‘Openspace’ initiative to enhance safety and enjoyment in Wirral’s parks and beaches

To mark the start of the welcomed summer months and warmer weather, Merseyside Police is leading a new initiative to make sure that anyone who plans to visit Wirral’s open spaces, beaches and parks has a safe and enjoyable time.

This initiative, called ‘Openspace’ will see us working alongside a range of partners to prevent serious violence and anti-social behaviour in key tourist hotspot areas, concentrating on popular parks throughout the Wirral and along the coastal areas in West Kirby and New Brighton.

Merseyside Police, working together with Wirral council, Wirral Coast Guard, Wirral Park Rangers, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, and British Transport Police, want to ensure that people can make the most of their open spaces and the sunshine, by preventing crime and therefore increasing their safety and the quality of life.

This initiative will also provide police officers with the opportunity to talk to local people, listen to their concerns and gather intelligence, allowing Merseyside Police to take further action against those who are committing crime, or engage in anti-social behaviour. Working together with local communities, Merseyside Police can take positive action to help build stronger, healthier communities.

Wirral Chief Inspector Tom Welch said, “Openspace will give us the opportunity to take a robust and coordinated approach to tackling those who are blighting our communities through their involvement in anti-social behaviour and serious violence issues, whilst at the same time reassuring our communities that we are committed to preventing further incidents.

“We know from our data that we tend to see an increase in the reporting of anti-social behaviour in the summer months and this can have an impact on those who like to enjoy Wirral’s most popular beaches, parks, local towns, and open spaces. 

“So, in the coming weeks our communities can expect to see officers out on foot, in vehicles, on horseback and on quad bikes to make sure that people can enjoy the summer sunshine safely.

“From the work we have conducted so far, we have already received lots of positive feedback from the community and through these conversations we have been able to take direct action on concerns. I would therefore like to remind people that we are here to listen about their issues and encourage them to continue to come forward so we can keep taking this positive action.”

Cllr Helen Cameron, Chair of the Tourism, Communities, Culture and Leisure Committee for Wirral Council, said, “It is important we do whatever we can to protect the quality of life of law-abiding residents who live in areas that seem to attract this level of crime and anti-social behaviour.

“By coming together on this operation and standing up for residents, not only are partners sending the message that this kind of criminality is unacceptable anywhere in Wirral, we are also looking to reassure the wider community that we can – and will – take action against it.”

Anyone who has information about anti-social behaviour or other criminal activity in the community, can contact Merseyside Police by sending a DM to @MerPolCC, calling 101 or contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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