The Labour candidate for Southport has been working on the issue for several weeks after being asked for help by residents and local business owners in Marshside and Crossens.
Having contacted the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner’s office, the local community police team and Sefton Council about the issue to ensure a joined-up approach to tackling it, she then also gained personal experience of the problems with her Slimming World consultancy business falling victim to the disruption.
In a meeting with local police Inspector Graham Fisher and his officers, Liz Savage said that though mild in comparison to others the incident had given her a valuable insight into the problems being caused for local people in the area. She explained:
“I’ve been dealing with this issue for some time now after residents contacted me who were very worried about the behaviour of a relatively small group of youths causing a fair amount of disruption.”
“I’ve not only gone out to see some of those residents but have also contacted the Police and Crime Commissioner about the need for action and colleagues in Sefton about getting better lighting in some areas to help.”
“I’ve also been out with the local policing team and met with Inspector Fisher. He explained the pressures on policing now since the cuts but also outlined the efforts that are going in to help combat the problem.”
“Certainly when we had some problems with some very disruptive youths at Crossens Community Centre when holding one of my classes, the police were there within half an hour and were very helpful.”
“It’s easy to dismiss some of it as just “kids being kids” but with the dark nights drawing in it can be worrying for some residents, especially those more elderly. When incidents progress to throwing things at people and property or smashing car windows though it is getting out of hand and needs tackling.”
“Given the huge cuts inflicted on them and the obvious shortage in officers, things have to be done differently these days but I know the local policing team are doing their best and taking this problem seriously.”
Speaking at their meeting in Southport police station, Inspector Fisher told her that while there had certainly been a significant impact on policing since the cuts, the team had still managed to carry out 170 patrols in the area in the past month and praised the way his officers were handling the matter and the manner in which Liz Savage had addressed the issue:
“Approaching the local council, police and residents to work in a joined-up manner is exactly what’s needed to this sort of problem. Despite the changes we’ve had to make in the way we work, our commitment to keeping Southport safe is as strong as ever.”