Awareness campaign prompts a safe summer along Southport coastline
Incidents of anti-social behaviour reduced along Sefton’s coastline during Operation Beachsafe this year.
Crime also remained low along Sefton’s coastal areas during the campaign, which ran from March to September.
Partners including Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Sefton Council, National Trust, Sefton’s Coast and Countryside Rangers, Natural England, RNLI lifeguards, British Transport Police, councillors and parish councillors worked together to keep visitors safe along the coast.
Police officers carried out regular patrols on quad bikes and just two incidents of car thefts were reported.
No alcohol was seized and 13 vehicles were issued with warnings for anti-social use. Two vehicles were also seized.
Merseyside Police trialled a new initiative where parents visiting Formby and Ainsdale were given wristbands for their children which they could use to write their phone number on.
The wristbands, funded by Merseyside Police and Formby and Ainsdale ward councillors, were designed to help reunite children with their parents should youngsters wander off and become lost.
Inspector for West Sefton Formby, Ainsdale and Hightown, Jim Atherton, said: “It has been great to work in partnership again to promote crime prevention and personal safety to visitors to Sefton’s coastline.
“As the Inspector that covers Formby and Ainsdale, I am especially pleased to say that crime levels have remained very low. In fact, only two reported thefts from cars took place over the whole summer holiday period.”
A number of wildfires and deliberate fires were attended by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service between March and September, including a number of fires in Formby pinewoods.
Dave Mercer, Senior Reserve Manager at Ainsdale Sand Dunes Nature Reserve, said: “This summer we had six wildfires in the pinewoods to deal with. Natural England staff and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service worked together to control the largest of the fires which burned at least one acre of forest.
“Several illegal bonfire parties took place on the reserve, which created a large amount of rubbish to remove, and we dealt with one incident of illegal off-road biking with the help of Merseyside Police.
“On a positive note, our dunes and pinewoods played host to an orienteering event which saw 500 runners navigate around the area.
“A rare wryneck bird was also spotted in the reserve, generating a large number of birdwatchers visiting to try and catch a glimpse of it.”
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Arson Officer, Graham Morgan, said: “During the campaign people were urged not to light bonfires or barbecues on the beach, in the sand dunes or in woodland along the coast.
“People were also urged not to throw cigarette butts into grassland or woodland areas, as they can easily cause grass fires, causing a danger to people and to wildlife.
“The campaign has worked well this year with a reduction in serious fire incidents reported along the coastline. We hope to continue this work next year to keep people safe from fire.”
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