Lighter nights are set to trigger a major clampdown on
anti-social behaviour throughout the borough.
As the days lengthen, St.Helens Council, Merseyside Police and
local agencies forming the St.Helens Community Safety Partnership
will target nuisance behaviour throughout April with the
Priority will be given to reports of anti-social behaviour,
off-road vehicle nuisance and nuisance fires - which usually
increase at this time of year.
Merseyside Police will focus on hot-spot areas - deploying bike
patrols to tackle off-road vehicle nuisance. Distinctive signs in
open areas will also warn potential nuisance riders.
Merseyside Police Chief Inspector Keith McLachlan
commented: "We would like to remind everyone that in the eyes
of the law, these vehicles are classed as motorcycles and require
the rider to have all the usual driving documents. The only
legitimate place to use these vehicles without the necessary
documents is on private land. We would like to stress that council
or public land is not private.
"With the warmer weather, these bikers take to our parks and
public spaces and can cause misery for local residents - these
bikes are loud, very dangerous and above all, illegal. Merseyside
Police wants to send a clear message to anyone using an off-road
bike in this way that we will do all that we can to seize them,
ensuring our parks are safer for everyone."
The risks created by setting fire to wheelie bins or open
grassland will also be graphically underlined with hard-hitting
talks by police and fire officers at more than 60 local schools.
The message will be reinforced with performances by professional
theatre company Altru Drama Group - funded by Regenda Housing and
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.
To divert young people away from potentially harmful anti-social
behaviour Helena Partnerships and other agencies have
organised free activities - involving skate parks,
mobile outdoor games and multi-sports cage sessions.
There will also be a host of themed arts and crafts sessions at
local libraries - with popular themes such as Doctor Who,
Princesses and Pirates and Easter.
Councillor Susan Murphy Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, Safer
Communities and Youth said: " Last year we launched the SpringWatch
Campaign, which contributed to some significant reductions - with
our lowest level of anti-social behaviour for four years."
For more information about activities available to young people
throughout April contact St. Helens Council Youth Services (www.sthelens.gov.uk/yaz)
on 01744 675575.