Merseyside's Deputy Police Commissioner has hailed the work of a local community group in supporting young people during her first out and about day in Sefton.
Cllr Emily Spurrell kicked off her tour of the borough by visiting the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre, which offers a host of free activities for adults and young people living in the Bootle area.
In October, the centre received funding from the Police Commissioner’s Police Property Act Fund which gives one-off grants to community organisations working to make a difference in their neighbourhoods. The funding was used to host a range of activities for young people over Halloween and Bonfire Night with the aim of preventing them from getting involved in anti-social or criminal behaviour.
During her visit, Emily was given a tour of the facilities by centre manager Keith Lloyd, and heard first-hand about the work being done to support residents and families in the area. The centre, which has been based on Marsh Lane since 1964, offers help with education and training, encourages healthy living and runs a pensioners’ club, as well as a range of outreach projects.
She said: “For more than 60 years, the Brunny has been at the heart of this community, making a difference in the lives of adults and young people who may be vulnerable or in need of support.
“If it wasn’t for the work of the Brunny some of those younger people and teenagers could otherwise have been in danger of losing their way or being exploited by older people who are involved in crime. The value of community and grassroots organisations being available to help young people stay on track cannot be over-stated. It means a better future for them and for their community.”
Emily continued her visit by doing a quick tour around south Sefton’s busiest neighbourhoods, before returning to Marsh Lane to attend a Merseyside Police Sefton command team meeting at which she heard more about the issues and challenges in the area from Superintendent Matt Boyle and his team.
The meeting also gave her the opportunity to hear about some of the really effective joint working being undertaken in the area, including the work of Sefton’s Community Safety Partnership to provide drug wipes which officers have used in the area to arrest drug drivers and disrupt organised crime. She also met with the local neighbourhood team to find out about their experiences in the area.
Emily said: “It is the Police and Crime Commissioner’s job to hold Merseyside Police to account on behalf of people across the region. So it’s really important we are out and about in communities across Merseyside to hear about the issues that are affecting local people.
“It was really useful to meet the local teams and find out more about the particular concerns in this part of Merseyside and what more can be done to address them and hear directly about the good work which is already being undertaken to protect our communities and keep people in Sefton safe.”
This is the first of a number of tours the Deputy Police Commissioner intends to do around Sefton and the whole Merseyside region.