Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson meets anti-violence campaigners

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with Time4Change website founders Danny Newell and Nick Peters

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has met with two anti-violence campaigners who have set up a groundbreaking new website.

Danny Newell from Lunt and Nick Peters from Old Roan set up the Time4Change website after their friend, a heavily pregnant 18-year-old was violently attacked while walking near to Switch Island.

Danny and Nick were so incensed by the attack, they set up the website to raise awareness about the levels of violent crime on our street.

The site has gone from strength to strength and now has the backing of Google who donated the web address to the pair.

Nick said: "We've had a fantastic reaction to the site since its launch just last month. We've had lots of contact from people throughout the area and beyond saying that they like the site and the idea behind it and we've had lots of stories from people who have been through violent attacks themselves.

"But while it was mainly aimed at the victims of crime it is now getting to people who were involved in crime. We are getting lots of feedback from people who were involved in crime but who are reading stories about the real life aftermath of their actions and they are realising just how much harm they have been doing.

"Unfortunately, attacks on females by males is a lot more common than you would think. Just last week we had people on the site saying that a girl was attacked. That's why we set up the website.

"Near to where I live there are gangs on the streets. We need to raise awareness to them and to the wider community of the damage they can do if they engage in antisocial behaviour and violence."

Nick and Danny say they have been invited into schools to talk to pupils about the site and they are hoping to turn Time4Change into an anti-violence organisation.

Danny said: "We are reaching people with the message that there are long-term affects of violence.

"We want to roll out this website to other areas so that the Time4Change movement is benefiting other communities throughout the country and beyond. And we also want to create a proper organisation which allows us to go into schools and talk to young people about the dangers of gangs and violence.

"So it's great that we've already been contacted by some schools to go in and talk to the pupils and Sefton Youth Council also want to get involved.

"But there is a very real danger that the closure of the youth centres will see more young people on the streets who will become targets for gangs and we will see violent crime increase. Then on top of that there will be less police on the streets.

"It's going to cost a lot more in the long run than the cost of running the youth centres.

"So the government and council cuts will have a direct impact on violent crime and we will see increases in incidents because of that.

"Our website and the service it provides will be more valuable than ever."

Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson said Nick and Danny's initiative was proactive and could help lots of people.

Bill said: "Lots of people would have been out for revenge after seeing their pregnant friend attacked so viciously, but Nick and Danny have turned this into something positive.

"The fact they are raising the issue of violence on our street s is a very good thing and will help us to be able to get to the root of the problem to begin addressing the issues.

"I am pleased that the site is proving useful to victims of crime and even people who have been themselves involved in crime. By highlighting the distress the case has caused, it could very well make them think twice before they strike.

"The lads make a very valid point that the Tory-Lib Dem cuts which are resulting in the axing of youth centres in Sefton and Duke of Edinburgh schemes, as well as the massive cuts to police numbers in Merseyside will have a very marked effect on antisocial behaviour.

"But I applaud Nick and Danny on their initiative and wish them every success for the site and the organisation which I am sure will be a success for our communities."


To see the site, go to www.time4change2011.co.uk

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