Safe Havens have been introduced at all community fire stations on Wirral

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The Safe Havens, initiative recently approved by Wirral Community Safety Partnership, will see community fire stations across Wirral designated as Safe Havens.

As a result the Wirral community fire stations, identified by an illuminated Safe Haven sign that can be seen at night, will be accessible to members of the public who feel threatened, intimidated or at risk.

They will also provide those individuals with the opportunity to report Hate Crime or Domestic Violence should they feel that this action is appropriate.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “A safe haven is a place where anyone feeling vulnerable or at risk can go to if they feel under threat of harm. The idea stems from work done in London following the death of a teenager who tragically lost his life in an altercation at a local shop in 2008. His family believed that local places should be safe places to go when someone is feeling threatened and have encouraged shopkeepers and businesses to take positive steps when faced with young people in need of help. This initiative became ‘Safe Havens’.

“As our fire stations are in the heart of our communities it seemed obvious that we would embrace this idea and seek to embed the initiative across Merseyside supported by our Community Safety Partners.

“Our firefighters are experienced in dealing with the public during and at traumatic times and are highly trained in first aid and trauma care. This initiative allows us to ensure we are best able to serve our communities no matter what the circumstances.”

Group Manager Paul Murphy, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service district manager for the Wirral, said: “A person in distress and in need of sanctuary can approach one of our community fire stations and ask for help and a place of safety. Members of the public already consider our community fire stations as places to call on for help. This was highlighted during the period of civil disturbance in 2011 when staff from McDonald’s in Birkenhead sought refuge at Birkenhead Community Fire Station in Exmouth Street when their premises were under attack – this initiative formalizes that approach.”

At night time, if firefighters are at the station the Safe Haven will be illuminated. If firefighters are not at the station, during daytime or night time, assistance can be called on for an emergency situation by using the yellow station phone located on the front of the buildings.

The signs have now been placed on all six Wirral community fire stations. The stations are: Wallasey, Bromborough, West Kirby, Birkenhead, Upton and Heswall. The Wirral Community Safety Partnership paid for the cost of the signs and their installation. The sign on the new Birkenhead station will be in place when the construction of the new station is completed later this year.

Councillor George Davies, Wirral’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: “Safe Havens will act as a sanctuary for anybody who feels threatened or vulnerable. The term ‘vulnerable’ could be a victim of crime, hate crime or anti-social behaviour. The signs display the Safer Wirral logo therefore it implies that it is a safe place to head towards when someone needs support because they are feeling vulnerable.

“Wirral Community Safety Partnership has been instrumental in working in partnership with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service to assist in the development and implementation of the scheme.  It fits in well with the aims of Community Safety as it also addresses matters concerning Safeguarding. The Safe Haven Scheme is an excellent vehicle for demonstrating how partnership working can assist our most vulnerable residents in Wirral.”

The Wirral Community Safety Partnership includes Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Merseyside Police and Wirral Council.

The Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Most people report crime to the police but for those who can’t, or feel too vulnerable, there will now be somewhere to turn. The Safe Haven initiative is a fantastic example of agencies working with the police to support victims of crime within their own communities. They provide an additional refuge for those who may be extremely vulnerable and enable them to access the help they need, when they need it most.”

Schoolboy Jimmy Mizen was murdered after a yob hurled an oven dish at him in a London bakery in May 2008.

The 16-year-old victim, who had gone to the shop to buy sausage rolls, bled to death after a one-and-a-half-inch shard of glass cut blood vessels in his neck, in May, 2008. A man was jailed for life in March 2009 for the murder.

More information can be found about the Jimmy Mizen Foundation at

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