Lydiate and how it will be policed in future

I posted not so long ago regarding the recently notified restructuring of Merseyside Police and my concerns about the South Sefton Community Team being based at Marsh Lane Police Station which is far from being a central location for the area concerned. Indeed, my worry as expressed in that previous posting, is that communities such as Lydiate and Melling may be too far away from Bootle’s Marsh Lane to get a effective policing service.

My previous post is available via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/10/18/merseyside-police-facing-yet-more-cutbacks-but-why-run-the-south-sefton-area-from-marsh-lane-in-bootle/

I asked the Clerk of Lydiate Parish Council to take up such concerns with Inspector Phil Hatton who will be in charge of the South Sefton Community Team and below is his response:-

I note the concerns, which I had obviously already identified myself.

We have played no part in the review/reorganisation itself, but I have already raised the issue to the restructure team.

We are looking at ways to mitigate the concern.

1) It is to be emphasised that there will always be 24 hour cover provided by the ‘Response & Resolution’ Officers – who are separate from the Community team. They will be available to deal with calls for service regarding spontaneous incidents and currently attend Emergency incidents on average within 10 minutes.

2) The Community Team will retain a ‘single point of contact’ Officer (SPOC) for Lydiate. Additionally you will be provided with details of a Community Sergeant who will have Lydiate as part of their area of responsibility.

3) It is anticipated that the Community Police Officers will be able to transport PCSO’s into the locality when necessary.

4) We are also looking at giving selected PCSO’s driving capability, to enable them to get to outlying areas directly, and then go on foot patrol.

5) Clearly, our capability to provide day to day cover (in any locality) is now seriously challenged. However, should an ongoing issue of concern be identified in Lydiate, then the whole South Sefton Community team can be deployed to deal. We are going to have to be more issue-based rather than restricted by geography. Similarly, if any support is required with Community Events then get the requests in early!

There are still a lot of logistics re. the restructure being ironed out as you can imagine. I will provide more details when I have them prior to 30th January.

Best Wishes

I like Phil Hatton and have always been impressed with his efforts when I have raised issues with him in the past so I know he will do all he can to ensure that those communities a long way from Marsh Lane will not be neglected. However, this restructuring goes to show how deep the cuts are to Merseyside Police and their ability (or is that inability?) to do all that we citizens would wish them to do.

The proof of the policing pudding will clearly be in the eating when the restructure takes place. We can only hope for the best.

Merseyside Police – facing yet more cutbacks but why run the South Sefton Area From Marsh Lane in Bootle?

Maghull Police Station - Down to becoming disused soon according to Merseyside's Crime and Policing Commissioner.

Maghull Police Station – Down to becoming disused soon according to Merseyside’s Crime and Policing Commissioner.

Like many other local councillors I recently received an e-mail, via Lydiate Parish Council in my case, from Merseyside Police telling me about the consequences of their further and on-going belt tightening.

These are to be their priority areas moving forward:-

* cyber-crime, child exploitation, organised criminality, terrorism and PVP-protecting vulnerable people

Other changes will be:-

* Some further restructuring will be taking place ‘utilising the principles of the Chief Constable’s ‘Community First’ philosophy.’

* They will also be ‘moving from a target-based performance regime to one underpinned by a motivation to reduce threat, harm and risk’

* The present BCU (Basic Command Unit) structure, with 22 separate Commands, will change to 8 ‘Functional’ Commands.

One of these ‘Functional Commands’ will be Local Policing [I call it Community Policing – Ed]. There will be five Local Policing Areas (corresponding to the 5 Merseyside Local Authority boundaries – the 6th Halton Borough is Policed via Cheshire Police) with 10 Hubs. The restructure will go live on 30th January 2017.

In Sefton there will be 2 Community Hubs – North and South.

Inspector Phil Hatton will be the Community Inspector for the South Sefton Hub, which consists of; Bootle, Litherland, Seaforth, Crosby, Waterloo, Thornton, Netherton, Maghull, Aintree, Melling & Lydiate.

The Community Team will work out of Marsh Lane Police Station.

Clearly, this is a very large area, but we are told that Local Officers will be supported by the other ‘Functions’ such as ‘Response & Resolution’ (who will deal with calls for service), ‘Investigations’ – investigating all crime, and ‘Matrix’ – dealing with serious criminality and cross-border issues.

Local Police Officers are still in the process of being informed where they will be working within the new structure and their roles and responsibilities.

It seems that that there will be Officers and PCSO’s retained as points of contact within each Council Ward, but that on a day to day basis, tasking decisions will be issue-based rather than purely geographical.

We are promised that we will kept up to date with processes and contacts as they are decided over the next few months.

What struck me from reading the informative e-mail (other than the obvious concern about further cuts to our local police force of course) was that the South Sefton Policing Team will operate out of Marsh Lane Police Station in Bootle. Geographically it is poorly placed to serve the listed communities (see above) as it is tucked away in the right hand corner of the area. No explanation was offered in the e-mail as to why this decision had been taken but look at this way Lydiate is a long, long way from Bootle’s Marsh Lane and the same could be said of Melling for example.

It seems appropriate to me to now question how those communities that are remote from Marsh Lane will actually be served by Merseyside Police and whether responsiveness to those communities will be compromised by their distance from the local policing base?