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Crime-fighting partners cement closer relationship

Close co-operation between partners responsible for keeping Wirral communities safe is being cemented further with the opening of the Safer Wirral Hub.

The hub, based at the Solar Campus in Leasowe, is the first phase of a new multi-agency service which will deliver an effective, joined up community safety service for the people of Wirral.

It has been established in response to the Wirral residents’ survey conducted in 2015 which found that reducing crime and anti-social behaviour was the top priority for Wirral people.

A number of Wirral Council teams, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and other key partner agencies – including some from the third sector – are now working together within the Safer Wirral Hub and already delivering results that are making Wirral an even safer place.

Together they form a partnership, led operationally by Merseyside Police, providing an expert, unified approach to tackling, crime, anti-social behaviour and safeguarding those most vulnerable in our communities.

Cllr George Davies, Wirral Council’s Cabinet lead for Community Safety, said: “Success in building safer neighbourhoods is beyond the ability of the police or the Council alone and requires this stronger partnership approach within and across all partner agencies and communities.

“We know that there was already good joined up working across partners to improve community safety. This development will build on this further due to the integration of council staff and staff from other organisations into policing operations and a new way of directing their work.

“I believe this is a hugely important step. It will help make Wirral safer, it will help tackle the issues our residents tell us are a problem and – even in times of cuts to funding – it is an imaginative and radical plan to deliver a better service to our residents.”

The Hub at Solar Campus is the place where activities are co-ordinated through daily briefings across all key agencies. The Hub will also gather intelligence and data for use in planning responses and initiating pro-active operations targeting offenders who are exploiting vulnerable members of our community.

In addition, joined-up services will also operate within local police stations across the Wirral tied into weekly briefings involving police officers, PCSOs, the Anti-Social Behaviour Team, Community Patrol Officers and the Fire Service.

The agreement to establish the Safer Wirral Hub and closer partnership working under the leadership of Merseyside Police was signed earlier this year and the teams have already been engaged into integrated work that has produced promising early results, including an 11% reduction in anti-social behaviour across Wirral.

Police and emergency services have already benefitted from the efforts of officers in the Hub focusing activity on frequent callers, directing resources better and tackling underlying issues behind these frequent calls which will reduce the likelihood of unnecessary calls to the emergency services in the future.

It is estimated that the Safer Wirral Hub have already saved emergency services in excess of £50,000 during the pilot phase this  year through this way of working.

Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, added: “It’s clear that this move to further increase collaboration and combine community safety services on the Wirral is already bringing benefits to people living in the area and is enabling our services to work more effectively and efficiently.

“In this era of austerity, no organisation can afford to work in isolation and this is a great example of how public and third sector agencies can work together to share knowledge, expertise and resources to make our communities safer.”