On Wednesday, 23 November, Merseyside Police hosted a prize-giving event which rewarded those Sefton schoolchildren who had been involved in an education project during the Autumn term with a trip of a lifetime to Lapland
The project was set up by Constable Alan Thompson from Bootle Neighborhood team, Sefton Council, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the L Millions Project, and aimed to highlight the impact off-road bikes have on local communities.
The five schools involved were:
Lander Road Primary School, Lutheran
All Saints Primary School, Bootle
St Monica's Primary School, Bootle
St Oswalds C of E Primary School, Netherton
The Grange Primary School, Bootle
Children from the schools were taken on adventure days, including a day out at Crosby Lakeside Centre, and in school designed anti-scrambler bike posters as part of the project.
The sixteen winners of the poster competition were presented their certificates by former Liverpool F.C star Jamie Carragher and former Everton legend Graham Sharp, before the grand unveiling of the children’s prize, a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Lapland.
The posters and calendars will be displayed across businesses in Sefton to highlight the dangers of illegal and nuisance off-road bike use. Local businesses have also contributed food, drinks and warm clothes for the children.
Sefton Neighbourhood Inspector Ian Jones said: “This has been a very successful local project highlighting the dangers associated with off-road bikes and how they can affect our communities.
"We know that these bikes can cause significant nuisance, stress and danger to members of the Sefton community and beyond. We strongly believe that education and engagement is such an important part of eradicating the problem, working alongside Sefton Council and our other partners.
“We hope that by getting involved, the young people have learned some valuable lessons to share far and wide, and that they enjoy their rewards."
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: "It will be a pleasure to watch these young people, who have shown enthusiasm and energy for this project, receive their prizes and it was fantastic to see the reaction of the winners when they found out the details of this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
“This initiative has got the young people really thinking about the dangers and consequences of using off-road bikes. I often hear from people across Merseyside about the fear and anxiety the illegal use of these bikes causes in our communities - that is why it is so important we engage with our young people from an early age and help steer them away from getting involved in such dangerous behaviour.
“I congratulate the winners and all the young people who have taken part, as well as the officers and staff who have worked on this effective campaign."
Sefton Council Chief Executive Margaret Carney said: ‘We are delighted Schools in Sefton have so successfully raised awareness of the dangers scrambler bikes can cause, to individuals and the wider community.
"The posters that the children have made are wonderful and send a powerful message to those engaging in this sort of anti-social behaviour.
"We are so pleased to have worked in partnership with these wonderful organisations to make this well-deserved trip happen.”