Successful SpringWatch campaign returns
A successful campaign which aims to clamp down on anti-social
behaviour during the lighter evenings has been re-launched in St
Now in its sixth year, the SpringWatch campaign sees St Helens
Council, Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service
join forces to target issues such as off-road vehicle nuisance,
arson, and neighbourhood noise, which often increases when the
clocks go forward.
Colette McIntyre, Anti-Social Behaviour Manager for Safer
Communities at St Helens Council, said: "As people enjoy the
weather and take advantage of the lighter evenings, it's easy to
forget how some activities can impact on others' enjoyment of life
at home, often without realising it.
"Everyone has different tolerance levels and by raising
awareness of the potential impact of our behaviour we can all enjoy
a safer spring period.
"When you see off-road vehicles out causing a nuisance in the
community, or anyone looking to set a nuisance fire in parks,
please report it to the Police on 101. This type of behaviour will
not be tolerated, and the police will seize off-road vehicles and
take legal action on arson."
The campaign is having is having an impact though as Merseyside
Police figures show that the number of calls made to report
inappropriate vehicle use dropped by almost half (48 per cent) when
comparing April 2014 and April 2015. Complaints about anti-social
behaviour also decreased by 4 per cent in the same period -all due
to fewer instances of crime.
This year's crackdown has already begun too, with police seizing
an off-road motorbike at Sidings Lane Nature Reserve, Rainford,
earlier this month.
St Helens Neighbourhood Sergeant Leigh Price said: "As the
nights get lighter our focus on all forms of anti-social behaviour
will be increasing, particularly anti-social behaviour caused by
off-road scrambler motorbikes. We will not tolerate and will act
quickly to target those responsible. Users of such vehicles are a
nuisance; they have no consideration whatsoever for residents and
can place pedestrians, other road users and any person wishing to
enjoy public spaces at risk.
"I am keen to know who the users of such vehicles are, where
they are stored and the details of any vehicles they are using to
transport themselves from place to place. This is so that we can
visit them in their homes and exercise our powers to rid our roads
and open spaces of these vehicles. With your help we want to make
life safer and more peaceful for all residents.
"Merseyside Police has had recent success across the force
against the illegal and nuisance use of scrambler bikes and quad
bikes, both through arrests and the recovery of bikes, but we
remain committed to removing this blight from our communities.
"We will continue to take action whenever the community tells us
there are problems. I would appeal to anyone with information about
illegal or nuisance scrambler bikes in their areas to get in touch
with us and I can assure them that we will take action. We will be
concentrating on areas where people have told us they are suffering
because of the way scrambler and quad bikes are being ridden and
Stephanie Catterall, Community Fire Protection & Arson
Reduction Officer for the St Helens district for Merseyside Fire
& Rescue Service, said: "This year we are not only looking at
grass fires, which have been started deliberately, but also
fly-tipping and wheelie bins which can also be a target for
anti-social behaviour. We are working hard to reduce these types of
fires across and will work closely with the police to help catch
"We will be visiting primary and secondary schools as well as
visiting youth clubs and alternative educational centres."
Young people can also access a range of activities throughout
the duration of the campaign with St Helens Council's Youth Action
Anyone with information can call police via the 101 number, or
dial 999 in the event of an emergency or if there is a crime in
progress. Alternatively, people can pass information anonymously to
Crimestoppers, 24 hours a day, on 0800 555 111.
For more information about the SpringWatch campaign visit
To find out more about the Youth Action Zone see
www.sthelens.gov.uk/yaz or visit their Facebook page -