Another Visit to Kennet Prison

I have posted about Melling’s Prison that is tucked away to the side of Ashworth Hospital a number of times before and I am a fan of what they are trying to achieve.

By the way there is no connection between Ashworth Hospital and Kennet Prison, they just happen to sit next to each other.

The Prison is now predominately Category D i.e. the lowest level of offenders and the majority of them are reaching the end of the sentences and will be released in due course.

What the Prison is trying to do is to find useful work for the offenders so that when they are released there is far less chance of them re-offending. Maghull in Bloom has been working with the Prison to find horticultural work for the offenders to do and some excellent results have flowed from this initiative.

Our most recent meeting was all about how the Prison can help the Canal & River Trust maintain and manage the Leeds Liverpool Canal through the East Parishes part of Sefton and, as an extension of such thinking, whether it can also assist the environmental charity Sustrans in maintaining the Cheshire Lines Long Distance Footpath.

The idea is to enable offenders to gain skills and qualifications before they are released by doing useful things for local communities. There are presently only two other prisons in England working in this way and they are in Kent and the North East.

The Police, Sefton Council Officers, a couple of us local councillors (Steve Kermode and I), The Canal and River Trust and of course Kennet Prison were all in attendance and a useful meeting it was too. I hope that more projects will flow from this kind of partnership.

Policing changes in the East Parishes area of Sefton – Hot off the press

I am publishing word for word the report that has today been sent to local councillors by Maghull neighbourhood Inspector Phil Hatton. There are some interesting references to Maghull Police Station continuing to be open and used which must be encouraging – see my previous postings on this and my exchanges with Merseyside’s Crime and Policing Commissioner (Labour’s Jane Kennedy) of a few weeks ago where she was clearly playing her cards close to her chest.

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As you may be aware there has been a Force review of Neighbourhood policing this year. As a result of that review the Chief Constable and PCC have now approved a Neighbourhood Policing Restructure. In Sefton, this will occur on 11th November.

The positive news is that, even though half of Police Forces nationally have abandoned Neighbourhood Policing, Merseyside has decided to remain committed to it. Further to the last point, the numbers of PCSO’s and Constables posted to Neighbourhood Policing in Sefton overall have NOT been reduced.

What is changing?

1) There will be bigger Neighbourhoods and a reduction in Inspectors.

2) A team called the ‘Neighbourhood Support Unit’ (NSU) has been formed – enabling resources to be matched to demand and giving a capability to deal with serious crime issues not previously available.

3) All Wards have been subject to a threat/risk/harm assessment. Some Wards will lose dedicated Constables to facilitate the creation of the NSU.

4) PCSO’s will retain their Ward responsibilities. Some Wards will receive additional PCSO’s.

What does this mean for us?

• Maghull & Netherton Neighbourhoods will combine to be called ‘Sefton South East’ Neighbourhood-managed by myself,supported by Sgt Steve Matthews. This will incorporate the following Wards: Park, Sudell, Molyneux, Ford, St Oswald and Netherton & Orrell. Litherland Ward will become part of Sefton South West –managed by the local team at Marsh Lane.

• Sefton South East officers will use Copy Lane as a parade station. Maghull Police Station will serve as a hub station for those officers.

• Maghull Police Station will also serve as the parade station for the Sefton ‘Tactical Team’ – a group of specialist uniformed officers.

• The new Neighbourhood Support Unit (NSU) will be parade at Marsh Lane but deploy to support both South Sefton (East & West) Neighbourhood Inspectors.

Essentially, your Local Team will remain committed to problem solving in their area of responsibility.

As is the case now, they will not be available 24/7 but will be able to deal with low-level ongoing issues, gather intelligence and be as visible as possible.

If there are issues which the Local Team cannot deal with, then it will be a matter for the Inspector to request and co-ordinate other resources, beginning with the new NSU but also considering other Sefton, and (if necessary), Force resources.

There are no changes to existing 24-hour response cover. Sefton Patrol Teams continue to work exceptionally hard, in demanding times, to respond successfully to calls within target times over 90% of the time.

There are no changes to Sefton’s investigative capacity (CID, Intelligence etc).

Similar changes, and a separate NSU have been implemented in North Sefton (Formby & Southport).

Similar changes have been or are being implemented in Knowsley,Wirral,Liverpool & St Helens.

We will need to adapt to the changes as quickly as possible.Please bear with us as we deal with the technicalities such as the Force website etc.

If we continue to work together after the restructure, we can all make a difference locally to keep our communities as safe as we possibly can.

How crazy would you have to be to put a concrete fencing panel across a major road?

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The pictures above show what I am referring to. I moved this panel from the middle of the northbound carriageway of Southport Road, Lydiate last Saturday morning following a very concerned call from a local resident who could not believe her eyes when she saw it there.

And no, it had not fallen off a lorry, it had been deliberately removed from the fencing of the adjacent electricity sub-station compound and put in the road! Goodness knows what would have happened had a motorbike struck it!

How could this have been done without the person or people doing it not realising they were setting a death trap? I despair!!!!!!

My insurance company almost got me where Labour-run Maghull Council have been trying to get me – arrested!

It’s a funny old world; there you are driving along Southport Road, Lydiate (last Saturday) when all of a sudden a Police car is behind you with flashing lights. I thought he wanted to get past me at first, but it turned out to be more than that. I stopped thinking I was not speeding; maybe I had a bust stop light or something like that.

Imagine my surprise when the policeman tells me my car is coming up as uninsured! Well, I had an insurance certificate and showed it to him. Much scratching of heads later, a short sit down inside his very flashy cop car and the penny drops with us both. My insurance company had incorrectly recorded by registration and a single letter was missing.

All ended well and I got to see how ANPR (Automated number plate recognition) works close up. A call to my insurance company soon sorted the matter out.

If only Labour had seen me as they would have thought I had been picked up for reasons that are still best known to them. You see back in 2012 they in effect asked Merseyside Police to look into just about everyone who had worked for or with Maghull Council. It went nowhere, of course, and I still don’t know who the suspected criminal was or indeed what they had done, despite my making a Freedom of Information request to the Council that is still to be properly answered.

Oh, and for the record, the policeman was very polite and the insurance company very apologetic!

Items you cannot send by International mail

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I could not help but be struck by a guide issued by the Royal Mail/Post Office/Parcel Force because surprisingly you can’t send things such as ammunition, controlled drugs and narcotics, explosives, human or animal remains, infectious substances & pathogens and weapons (amongst a much longer list of banned items/substances) by international mail.

What worried me was why on earth would anyone be considering sending such things in the post in first place and would those who are mad enough to think sending them is a good idea be influenced by a leaflet that you can seemingly pick up at any Post Office or Royal mail Sorting Office?