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Targeting Criminal Damage and Anti-Social Behaviour in Huyton

by Alison Cornmell

Partner agencies across Knowsley, including Knowsley Council, Merseyside Police, Livv Housing and local schools, continue to work together to combat incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour in Huyton Village Centre following a number of incidents reported over the last few months.

Millions of pounds of investment have been ploughed into Huyton Village Centre through the Shop Front Improvement Scheme and by new businesses who have decided to open up in the Village Centre.  Even more investment is planned over the coming years as part of the Council’s ten-year delivery plan.  The actions of a small minority of people are even more disappointing when they come after public money is being invested in the future of the area.

In response to the incidents reported, the partner agencies have:-

  • Merseyside Police and the Council are using the high quality 24/7 CCTV footage in order to identify those responsible – the Borough’s extensive CCTV network has direct links into Merseyside Police. As a result of this work, two 14-year olds were arrested.  Twelve Acceptable Behaviour Agreements have also been issued to youths in the presence of their parents or guardians.
  • In addition, six Section 35 Dispersal Notices have been issued which give Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers in uniform the power to exclude a person from an area for up to 48 hours.
  • Merseyside Police have liaised with local businesses to ensure that incidents are being reported so that resources can be deployed accordingly.
  • Both high visibility and plain clothes officers have also been patrolling the area.
  • A review of the Village Centre has been carried out to identify any risk areas. As a result, low lighting was identified at Cavendish Walk.  Whilst the Council isn’t the landlord for Cavendish Walk, it has provided funding for the lighting to be upgraded to improve visibility in the area.
  • Local engagement and education work is ongoing in local secondary schools to raise awareness of the consequences of anti-social behaviour as well as engagement with parents and carers to ensure that they know where their children are and what they are doing.
  • A visible security presence was provided throughout December 2021 and into the early New Year to act as a visible deterrent and reassuring presence.

Councillor Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said: “It’s really important that everyone can enjoy our town centres.  We are investing significant sums of money in improving these areas, and we are welcoming businesses who also want to invest alongside our work.  We are also calling on the Government to provide more than just words, and to help us improve facilities in Huyton Village.  With all of this hard work and effort going on from the Council, businesses, and local people, it’s disappointing that a small minority seem intent on spoiling things.

“Everybody involved in improving Huyton Village is committed to identifying those responsible for these mindless acts of vandalism and incidents of anti-social behaviour.

“It’s good that these efforts have resulted in some arrests and the issue of Acceptable Behaviour Agreements, and we will continue to investigate any incidents and bring those responsible to justice.

“Our extensive CCTV network will also continue to monitor our town centres 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Merseyside Police Superintendent Karl Baldwin added: “We are dedicated to tackling anti-social behaviour in and around Huyton and will continue to do everything in our power to protect our communities and ensure that they feel safe in their own homes and neighbourhoods.

“Anti-social behaviour and criminal damage might seem like minor offences to some, but they can result in substantial financial damage and can escalate to more serious crime, thus making the wider community feel scared or threatened.

“I am glad that we are tackling this issue with our partners and I hope the public keep reporting incidents to us so that we can ensure that Huyton remains a great place to live, work, and visit.”

If you have any information about the incidents of criminal damage or anti-social behaviour, please share it with Merseyside Police by ringing 101 or through Merseyside Police’s online form or through social media @MerseyPolice.