, Merseyside Police added: “We are really encouraged by today’s summit. As a police force we have a key and crucial role to play in tackling serious crime. However, we can not and do not work in isolation and we are delighted to see the dedication shown at today’s event from partners and organisations across the borough who are committed to working collaboratively, harnessing our partnership and creating tangible actions to improve community safety.”