National Crimebeat is a Charity which rewards youth groups and individuals who have developed projects that help to reduce crime as well as recognising positive work being undertaken in the community. This year two nominations from Merseyside have made the national awards! The High Sheriff of Merseyside said: “I am pleased that these two nominations are in the national awards. It is exciting to see them get recognised along with other initiatives being created to protect our wider community.” So how does it work? Merseyside Police coordinate the awards for our county on behalf of The High Sheriff of Merseyside. The High Sheriff then selects the local winners and puts these forward for the national awards. The National Crimebeat Awards ceremony, which is being held on 16th March, will see the two Merseyside initiatives reach the final! The ceremony will be held virtually and is split into two categories, ‘Youth Led’ which is for groups where the project ideas have come from the members of the group and where they are also responsible for running the project or ‘Adult Led’ which is for groups where the project was developed by others (often adults) but where the young people have a significant role in the management and delivery of the project. Regardless of where the idea has come from, the project should have a beneficial effect on the community aimed at reducing crime, either directly, or by preventing crime from being committed. Nomination One: Stop the knives ending lives The first local nomination comes from Knowsley and is called “Stop the Knives ending lives” – this is a youth driven programme to reduce the number of knife related incidents across Merseyside. Their vision is to raise awareness about the impact of knife crime by engaging with community partners and secondary schools across the Knowsley borough. The initiative was developed by the students of the Knowsley Youth Cabinet and comes following some tragic incidents that have occurred in the borough including the murder of Adam Ellison in 2017. Constable Hughes from Merseyside Police, who has worked with Jess, a student at St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School and an elected Member of Youth Parliament for Knowsley has led her team in delivering this innovative knife crime programme. Inspector Sharon O’Brien of Merseyside Police said: “The Community is at the centre of this initiative with the aim to reduce incidents of knife crime and raise awareness. But this is just the start of the journey. The programme aims to promote the voices of young people, listening to their worries and acting upon them. It is with great pleasure to see this initiative be so well received and I can’t wait to see this scheme continue to grow.” Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said: “This nomination is well deserved and it’s brilliant to see Knowsley’s Youth Cabinet being recognised for their dedication and hard work. We should all be incredibly proud of these young people for creating and driving positive change in our borough.” Nomination Two: WEB Merseyside The second nomination comes from Wirral and is called “WEB Merseyside” – this is an adult led initiative based in Birkenhead. The team receive referrals from police in relation to matters including self-harm, isolation, bullying, domestic abuse, family problems and other mental health issues with their mission to provide a safe, supportive and empowering space for all to raise hopes and aspirations, improve relationships, confidence and much more. The team achieves this through 1:1 and group support sessions, currently via Zoom where participants can talk through problems, take part in activities, and just chat to someone. Inspector O’Brien said: “This project has made a huge impact on young people living in Wirral and we found that those taking advantage of the initiative are grateful for the support during these worrying times. I am really proud of the team for pulling together and reacting so quickly and effectively in what has been a very difficult, ever changing and confusing period for a lot of people.” These initiatives show the dedication here in Merseyside to continually protect our communities and see positive changes to ensure those living, working and visiting here are both supported and not at risk of being involved in criminal activity or becoming a victim.