Homelessness Multi-Agency Campaign

Officers from the Town Centre neighbourhood were joined on Friday, 7 March 2008 by Dave Watts MP, St Helens Council's Environmental Services, St Helens Town Centre Manager and representatives from the Council's Homeless Strategy Team and the Hope Centre.

Throughout the day, a high visibility walk-through of the Town Centre was conducted and Environmental Visual Audits were carried out, which involve documenting and photographing grotspots, including litter, discarded needles, vandalism and graffiti tags.

Perception of Homelessness

Also, in response to concerns from residents, visitors and local businesses, Police teamed up with the Hope Centre and the Council's Homeless Strategy to address the perception of homelessness in St Helens.

The Homeless Strategy Team endeavour to find people hostel accommodation and prevent 'rough sleepers' in the Town. During the day, 4 people were engaged with to find out where they sleep, what support they currently have and appropriate advice and support was given.

Neighbourhood Officers patrolled the Town Centre carrying out enforcement action against the community's priority issues of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity


Throughout the day Police surgeries took place, assisted by Police Cadets and Police Community Volunteers, within La Grange Arcade and the Hardshaw Centre, providing advice about local issues and distributing crime prevention advice including purse chains were handed out to help prevent purse thefts.

In addition, 15 licensed premises within the Town Centre were visited to provide a reassuring presence within the Town Centre and ensure that licensing conditions were being adhered to and the sale of alcohol to under-18s was prevented. Licensees were also given advice regarding stolen goods being offered for sale within their premises.

During the late afternoon/early evening, Community Support Officers provided a 'meet and greet' service to those travelling into the Town, either on the train or by bus, advising visitors that anti-social behaviour, including drunk and disorderly behaviour, will not be tolerated within the Town.

Also throughout the day:

28 Stop Forms were issued
2 people were arrested for theft
10 units of alcohol were seized
19 Fixed Penalty Notices (£30 fines) were issued for traffic offences

Not Just Enforcement

Inspector Dawn McNab from the Town Centre Neighbourhood commented, "The day's activities were not just about enforcement - our officers were working alongside the Council's Environmental Services Team, the Homeless Strategy and the Hope Centre to ensure the perception of homelessness within the Town Centre is addressed and specialist advice and support can be offered to those who need it."

"As you can see from the results, residents and visitors to the Town enjoyed all the facilities St Helens has to offer in a safe environment. The results of the Environmental Visual Audits will be progressed with our partners to ensure that any grotspots identified are cleaned up, improving the quality of life for our residents and visitors."

The actions identified throughout the day will be progressed and monitored by the Town Centre Neighbourhood Action Group, including Merseyside Police, St Helens Council, Helena Housing, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and other partners.