Jane Kennedy joins MP and Crosby Labour Action Team to turn spot

Labour's candidate for Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy hears some of the anti-social behaviour concerns with Manor Ward Labour Councillor Steve McGinnity.

Anti-social behaviour in Crosby fell under the spotlight this week when the Crosby Labour Action Team was joined by Labour's candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy on a crime prevention site visit.

Jane, who will stand for Labour in the Merseyside-wide election this November, joined MP Bill Esterson and Manor Ward Labour Councillors Steve McGinnity, John Kelly and Diane Roberts on a tour of the De Villiers estate.

One Vision Housing officers were also at the site visit to hear about the residents' concerns.

The Crosby Labour Action Team has received an increasing number of calls from concerned residents on the estate about anti-social behaviour.

Issues range from drug dealing and under-age drinking to intimidation and even golf balls being aimed at nearby cars and homes.

Cllr Steve McGinnity said: "There have been issues raised in this area in the past regarding acts of anti-social behaviour, but we managed to deal with them.

"However, now we've seen a surge in complaints about young people drinking in the park, accusations of drug dealing, as well as criminal damage.

"We have even had reports of people playing golf on the park just off Oaklands Avenue, aiming golf balls into the road and at nearby houses. One resident even complained that his puppy was very nearly hit by a golf ball.

"So we have brought together the ward councillors, officers from One Vision, our MP Bill Esterson and Labour's candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner so we can work together on finding a solution to these problems."

Suggested measures to tackle some of the problems, include demolition of some of the vacant garages which have become a haven for suspected drug dealing, and turning them into community allotments.

MP Bill Esterson said the councillors had been working closely with residents to resolve the problems.

Bill said: "This estate is a really nice community which I always enjoy coming along to to speak to residents.

"But residents tell me about a small number of people who are causing misery for the vast majority of residents. 

"The three Labour Councillors have worked extremely hard on dealing with the issues with the police and this is something which I will also be raising with the Chief Constable."

Jane Kennedy said anti-social behaviour was one of the main concerns for people.

Jane said: "Anti-social behaviour can blight a community like this and spoil the enjoyment of a good facility like the playing field.

"I know that over recent times the councillors here and the police have worked closely together to combat the issues raised and will do the same again, this time with One Vision to find long term solutions. This partnership working is what is most likely to bring results to benefit the De Villiers estate.

"My fear is that, as the government cuts Merseyside Police, the police will find it harder to deal with the criminal aspects of anti-social behaviour.

"We have already lost 323 police officers because of cuts in Merseyside Police's budget. More than 600 will have been forced to go by 2015. 

"These are front line police officers who are working to combat anti-social behaviour in communities throughout Merseyside.

"But we won't give up. We'll fight for more resources and here in the De Villiers estate the Crosby Labour Action Team will continue to work with the police, the council and One Vision to ensure that crime and anti-social behaviour throughout the district is tackled."