On 1 March, a system of public safety emergency contact points was introduced in the busiest areas of Wirral.
There are a total of 28 Emergency Help Points located in various spots throughout Wirral, including town centres, coastal regions, and other popular gathering places.
At each help point there is a direct, two-way audio connection with the council’s Emergency Control Centre that people can use if they find themselves in difficulty or danger. The help points are backed up by CCTV surveillance cameras so control centre operators can immediately monitor the situation and alert emergency services if necessary.
The objective of installing these help points is to enhance community safety and offer reassurance to the public. It is hoped that their presence will lower the likelihood of violent crime and violence targeting women and girls.
The Emergency Help Points are clearly identifiable by distinctive yellow signage directing people to the audio connection.
Cllr Helen Cameron, Chair of the Tourism, Communities, Culture and Leisure Committee for Wirral Council, said, “These help points could literally provide a lifeline for someone who finds themselves in difficulty or feeling threatened on our streets for whatever reason.
“Linking directly to the CCTV control centre, an operator there can talk to them directly, provide reassurance and arrange for them to be assisted by emergency services or other partner agencies if necessary.”
There is a variety of reasons why ‘callers’ might need to use an Emergency Help Point, which includes situations where they:-
- Need 999 assistance – Ambulance/Fire/Police/Coastguard
- Need to report a missing child/person
- Need to report a crime or incident of anti-social behaviour they are witnessing
- Need help dealing with a vulnerable person due to age, physical health, mental health, etc.
- Have suffered violence or feel at risk of violence
- Fear for their own or someone else’s safety
This initiative has been funded by Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership and Wirral Community Safety Partnership.
Main image: Cllr Helen Cameron with one of the new Help Points