Officers involved in a long-term project to tackle serious and organised crime in Wirral have been engaging with communities to build trust as part of the drive to make the area safer.
Officers involved in EVOLVE Wirral have been attending community events throughout the summer, carrying out daily high-visibility patrols in key areas where they have been speaking to residents and businesses, and engaging with young people on the Woodchurch, Beechwood and Noctorum estates.
A Community Day at Co-Op Academy Hillside, Noctorum, held in partnership with Crea8ing Community on 24 August, saw the attendance of all emergency services and featured bouncy castles, raffles and lots of fun activities for residents as well as a special appearance from Bobby the Police Mascot.
Officers from the local policing team attended with a police carrier and prisoner van and allowed children to sit inside the vehicles as well as try on some of the officers’ helmets and kit.
Attendees were also given the opportunity to have their bikes marked, including the child’s mountain bike that was the first prize in the raffle.
Other events officers have participated in include a Summer Fun Day at The Gautby Centre in Birkenhead North, which was attended by more than 100 families, and a Family Sports Day at the Core Project in Bidston Rise.
Chief Inspector Tom Welch, one of the senior officers involved in EVOLVE Wirral, said, “EVOLVE is a long-term initiative to help improve and regenerate areas that have been blighted by serious and organised crime.
“Sadly, some people who live in these areas have historically not had a good rapport with the police, so we are really keen to build back community confidence and break down barriers with police and agencies.
“Events where we have opportunity to engage with communities on a different level are helping us to improve our relationships, which is being shown by all the wonderful comments we have been receiving and from the change in attitude officers are experiencing as we do our daily walkabouts across the EVOLVE estates.
“We are being invited to join in kickabouts with children playing football and the feedback we are receiving in general has been great.
“However, we are not complacent. There is a tremendous community spirit in Wirral and we are working hard to make our neighbourhoods safer places where people love to live, work and visit.”
Image: Merseyside Police