NEWS

Check out the latest news stories in Merseyside.

We recommend that you download the following useful apps for use on your mobile phone:

British Red Cross Emergency App advises of emergencies in your area and contains a range of general advice.

citizenAID App provides advice for actions and first aid in the event of an incident with multiple casualties.

As you may be aware rail strikes are planned for both:

Merseyrail network on Saturday 8th and Monday 10th July and

Northern services on Saturday 8th, Sunday 9th and Monday 10th July.

 

Important information about what services are running, travel options, key advice and how people can find out more information has now been published.

In summary, most Merseyrail services are planned to run every half hour from around 7am to 7pm and services will not stop at some stations.

Northern is planning on running more than 40 per cent of services on revised timetables between 7am and 7pm on Sat 8th July and Mon 10th July and between around 9am and 5pm on Sunday 9th July.

Services by other mainline train operators will continue to run as normal.  People are strongly advised to check timetables and information before they travel and are being encouraged to stick to public transport to avoid creating congestion on key routes such as in the Mersey Tunnels and roads in and out of the city centre.

More information can be found on Merseytravel, Merseyrail and Northern websites. 

United Utilities launched its reservoir safety campaign on Friday 16th June to coincide with National Drowning Prevention Week. This campaign is called ‘Beautiful but deadly’.

Research has highlighted that people still remain unaware of the dangers of swimming in reservoirs and that teen peer pressure can play a big part: http://corporate.unitedutilities.com/4709.aspx

The teen vox pops were used on United Utilities' Twitter and Facebook feeds on Monday 19th June: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialUnitedUtilities/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf

United Utilities reservoir safety page has been updated with some of the new campaign information: https://www.unitedutilities.com/help-and-support/about-us/recreation-sites/reservoir-safety/

The number of power-related incidents in the farming community in Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales has increased to a four-year high, new data has revealed.

Electricity provider SP Energy Networks has confirmed there were 206 power-related incidents on farms and farmland in the region in 2016 – a rate of four a week and an increase of 5% on 2015.

This included 36 incidents where tipper trucks, cranes or machinery came into contact with overhead power lines. Such collisions can have devastating consequences, resulting in life-changing or even fatal injuries.

SP Energy Networks is working hard to prevent such incidents by raising awareness amongst the agricultural community. If an emergency situation occurs, farmers are advised to keep people and livestock away from the power lines and to contact SP Energy Networks’ 24-hour hotline number by calling 105 or 0800 001 5400 to report the emergency.

Gary Evans, Health & Safety Manager at SP Energy Networks, said: “We have collected evidence from across the Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales area and discovered that amongst the agricultural community, the number of power-related incidents is at a four-year high. We hope we can help workers to be more informed of the risks and help them to stay safe.” 

There is a range of support services funded by government and other organisations that are already available to victims, witnesses, family members, and others affected by the attacks. Two web pages have been set up that contain advice on the support services available:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manchester-attack-may-2017-support-for-people-affected

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/london-bridge-and-borough-market-attacks-june-2017-support-for-people-affected

The websites include:

  • advice for those who may be worried about their mental health following the attack. Many symptoms may be a normal response to a terrible experience and will reduce over time, but severe symptoms – or those that continue for more than 4 weeks - may indicate the need for support from a mental health professional. Children who are concerned or distressed following the attacks may have specific needs: the Manchester site particularly provides information about NHS mental health services for children and young people, as well as support available through ChildLine and the NSPCC.
  • resources for teachers to support their discussion of these events with pupils.

Advice and information about the ‘We Love Manchester Emergency Fund’ and the ‘UK Solidarity Fund’ can be found at: http://www.redcross.org.uk/

Visit the Merseyside Police website for information on the change in threat level from Critical to Severe.

Network rail report final works on the track will be completed later this afternoon (7th March) and that the lines will be open for traffic from 18:00.

A small number of operators may choose to operate some service this evening.

Therefore Wednesday 8 March 2017 is the current date for resumption of normal services.

For further details visit National Rail Enquiries http://www.nationalrail.co.uk, individual rail operators or by following #liverpoollimestreet on Twitter.

Following the collapse of a boundary wall in the cutting leading into Lime Street Station there have been some additional refinements to the rail service plans serving Liverpool which are detailed below. These timetables will be in operation for today (Friday) and additional information may be provided for weekend travel. Further advice for early next week will be made available as soon as it is received.

The key points remain:

  • Liverpool City Region is still open for business - people can still get in and out of the city but there are some changes to the way they do this.
  • Allow more time for your journey if you’re making connections, using rail replacement buses or if you are using Merseyrail services to LSP.
  • If travelling locally bus services may be a good alternative option- journey planner and timetables are available on the Merseytravel website - http://www.merseytravel.gov.uk   
  • For more information about train services http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/158800.aspx
  • Commercial buses are working with operators to monitor passenger numbers to establish any further strengthening needed.

Merseyrail www.merseyrail.org  

Merseyrail services from Liverpool South Parkway have been increased.

Southport – Hunts Cross

  • Services will start/terminate at Liverpool South Parkway – this is to assist in managing passenger loadings particular during the peaks
  • Northern to convey passengers between Hunts Cross and LSP, in addition to rail replacement vehicle in operation
  • All services where possible will be formed of 6 cars
  • To facilitate 6 car services three of the additional peak Southport to Liverpool Central services have been cancelled
  • Additional service added that will run fast from LSP to Liverpool Central circa 2340

In addition

  • 6 car peak services restored on Ormskirk where possible
  • Passengers to/from Crewe may be directed via Chester, it should be note that Wirral Loop track renewal works underway Wirral services start/terminate at James St
  • Customers for Crewe/Runcorn stations on the Cheshire Lines via Warrington Central to use Liverpool Central to travel to LSP
  • Customers for Manchester to use Liverpool Central to travel to LSP or be directed to Northern Rail Replacement to Huyton
  • Customers for Preston/Ormskirk)/Wigan/Kirkby/Southport to use Moorfields
  • LSP is coping well with the addition passengers but some queuing is required during peak times.

Northern Rail https://www.northernrailway.co.uk   

Emergency timetable in operation with services operating as follows for Friday and Saturday:

  • 1 hourly frequency service between Manchester Victoria and Huyton each way
  • 1 hourly frequency service between Wigan and Huyton each way
  • 30 min frequency service between Manchester Oxford Road and Edge Hill
  • Rail replacement bus services will be in operation between Huyton and Liverpool Lime Street and between Edge Hill and Liverpool Lime Street
  • Services via Merseyrail and commercial bus operators will run between Liverpool South Parkway and Liverpool Lime Street
  • Wigan - Preston shuttle cancelled

Sunday

  • Huyton to Preston and Huyton to Manchester Piccadilly operating with rail replacement services Huyton to Lime Street

  • Oxford Road to Edge Hill (normally closed on Sundays) with rail replacement services to Lime Street

  • with Northern conveying passengers between Hunts Cross and LSP, in addition to Merseyrail rail replacement service

Virgin Trains https://www.virgintrains.co.uk  

  •  All Euston to Liverpool services will terminate at Runcorn. All Liverpool – Euston Rail services will start at Runcorn
  • Approximately 15 rail replacement coaches will be in operation between Liverpool & Runcorn in both directions.
  • Bus journeys are expected to take approximately 40 minutes between Liverpool & Runcorn depending on traffic
  • Last scheduled service on Saturday 18.50 from Lime Street

TransPennine Express https://www.tpexpress.co.uk  Friday/Saturday. Sunday to be confirmed

  • Services to Newcastle will start from Manchester Victoria.  Customers from Liverpool should use Merseyrail services from Liverpool Central to Liverpool South Parkway from where connections are available onto services to Huddersfield, Leeds and York.  Change at York for services to stations between York and Newcastle.
  • Services from Newcastle to Liverpool will terminate at Manchester Victoria. Customers are advised to change at Huddersfield for onward connections to Liverpool South Parkway from where connecting services are available to Liverpool Central
  • Services from Liverpool to Scarborough will start from Liverpool South Parkway. Customers from Liverpool should use Merseyrail services from Liverpool Central to Liverpool South Parkway from where connections are available onto services to Huddersfield, Leeds, York and Scarborough.
  • Services from Scarborough to Liverpool will terminate at Liverpool South Parkway. Customers travelling to Liverpool are advised to change at Liverpool South Parkway from where connecting services are available to Liverpool Central.
  • Northern and Merseyrail are accepting customers with TransPennine Express tickets via any reasonable route
  • Replacement coaches will also be in operation between Liverpool South Parkway and Liverpool Lime Street in both directions.
  • Journey times will be extended.
  • Customers are advised to ‘check before you travel’

East Midlands https://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk  weekend updates to follow

  • All services will terminate at Manchester Oxford Road
  • Express coaches will run from Stockport to Liverpool Lime Street and return to Stockport

 London Midland https://www.londonmidland.com  Friday, Saturday, Sunday

  • 2 trains per hour
  • Services via Merseyrail and commercial bus operators will run between Liverpool South Parkway and Liverpool Lime Street   

National Express Coaches www.nationalexpress.com  

  • National Express is adding extra seats to and from Liverpool as needed

  • Services will run from Liverpool One Bus Station to and from towns and cities all over the UK 

The best place for information is via national rail enquiries http://www.nationalrail.co.uk, individual rail operators or by following #liverpoollimestreet on Twitter.

Network Rail have today stated that service will resume out of Liverpool Lime Street on Thursday 9th March. Engineers continue to work to clear the debris and to make good the damage to the retaining wall that collapsed ahead of repairing the tracks and the overhead line equipment.

We will provide further information once any becomes available.

NaCTSO Guidance Note 19 - 2016: Hostile Vehicle Mitigation

Below is some advice surrounding Hostile Vehicle Mitigation circulated by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) in response to the attack in Berlin on 19th December 2016.

The threat to the UK from international terrorism remains unchanged at SEVERE, as it has been since August 2014, meaning an attack is highly likely.  For more information please see: https://www.mi5.gov.uk

The UK police, security and intelligence services are working tirelessly and at a pace to confront the terrorist threat and keep the public safe. We urge the public to be alert but not alarmed and report anything suspicious to the confidential anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. In an emergency always call 999.

Festive Markets in the UK—Advice to business and event organisers

During the holiday period, public areas become potentail attractive targets as crowded places, this includes Christmas Markets. There is currently no intelligence to suggest that these locations are being targeted in the UK. Businesses that are responsible for or located in areas that could be considered crowded place e.g markets, ferstivals etc. either due to an event or by the nature of the location, such as a shopping centre or high street, are asked to review their current security and contingency plans.

Advice can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/crowded-places

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/national-counter-terrorism-security-office

Additional measures that may be considered:

  • Use of large vehicles to create soft road closures into an event footprint. This is a flexible solution, to deploy, and can be redeployed/moved at short notice. They can be easily moved to permit authorised vehicular and/or emergency access. Work in partnership with other agencies such as your Local Authority to identify if they can assist with large vehicles such as refuse trucks. The position of the vehicle should be considered, 90 (ninety) degrees to the direction of travel is optimal.

  • Use of pedestrian barriers or Herras fencing may be deployed to act as a slowing mechanism, although it will not mitigate threats. If this is all that is available, then its use should be considered.

  • Lawful positioning of machinery or street furniture such as large generators, skips, cherry pickers and forklifts at temporary events will offer limited protection and slow down a vehicle.

  • There are some stocks of privately held vehicle barrier systems, available at a cost. Contact the National Barrier Asset (NBA) team at Sussex police on NBA@sussex.pnn.police.uk for advice.

Vehicle Security

Many businesses operate as part of their core business or in order to supply and deliver goods. It is important that given the terrorist attack in Nice in July 2016 and this latest incident in Berlin that the security of vehicles, of all sizes, and the safety of the vehicle operators is considered.

Help reduce criminal and suspicious activity by following these simple steps:

Heavy goods

Make sure you stay one step ahead of the weather with the new Met Office weather app.  Plan your day, wherever you are in the world, with the latest daily weather forecasts and UK National Severe Weather Warnings.  With the new app you can:

  • Get the most up-to-date & accurate weather forecasts; 
  • Stay safe with advance severe weather warnings; 
  • Personalise your forecasts with custom locations;
  • Watch the UK national weather forecast video.

The app is also full of additional information to help you plan your day, including sunrise and sunset times, pollen and air pollution forecasts, and the UV index.

Visit the App Store or Google Play to download the new Met Office Weather app today!

Visit http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/services/mobile-digital-services/weather-app for further details.

Today sees the official launch of the Met Office's annual ‘Get Ready for Winter’ campaign.

Get Ready for Winter (1)

The campaign is focusing on three key messages regarding winter preparedness:

  • Stay safe when travelling
  • Prepare and protect your home;
  • Stay well in cold weather and look after others.

The 'Get Ready for Winter' webpages can be viewed here.

Launch of a new national power cut phone line – 105 – to help people contact the company that looks after their electricity network.

From 6th September 2016, callers dialling 105, which is free to use, will be put straight through to their local electricity network operator, helping avoid potential confusion or people contacting the wrong organisation, such as the company they pay their bill to.

The number, which is available to electricity customers in England, Scotland and Wales, will enable people to report or get information about power cuts as well as report damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put themselves, or someone else, in danger. 105 is funded and delivered by the electricity network operators, and is a first for the UK’s energy industry.

The launch comes as figures reveal that 72% of people don’t know who to contact if they have a power cut, with a further 43% indicating that they would incorrectly call the electricity supplier they pay their bill to, when in fact they should contact their local electricity network operator.

Electricity network operators are the companies that manage and maintain the power lines and substations that bring electricity into homes and businesses . The research, commissioned by the operators’ trade body Energy Networks Association (ENA), has also found that 21% of people would contact their electricity network operator in a power cut, yet, of these, only 11% could correctly name their local operator.

Significant network investment means power cuts are not a regular or widespread occurrence for people, however, our research makes it clear that there’s still a need to provide a simple, memorable number they can call should they experience one. This is particularly important when there’s bad weather, as severe storms can cause damage to power networks and disrupt the electricity supply into people’s homes. This new, free number will make life easier for electricity customers.

ENA and electricity network operators across England, Scotland and Wales have worked in partnership to launch 105. It’s hoped people will welcome the introduction of this new number as an important step forward in helping electricity customers know exactly what to do and who to contact if they have a power cut.

People can call 105 from most landlines and mobile phones, no matter who they choose to buy electricity from.

More information about 105 and electricity network operators can be found at www.powercut105.com . The new website also provides direct links and details of how to contact network operators online and via social media to get information and updates about a power cut.

An information film that provides advice on the steps to take to keep safe in the event of a firearms or weapons attack has been released to the public by National Counter Terrorism Policing.

Further information, a leaflet and video are available on the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) website.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have co-ordinated information on the support available for those people affected by the terrorist attack in Nice on 14th July 2016.

The guidance is available here - Support for people affected by the Nice terrorist attack

Wording and photographs provided by Merseyside Police, Media Team Corporate Support Department.

MPol-SAR2

Merseyside Police has joined forces with a group of highly-trained volunteers to improve its search and rescue capability.  A team of teachers, doctors, paramedics and other professions have formed Merseyside Search and Rescue (MerSAR) to become the 36th such unit in the country.  The initiative was officially launched last night in Royden Park in the Frankby area of Wirral and was attended by members of MerSAR and Merseyside Police.

The MerSAR unit will specialise in lowland search and rescue operations such as when people go missing and large expanses of woodland, coastline, or industrial wasteland need to be urgently searched.  The 22 volunteers will be on-call so that search experts in the police can call on them for help when needed.

A police officer trained as a Police Search Advisor (PolSA) will co-ordinate efforts by the MerSAR unit and those of police officers to find missing people.  The unit will also be able to assist other emergency services such as the fire service in helping to rescue people who might be stranded on a beach or waterway, or trapped in their home following flooding.  Members have been trained by the national governing body – Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ALSAR) – in a variety of essential skills including First Aid, navigation and search methods.  MerSAR will operate as a charity meaning that it will be holding a number of fundraising events throughout Merseyside later this year.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley from Merseyside Police said: “The Merseyside Search and Rescue unit will be of great benefit to the Merseyside public and our force. To have a team of dedicated and highly-trained people to help us search for vulnerable missing people will give us the best possible chance of finding many of them before they come to any harm. It is testament to the community spirit of the volunteers that they are prepared to give up their precious free time at a moments notice to help others, often in difficult conditions. I would like to thank the Matrix officers within our force for the hard work they have done alongside MerSAR to enable the unit to go live this week. We are all looking forward to working together in the future to help save lives."

Sergeant Gareth Hughes, a trained PolSA, said he was looking forward to working alongside the team having been involved in setting the joint initiative up. He said: “‘Merseyside Search & Rescue have spent a considerable amount of time and effort in the last few years to be in a position today where they can go live. They will be a huge asset in assisting us in searching for some of the most vulnerable missing people we deal with and I would like to welcome them to the search and rescue community of Merseyside.”

Martin Blakeborough, chairman of MerSAR added: “It is through the hard work and efforts of all team members, having completed all training requirements, that Merseyside Police have now endorsed us as a live team. There is still a lot of hard work and training to be undertaken but we are looking forward to building a positive and professional relationship with Merseyside Police that will ultimately help vulnerable or needy people on Merseyside. Many thanks to all involved for having the confidence to allow us to make a difference.”

The team will have access to a small boat to assist in water rescues and also a Land Rover Discovery donated to the charity by Jaguar Land Rover, which is fitted with a winch, roof rack, spotlights and other equipment. For more information visit the MerSAR website http://mersar.org.uk/ and the national governing body website http://www.lowlandrescue.org/

MPol-SAR1                                MPol-SAR3

This guide has been produced for small and medium businesses (SMEs) in Merseyside.

It will help you to understand how you could be affected by weather, including extreme events, and how you can improve your chances of a quick recovery. The guide also sets out business opportunities from responding to a changing climate and provides useful tools and contact information.

Download a copy of the guide here - 'Weathering the Storm'.

Aintree Grand National 2016

Aintree Grand National Meeting takes place on Thursday 7th April, Friday 8th April and Saturday 9th April 2016.

Road Closures during the event are as follows:

  • Melling Road: (closed from Seeds Lane up to Aintree Lane (Anchor Bridge)). It is also closed from Warbreck Moor to Greenwich Road.  From 18:00hrs on Wednesday 6th April through to 21:30hrs on Saturday 9th April.  The section of Melling Road from Warbreck Moor through Greenwich Road is closed on event days only (Thursday to Saturday).
  • Ormskirk Road / Warbreck Moor:  The Ormskirk Road will be subject to a full closure on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 16:00hrs till approximately 21:30hrs. 

    During the entry phase on all days, lane 1 of Ormskirk Road / Warbreck Moor will be closed both north and southbound, and traffic will be controlled using stop/stop boards to facilitate pedestrians crossing at the junction of Ormskirk Road and Grand National Avenue.  The road will be closed from Topham Drive to the Black Bull.

  • Park Lane will be subject to a full closure on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from approximately 16:00hrs - 21:30hrs between its junctions with Bridle Road and Ormskirk Road (access will still be available to/from HQ via Dunningsbridge Road/Park Lane).

  • Albany Road will be closed on all three days during exit only.

  • Greenwich Road will be closed at its junction with Melling Avenue on all days 07:00hrs – 21:30hrs.

  • Seeds Lane will be closed at its junction with the Industrial Estate on all days.

  • Bridle Road will be closed at its junction of Bridle Way on all days from 16:00 – 21:30hrs (access to/from HQ is still available via Netherton Way/Southport Road direction, ID may be required).

  • Abbeystead Avenue and Raymond Avenue will be closed, on all days, at their junction of Park Lane. This will be implemented each day at 16:00hrs – 21:30hrs.

Lane closures will be in place southbound on Ormskirk Road / Warbreck Moor and northbound from Park Lane to Topham Drive. The lane closures will be implemented from approximately 10:00hrs through 21:30hrs as necessary. A one way system along Seeds Lane, Melling Road and Greenwich Road throughout event days as per previous events.



A new free community messaging service which allows members of the public to receive personalised news and crime updates in their local area will be launched by Merseyside Police and the Police Commissioner today, Monday 21 March.

MerseyNow will be used to send out appeals, crime prevention messages, offer support to victims and give advice about ongoing incidents.

For further details please visit the Merseyside Police website. 

MerseyNow

merseyside police

Merseyside Police is urging people to take an extra five minutes to ensure their homes and property remain safe and secure.

With the introduction of increasingly sophisticated security and alarm systems installed in cars criminals have resorted to more elaborate ways of stealing vehicles including entering houses with a view to stealing car and van keys for vehicles parked outside.

The people that want these vehicles are professionals and the vehicle can be stolen to order, utilised for joy-riding, used to transport offenders or even be used in other crimes.

Offences are predominantly committed in the evening between 7pm and 10pm or overnight between 10pm and 4am with offenders typically targeting properties via insecure windows or doors while the owner is asleep or using a device through the letter box to remove house and car keys which are left in the hallway or left inside the door.

Offenders will then either push the vehicle off the drive and start it or simply drive the vehicle out and make off.

Similar incidents have been reported in areas all across the Force in recent months and officers want motorists to take extra precautions to ensure they don’t fall victim.

Chief Superintendent Louise Harrison said:  "Many of these offences are preventable with the offenders gaining entry to the house via an insecure door or window. Other offences have occurred where car keys have been left near to the front door and implements have been used to remove the keys via the letter-box even when the occupiers have been asleep inside.

"I would urge everyone to take an extra five minutes every day to make sure their homes and properties remain secure both during the evening and overnight – even when they are at home.

"If you have a garage use it or if your park on a driveway ensure you close your gates at night and consider putting an obstruction such as your wheelie bin infront of your vehicle.

"Always put your car keys out of sight and never leave them in the back of your door and if possible use a steering wheel lock on your vehicle, which are unappealing to thieves looking to make a fast getaway.

"These people are looking for the easiest and least confrontational way to steal a vehicle. Anything you can do to make it harder for them means you are less likely to fall victim.

"We all need to be vigilant. If you see anyone acting suspiciously report it to the police. These offenders will need to walk up driveways to look through doors and windows to see if there are keys in sight of a door or window. If you notice any such behaviour contact the police on 101 or in an emergency dial 999.

"In response to the increase in car key burglaries an operation has been put in place to put offenders on the back foot. Extra patrols, consisting of uniformed and plain clothes officers, are being deployed to areas that have seen an increase in this type of crime at key times but everyone can do their bit to prevent this crime happening in the first place."

ADVICE To minimise the risk of car key burglary Merseyside Police have issued the following advice:

  • If you have a garage, please park your car in it. Many people with garages use them for storage. This will keep your cars out of the sight of preying eyes;
  • On entering the house lock the front door behind you;
  • Never leave your car keys near a door or window. Criminals can hook keys through open windows and letter-boxes. It is therefore vital that householders do hide the keys from view. People have keys stolen without anyone even entering the premises;
  • Do not leave car keys in an obvious place; make it as hard as possible for the thief ;
  • Do not leave house keys in the back of your door lock;
  • Consider installing security lights to the front and rear of your property;
  • If you are threatened with violence for your car keys is to hand them over do not put yourself at risk;
  • Special letter-box cowlings are also available – they allow your papers and post to be delivered, but stops the ‘hook & canes’ fishing;  
  • Householders also need to make sure that they take other simple crime prevention measures to ensure that they don’t become victims of sneak-in thieves or burglary, such as remembering not to leave doors and windows unlocked.

The Force is also offering the following crime prevention advice to keep homes safe this winter:

  • During the dark nights, use a light timing device to switch the lights on (ensuring your blinds/curtains are drawn);
  • Always lock your windows and doors. If you haven't got windows locks, you are advised to get window locks fitted. If you have window locks - use them;
  • Always check your front and back door are secure even if you are in;
  • Secure your shed and garage properly. Don't leave tools lying around;
  • Security mark all your home and garden equipment with full postcode using a UV marker pen or permanent marker. This can help make it easier for victims to be reunited with your property if you are the victim of a burglary and the items are recovered.

A bowel cancer screening awareness campaign from Cancer Research UK is currently running in Liverpool it will also appear across Merseyside and other regions of England. The campaign will run from 18th January to 21st February and then again from 21st March to 24th April 2016.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of bowel cancer screening among those who are eligible to participate (i.e. 60-74 year olds), and to encourage more people to complete a test kit when it is mailed to them. The key message of the campaign is 'This little kit could save your life', and is supported by secondary messages that aim to overcome some common barriers to participation, such as the test is "easier than you think."

Adverts will appear on bus stops, on the inside and exterior of buses, on pharmacy bags and in regional newspapers. Smaller sized posters (A3 and A4) are also available to order and print locally, for display in local community venues, e.g. GP practices, pharmacies and community centres.

Every year, 2000 people aged 60–74 are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the North West and 600 people of the same age in the North West will die from the disease.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second most common cause of cancer deaths.   

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening programme is estimated to cut deaths from the disease by 25 per cent among those who complete the test at least once.

The awareness campaign is based on a successful pilot that ran in London in 2014, and is supported by Public Health England and Department of Health. Within Liverpool, Public Health Liverpool, Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners will be supporting the campaign locally through a range of campaign activity.

Dr Daniel Seddon, Public Health England’s Screening and Immunisation Lead for NHS England in Merseyside said “We know that regular bowel cancer screening really can save lives. The earlier the disease is found the higher the chances of successful treatment. We hope that the posters around the city will help encourage more people to respond when they receive their free kit in the post".

Cancer Research UK believes that no one should be diagnosed too late to have treatment that might save their life. Diagnosing cancer early is one of the most powerful ways to beat it. The earlier the disease is found the higher the chances of successful treatment.

Stoptober, the 28 day challenge which supports the nation’s eight million smokers to stop smoking – is back.

This year, the start of Stoptober coincides with new legislation in England and Wales making it illegal to smoke in a car with someone under the age of 18 present. Regulations, designed to protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke will come into effect on 1st October.

People need to understand how the new legislation will affect them. To maximise the impact of both the legislation and Stoptober and to avoid diluting the message of either campaign with consumers, we have created a combined approach to smokefree activity in September and October. The presents another opportunity for smokers to quit through Stoptober; with one less place to smoke, there is one more reason to sign up to Stoptober. The legislation message benefits from the considerable excitement around Stoptober, the new seasonal quitting event.

As well as national coverage led by Public Health England, Public Health Liverpool are running its own local campaign through local media, events and campaign resources.

For further information about Stoptober and Smoking in Vehicles and how you can get involved locally please contact sarah.jones18@liverpool.gov.uk

Liverpool PIZ MapThe Liverpool City Centre Public Information Zone map has been produced to help businesses and residents in the city centre if there is an emergency. During an incident a number of organisations will work together to provide information through many forms of communication including local media, social media, websites, public information display screens and public address systems.

Depending on the nature of the incident, people may be asked to remain in place or to move to another part of the city centre – and the map is zoned to help in this process.

The new map replaces and updates a paper version which was distributed to businesses in 2009. Since then both the city centre and means of communication have undergone considerable changes and the new map reflects those changes.

The map will be circulated through city centre organisations via email and is available for downloading here

For further details or any questions please contact Jamie Riley, Emergency Planning Resilience Officer on 0151 233 8637 or email jamie.riley@liverpool.gov.uk

The Environment Agency's 'Flood Aware' campaign will run for two weeks until 13 November and will involve a range of media and social media activity alongside partnership work and community engagement.

The Environment Agency wants people to check their flood risk, sign-up for free warnings and know what to do if a flood happens.

Follow the link for further details.

Visit our Severe Weather page and read our advice on how to prepare for the coming winter months.

The Met Office have launched their Community Resilience webpage which can be viewed at the following address:

www.metoffice.gov.uk/publicsector/resilience/community-resilience

The page is packed full of useful severe weather links, various download infographics on best advice during severe weather and there is a link to the Weather Observations Website (WOW), where you can submit your own independent weather observations and help to enhance their understanding of local weather conditions and their impact.

The Environment Agency have provided a briefing on the high tides expected in the next few months.  

The main reason for highlighting this is to ensure people are aware of the possibility of tidal flooding, but to also understand that it will only happen if the high tides coincide with a positive tidal surge. 

Over the next few days the Environment Agency will be looking at the forecasts to see if this is likely and they will provide further details if flooding is predicted.  The briefing gives a fuller explanation of the sort of conditions that could lead to flooding.

The front-line in the fight against cyber-crime moves to the high street this week with shoppers set to be given advice on how to keep their smart phones and laptops free from viruses.  A pop-up shop featuring experts from the police, online safety charities, internet banking experts and IT security companies will be based at 'The Bandstand' in the Main Food Hall of the Trafford Centre in Manchester this Friday and Saturday (6th & 7th March).

Anyone with a smart phone, tablet or laptop will be able to get their device checked for free for viruses and malware infections and given advice on how to better protect themselves from cyber crime.  The National Crime Agency estimates that around half of all phishing attacks could be prevented by people tightening up their own online security, installing up to date anti-virus software and not viewing insecure or compromised sites.

The pop-up shop in Manchester’s Trafford Centre is just one initiative taking place this week aimed at increasing people’s awareness of the growing issue of cyber-crime and what they can do to stop it.

Detective Chief Inspector John Webster, from Titan, the North-West’s regional organised crime unit, said shoppers sparing 10 minutes to learn more could save themselves lots more time and stress in the long run.  He said: “Everyone can do more to protect themselves and their personal information online and this pop-up shop is a simple way of getting people interested while they are out and about shopping this Friday and Saturday.  All you have to do is bring your mobile, tablet or laptop along for a free health-check and we will have a host of computer experts on hand to ensure it doesn’t have a virus and give you some really useful advice.  There will be people who can tell you how to bank safely online, how to protect your personal information on social media, how to ensure your children stay safe online – you name it, there will be someone who can help.  We all lead so much of our daily lives while hooked into the Internet that we probably don’t appreciate all the risks we are exposing ourselves to or the amount of information we constantly share. Becoming the victim of cyber-crime, whether that is having someone steal money from your account or sending you corrupting emails, can be just as upsetting as suffering any other kind of offence.  That is why I would encourage anyone shopping in the Trafford Centre this Friday or Saturday to find us at The Bandstand in the Main Food Hall between 10am and 5pm. It is a great spot which we are grateful to the shopping centre for providing and the ten minutes you spend with us will be really worth your while.

To find out more about how to avoid becoming a victim of cyber-crime visit www.cyberstreetwise.com and www.getsafeonline.org

To report an online fraud visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

For more on the work of Titan, the North-west's regional organised crime agency, visit www.titanrocu.org.uk or follow us @TITANROCU

Climate Just, a powerful new online mapping tool, was launched on 4th February.  It shows the uneven impact that climate change is likely to have across England, highlighting 'hot spots' and providing a huge amount of supporting information and resources.  It is the first time this information is on a publicly available website at the neighbourhood level.

Visit Climate Just to see why some areas are more vulnerable to climate change than others, where are they and what can be done.

Chip pan firePeople are urged to not to let their meal plans go up in smoke on Valentine’s Day and Shrove Tuesday.

When preparing a romantic meal for Valentine’s Day, on Saturday, February 14, or tossing pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, February 17, people are urged to stay safe from fires in the kitchen.  Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS) advises that food should never be left cooking unattended and people should ensure they do not get distracted and forget that food is on the hob.  Residents are also urged not to cook if feeling tired and not to cook while under the influence of alcohol.

In 2014, across Merseyside, firefighters attended 481 accidental dwelling fires caused by food cooking in the kitchen. Of those, 175 were in Liverpool, 115 were in Wirral, 92 were in Sefton, 52 were in St Helens and 47 were in Knowsley.

Kevin Johnson, MF&RS Home Safety Manager, said: “We want people to enjoy special occasions but advise that they take simple precautions in the kitchen, which can help them stay safe from fire.”

It is also National Chip Week from February 16 to February 22 and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is supporting the national campaign Fire Kills in urging people to take care when cooking chips.  In 2014, across Merseyside, firefighters attended 171 fires involving chip pans or deep fat fryers in the home. Of those, there were 69 in Liverpool, 40 in Wirral, 25 in St Helens, 24 in Sefton and 13 in Knowsley.

People are advised to take care when cooking with oil as it sets alight easily. If the oil starts to smoke or gets too hot, people should turn off the heat and leave it to cool.  Residents are also urged to swap their chip pans for the safer option of thermostat controlled deep fat fryers or to opt for oven chips. A pan should not be overloaded with oil and should never be filled more than a third full. Food should be dry before it is put in oil so that it does not splash.

Children should not be left alone in the kitchen while food is cooking on the hob.

If a pan catches fire, people should never take any risks.  They should turn the heat off if it is safe to do so and should never throw water on it. People should never tackle the fire but should get out, stay out and call 999.”  For free fire safety advice call 0800 7315958.

Click here to download and keep a copy of the new Flooding leaflet produced by the Environment Agency and Public Health England.  The leaflet provides advice on:

  • planning for flooding before it happens;
  • what to do during a flood;
  • recovering and cleaning up after a flood.

Cyber-crime experts and victims will speak at a conference aimed at protecting North-west businesses from the increasing threat of online hacking and fraud.

Titan, a collaboration of the region’s six police forces that tackles serious organised crime, is hosting the conference alongside media company Trinity Mirror, which owns the Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News.  The event at Haydock Park Racecourse on February 25th (10am to 4pm) is free and open to any business wanting to learn more and gain support about one of the biggest issues facing small and medium sized firms in the region.

Guest speakers will include Merseyside businessman Jonathan Kemp, whose company AEV in Birkenhead lost £100,000 when a criminal gang operating on a global scale sent convincing emails to enable fraudulent bank payments. Police officers from the National Crime Agency’s cyber-crime unit and the Cyber Emergency Response Team will also describe the scale of the threat on a national level, while others will show attendees a live hacking demonstration to highlight things that businesses can tighten up.

Presentations on where businesses can get funding to help improve their online security and how people can join a government-support information-sharing network of businesses will also take place.

Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson, head of operations at Titan, said the event was proving popular and urged businesses across the North-west to register to book their place.

He said: “We recognise there is a growing threat from cyber-attacks in the UK so the aim is to raise awareness of the threat within the business community and ensure that they are protecting themselves properly.  The damage a cyber-attack could have on a company could be catastrophic to its owners and employees with huge financial losses incurred as well as significant disruption to day to day operations. The majority of attacks can actually be prevented but knowledge is power and more needs to be done to educate the public about this issue.  As well as helping businesses here in the North-west protect themselves we want to ensure that information about current cyber-attacks is shared across the business community for the benefit of all.  This free event will help us and businesses achieve those aims and I would encourage anyone who is interested to register and book a place at www.cybersecurityeventnorthwest.eventbrite.co.uk

For more information about the work of Titan visit www.titanrocu.org.uk where further information about how the police are tackling cyber-crime can be found.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has published a new report highlighting the importance of sharing data to help those who are more vulnerable in communities. The publication is called “Dying for Data – Reducing Fire Deaths in Merseyside” and agencies who may already work, or have contact with people who are more vulnerable, are asked to help to make the people they are aware of safer by emailing Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service to discuss sharing information at informationsharing@merseyfire.gov.uk . The publication can be found at: http://www.merseyfire.gov.uk/aspx/pages/reports/reports_publications_2014-2015.aspx

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “Our free Home Fire Safety Checks and the proactive installation of more than 800,000 smoke alarms has made a major contribution to home safety and we know there are people alive today who would not have been had it not been for this campaign. “The Service now provides a more targeted approach to home fire safety, focusing our resources on the most at risk and hardest to reach. Vulnerable people often live in deprived areas, but can live anywhere on Merseyside. Through no fault of their own, lifestyle and health issues can also put people into our ‘at risk’ categories. “By not sharing data I believe we leave vulnerable people exposed to unnecessary risk and harm. We want to play our part in our collective ‘Duty of Care’ and to do that we need to share information. “If you think you can help make your clients safer by sharing information, please contact informationsharing@merseyfire.gov.uk

Deb Appleton, Director of Strategy and Performance at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We have developed a ‘Vulnerable Person Index’ which helps us focus the work of our fire crews and specialist prevention staff on the people who need our assistance most. “But the success of our Vulnerable Person Index is entirely dependent on other organisations being willing to share information to protect the vulnerable people who use their services. We understand that sharing personal information sometimes causes concern and that there is a balancing act between data protection and data sharing. “We have built up strong partnerships with some key organisations but we believe there is still more that can be done. We have extensive experience and expertise in managing and sharing sensitive information safely and securely.”

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has also won three awards for work to help to protect vulnerable people in the community through data-sharing. The iNetwork presented The Excellence In Information Sharing And Security Award (EISS) to Deb Appleton, Director of Strategy and Performance at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, and representatives from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), who worked together on the project. The award recognises the data-sharing work with the National Health Service to identify and highlight vulnerable people. These people were also presented with the iNetwork Overall Best Innovation Award at the same event. A few days later, the two fire and rescue services won another award for the same work, this time from the NHS. For free fire safety advice go to www.merseyfire.gov.uk or call 0800 7315958.

The Photo shows: Deb Appleton, Director of Strategy and Performance at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, front left, and Group Manager Gary Oakford, who leads the Prevention Directorate at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, on front right of the photo. Behind them are members of the Strategy and Performance Team who have worked on the Vulnerable Person Index Project which won the awards and Joanne Henderson from the Home Safety Team at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (second in from the right).

Photo copyright of Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS).

Dying for Data

Residents are being urged to protect themselves and their loved ones as latest figures from Public Health England (PHE) indicate that flu is continuing to circulate in the community – with outbreaks across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Dr Dan Seddon, Screening and Immunisation Lead in Merseyside, said: "A large number of people in "at risk" groups have already had their flu jab however there are some who are eligible who need to get immunised especially as flu is still circulating.  It’s not too late for people in ‘at risk’ groups to get the flu vaccine for free as they are at much greater risk of becoming seriously unwell if they catch flu, and sadly many end up in hospital.  This includes people with health conditions, even those that are well managed, such as asthma, diabetes, heart, lung, liver or renal diseases, those with weakened immune systems, as well as older people and pregnant women. Anyone in these groups who hasn’t yet had the vaccine should contact their GP."

The vaccine is also available in the form of a needle-free painless nasal spray for all two to four year olds in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Aside from vaccination, hygiene is the main method that can help prevent the spread of flu and PHE is urging everyone to carry tissues and to use them to catch coughs or sneezes, to bin the used tissues as soon as possible and then to wash their hands and kill the germs.

Dr Seddon added: "The best advice for treating flu in healthy people is to stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and take appropriate pain relievers, such as paracetamol. Children under 16 should not take any medicines containing aspirin.  People in at risk groups, who develop symptoms consistent with flu, or if anyone’s symptoms persist or become more severe, should seek medical advice.  People who may have symptoms of flu are also being urged not to visit places such as care homes or hospitals whilst PHE also encourages healthcare workers and carers who have not yet been vaccinated, to get their free flu jab."

Dr Janet Atherton, Director of Public Health at Sefton Council added: "We are likely to see more people getting sick from the flu in the next few weeks. Flu should not be underestimated. It can knock even the healthiest people off their feet for a week or two, and it can be very serious for people who already have health conditions, people aged 65 and over and for pregnant women.  If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine and have not taken up the opportunity to get it yet, now is the time to take action to protect yourself. Contact your doctor now to arrange. The vaccine is very safe. It doesn’t carry the live flu virus so it can’t give you flu."

Top tips to prepare for colder weather

  • Look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food, drinks and managing to heat their homes adequately. 
  • Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.
  • Stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance, have deliveries or ask a friend to help.
  • Take weather into account when planning your activity over the following days
  • Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold related illness or falls
  • Discuss with friends and neighbours about clearing snow and ice from in front of your house and public walkways nearby, if unable to do so yourself.

Following consultation with those people working in the industry, the consensus was that the theme for the week should be centred around testing and exercising business continuity plans.  Please visit the BCI website for further details.

The public version of the 2015 Merseyside Community Risk Register has been uploaded onto Merseyside Prepared.  Click here to download a copy.

The Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) assisted the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) after a seal had to be rescued from a field more than 20 miles inland – after apparently getting “very, very lost”.  The seal was discovered in Newton-le-Willows, near St Helens, after a possible 50 miles swim from its home before clambering into the fenced-off field from a nearby brook.  It was found by a dog-walker at about 9.45am, sparking a rescue operation involving the emergency services, supported by the RSPCA, the BDMLR and two of our own staff, who have been trained in this type of work.  The creature, believed to be a juvenile male grey seal, was eventually coaxed into a trailer after being corralled by the rescue team and taken to a wildlife centre for checks.

Rachael Fraser of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, who joined our AVO Chris Todd and RVO Eric Thresher said “There’s a grey seal colony near Hilbre Island and that’s where we think he’s come from – but he’s got very, very lost”.  From Hilbre Island at the mouth of the Dee Estuary the seal would have had to swim an estimated 50 miles around the Wirral into the Mersey Estuary and then up a series of brooks to reach the field.  “This is not a regular job for the MVS” said Eric “but we are so pleased to have been able to help”.

Chris who was the first Marine Mammal Medic on scene commented “It’s great for the MVS to assist the BDMLR especially in such an unusual call out”.

 Seal 1            Seal 2

19th January 2015

The seal found exhausted in a field about 20 miles from the sea on 22nd December has unfortunately died.  Dumbledore, named after the Harry Potter character, was treated for pneumonia after being found in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside.

Staff at the RSPCA East Winch centre in Norfolk "worked tirelessly" to save the young adult grey seal.  After 26 days in care, and despite receiving highly skilled care, his health was deteriorating fast and he died on Saturday night.  Sadly, wildlife rehabilitation is particularly challenging and, of all the species the wildlife centres take in, seals are one of the more difficult to rehabilitate.

The 5ft (1.5m) long seal was rescued by Merseyside Police, firefighters from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, volunteers from the Maritime Volunteer Service, animal rescue officers and a farmer after being found by a dog walker.  Thanks are provided to all agencies that were involved in the rescue.

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, opened Merseyside’s new joint Police and Fire Command and Control Centre (JCC) on Tuesday, 16th December. 

The centre is based at the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters in Bridle Road, Bootle, and is a mixture of a new build and refurbishment of the current building.  The co-location of the fire and police control room functions provides an exciting opportunity to deliver a more efficient and effective service to the public. Both emergency services share site infrastructure and facilities with the potential for sharing of technology solutions in the longer term.  

Two Merseyside Police officers on horseback, wearing full regalia, along with four police officers and four fire officers in undress uniform provided the guard of honour for The Princess Royal for her visit.  

Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens, Chief Constable Jon Murphy and Assistant Chief Constable Ian Pilling formally welcomed HRH and invited her to open the building and take a tour.  

located at the JCC. Princess Anne also met the Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Dave Hanratty, as well as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside Jane Kennedy and the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Merseyside.  During her visit she spoke of how impressed she had been with the centre and the value of all of the emergency service staff working there.  Two antique fire appliances, the Dennis F8 built in the 1950s and the open Albion from the 1940s, were also on display for the Princess Royal to see before she left the site.  

s station of the Liverpool Salvage Corps on Derby Road in Kirkdale. Following the disbanding of the Corps in 1984 it passed to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority. The new Fire Control went live at the JCC on July 1, 2014.  

In addition to the Contact Centre, Force Control and Fire Control, the JCC premises also provide accommodation which for the first time allows the co-location of MF&RS, Merseyside Police, and the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) Operational Planning teams.   The overall cost of the project including refurbishment of the existing Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority site was £7.6 million and was funded by Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority. A contract was signed in March 2013 on the project and the two-storey premises was completed in 2014.  It is one of the first buildings of its type in the country.  

Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens said: “This is a momentous occasion marking a real milestone for the emergency services on Merseyside. The centre has excellent facilities including dedicated Strategic and Tactical Co-ordination Group meeting rooms for use during major incidents. The JCC will undoubtedly be a significant asset to us and Merseyside Police in the future. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority opted for a Merseyside solution that would keep jobs on Merseyside. The Fire and Rescue Authority received a Government grant of £1.8 million towards the build of the Joint Control Centre.”  

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Pilling, said: “The provision of this building is a great example of partnership working, and we are seeing clear operational and financial benefits of working alongside our Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service colleagues in this new building. I am delighted that Her Royal Highness was able to join us to celebrate the official opening of the centre.  It is a place from which we can deliver our vision of working in partnership to make Merseyside safer.”  

The move to the Joint Command Centre is a major success story for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and Merseyside Police and - most importantly - the people of Merseyside.

Jcc opening 2                                        JCC opening 1

Photographs courtesy of Tony Thomas.

Take our online survey to help us understand how prepared you are for an emergency.  PLEASE NOTE THE ONLINE SURVEY HAS NOW CLOSED (31ST MARCH 2015).

The Merseyside Prepared website is officially launched by the Merseyside Resilience Forum.