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, RNLI lifeguards, British Transport Police, councillors and parish councillors worked together to help to keep people safe along the coast.
Police officers carried out regular patrols and, where necessary, gave out warnings under the Police Reform Act. Just ten units of alcohol were seized by officers throughout the campaign, highlighting a reduction in the amount of alcohol being brought onto the beach.
Formby and Ainsdale Neighbourhood Police Inspector Jim Atherton, said: “It has been great to continue our work with such keen partners this summer in preventing crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Calls in relation to anti-social behaviour have reduced and we have seen a vast reduction in the amount of alcohol being brought to the beach front area.
“Staff have patrolled the area throughout the summer on foot, bicycle, car, in the Land Rover and quad bikes. We have also been supported by volunteers from the Special Constabulary.
“Due to the proactive support by all partners we have issued Police Reform Act warnings and advisory letters, where appropriate, to people who have driven anti-socially.
“Every spring and summer season brings new challenges to those involved in Operation Beachsafe. We would like to thank the general public for their continued support. Especially all those who acted responsibly, respected the environment and the residents who live nearby.”
Ainsdale has also seen a reduction in reports of anti-social vehicle use on the beach front. Crime prevention advice and information on car parking issues in the coastal areas were also highlighted through social media.
A number of wildfires, deliberate fires and camp fires were attended by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service between March and September, however there were no major fire incidents and this year saw a reduction in the number of deliberate fires along the coast. Some wildfires occurred at Ainsdale Sand Dunes Nature Reserve and were attended by MF&RS as well as Natural England staff.
Station Manager Craig Whitfield, of Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, 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 no serious fire incidents reported along the coastline. We hope to continue this work next year to keep people safe from fire.”
Dave Mercer, Senior Reserve Manager at Ainsdale Sand Dunes Nature Reserve, added: “Most visitors have had a safe and enjoyable visit to the reserve.
“Our 50th anniversary summer festival took place in August with at least 700 members of the public experiencing everything from Land Rover safaris to sheepdog demonstrations and homemade cakes. The cake sales raised at least £350 for Derian House Hospice.”
National Trust rangers also extended their thanks for the support from partner agencies during the summer.
The National Trust’s Countryside Manager Andrew Brockbank said: “Keeping a high profile at the busier times of year is really important in deterring anti-social behaviour and helping visitors to the coast to feel safe and take away great memories of their visit. We hope the value of Operation Beachsafe continues to be recognised and supported in the future.”
Councillor John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Locality Services, added: “We always want people to enjoy our fantastic coastline but also to treat it with respect and have consideration for other beach users.
“Through partnership working it is great to see the success of Operation Beachsafe which recognises that most people behave responsibly during a day out to the beach.”
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