St.Helens is certainly living up to its ‘Safer St.Helens’ slogan - as new figures show a massive decrease in town centre crime.
At the quarterly meeting of the Town Centre Working Group, comprising local retailers, council, police and St Helens Chamber, it was revealed that there has been a 54 per cent drop in public disorder. Other statistics included:
Shop burglaries – down by 53 per cent
Fraud and forgery – down by 37 per cent
Violence – down by 24 per cent
Person crime such as pick pocketing – down by 17 per cent
Drugs – down by nine per cent
Kim O’Connell, business advocate at St.Helens Chamber said: “Retailers are certainly feeling safer,” while Ali Tyrer, owner of Tyrers department store added: “The town centre has improved, it’s cleaner, has more events to attract visitors and has so much going on to attract visitors. These figures are a real retail boost.”
Recently St.Helens Council and St.Helens Chamber gave Merseyside Police funding towards Operation Santiago an initiative targeting town centre crime, making shopping a safer and welcoming experience.
Councillor Barrie Grunewald, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Communications and Town Centre said: “At a time when town centres nationally are suffering in the current economic climate it is extremely good news that our investment in tackling crime and disorder both in the town centre and across the borough is paying dividends. It is vital that we ensure that shoppers and visitors know that St.Helens is one of the safer places to shop and enjoy its varied attractions.”
Councillor Sue Murphy, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Safer Communities and Youth, added: “Operations like Santiago and others during the day and evenings send out a clear message to business that we are ensuring that people who shop, visit, do business in the town and enjoy the nightlife can do so in a safe and attractive environment.”