Merseyside Police reward schoolchildren who took part in their Anti-Off Road Bike Campaign

Last night Merseyside Police hosted a special prize-giving event which rewarded Sefton schoolchildren who were involved in an anti-scrambler bike education project that ran last year.

The project was set up by Constable Alan Thompson from Bootle Neighbourhood team, Sefton Council and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and aims to highlight the impact off-road bikes have on local communities in Sefton.

Early in 2017, Year 5 pupils at the schools received education on the dangers of off-road bikes and impact they cause in their communities. Assemblies have been given to each of the primary schools from Merseyside Police, Sefton Council Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and Alder Hey Hospital. Once the pupils returned to school to begin their Year 6 studies, they each designed and filmed a 90-second video. They have also taken part in a trip to Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre and an awareness day in the Yorkshire Dales, where demonstrations were given on how to use bikes appropriately at designated locations.

Andy Grant talks to pupils

The 15 winners of the video competition will be presented their certificates by Andy Grant, former Royal Marine, motivational speaker, athlete and star of ITV show Paragon and Pete Price from Radio City, before the grand unveiling of the top-secret children’s prize, a ski trip to Scotland. Their videos will also be used in a publicity campaign in the Sefton area.

Chief Constable and Inspector Ian Jones

Merseyside Police Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: “We know that these bikes can cause significant nuisance, stress and danger to members of our communities across Merseyside, and we will continue to stand alongside our partners and communities in our commitment to eradicating the problem. We strongly believe that education and engagement is vital, so that parents, guardians and future generations understand the impact and harm that we see on a regular basis. Together, we can all make a difference to make our streets safer.

“We hope that by getting involved in this exciting project, these young people have learned some valuable lessons to share far and wide, and that they enjoy tonight’s event and their reward.”

Pete Price

Merseyside Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “I’m delighted to see this great local initiative running for a second year.

“Nuisance bikes are a blight on the whole community. That is why it is so important we engage with young people from an early age to make them aware of the potential dangers and help steer them away from getting involved with the anti-social and illegal use of bikes. It is clear from the videos which have been produced that, once again, the pupils involved have shown real enthusiasm and energy for this project. Their work will be used to send out a strong message about the harm these bikes can cause.”

“I congratulate the winners and all the young people who have taken part, as well as the officers and staff who have worked on this fantastic campaign.”

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “It is really pleasing to see so many Sefton school pupils being recognised like this through such an important project.

“Our local communities have told us how scrambler bikes are a problem for them and through this initiative important messages about the risks and dangers of using them have been learnt.

“It is also another great example of partnership working and engaging with our communities to make Sefton a safer place for everyone.”

For more information on off-road bikes and the campaign against them, head to the Merseyside Police website here.

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