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Chief Constable Serena Kennedy recognises officers and staff following busy Christmas period

7 months ago

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy recognises officers and staff following busy Christmas period

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy has recognised the work of officers and staff across the force following the Christmas and New Year period.

The festive season is always a busy time for Merseyside Police. This year they have received 13,624 calls between Sunday 24 December 2023 and Monday 1 January 2024.

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “The Christmas and New Year period is of course a time for celebration and spending time with family and I know the public will join me in wanting to thank all the police officers and staff who worked over this busy and challenging time.

“At Merseyside Police, we are dedicated to protecting our communities during the festive period, as we are every other day of the year.

“With proactive policing addressing local issues and targeting offenders, and the increase in incidents requiring a response, the pressures on the police service during the busy festive period has seen officers working around the clock to ensure we continue to protect our communities and deliver the service people expect and deserve in Merseyside.

“Between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, many police officers and staff were foregoing festive family time, working day and night shifts to protect the public and put criminals behind bars. Our communities will rightly expect that our officers and staff work unsociable hours, which we do to protect the public.

“I see their commitment and dedication to the force on a daily basis and I am proud of the work they do and this will continue in 2024.”

A major part of Merseyside Police’s work over the festive period was Operation Shepherd, which is an annual campaign to keep communities safe during the Christmas season.

It’s an extensive forcewide operation involving a wide variety of teams, each with their own area of expertise, and they all play a part.

A number of key arrests were made through Op Shepherd for various offences, including business burglaries in the city centre.

It’s not only the festive season that has now concluded, but also Operation Limit, which is the annual drink and drug driving campaign.

This year’s Op Limit, which ran from 21st November 2023 to 1st January 2024, saw officers arrest 191 drink drivers and 469 drug drivers. Overall, 123 more arrests were made than in the previous year.

One of the major incidents that police responded to during the festive period was a stabbing on Wednesday 27 December when three males were injured following a disturbance in Safe House bar on Victoria Street.

One of the males – a 21-year-old man – sustained stab wounds at the junction of Church Street and Whitechapel and officers gave him first aid at the scene before he was taken to hospital, where he remains in a stable condition. An investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

The incident led to increased patrols and disruption work across the city centre and between 24th December and 1st January, a total of 94 people were arrested in the city centre for a variety of offences.

This ongoing disruption work also continued in the Everton area after two men sustained gunshot wounds to their legs on Wednesday 13 December.

Serena Kennedy

Chief Inspector Tony Fairhurst said: “There has been an increased policing presence in the Everton area since the firearms discharge on Wednesday 13th December and this continued throughout the festive period.

“We have now arrested 153 people since this shocking incident and we will continue to relentlessly pursue anyone involved in serious organised crime, including the use of guns and the supply and distribution of drugs.

“Information from our communities is vital, so please get in touch either with Merseyside Police or anonymously through Crimestoppers to help us rid the streets of firearms and drugs.”

Chief Constable Kennedy said: “These types of incidents are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Our police officers and staff understand the risks of the job, but they should never have to tolerate violence against them when they are simply attempting to carry out their duties.

“The impact of these assaults should not be underestimated. It can have a huge impact on their physical and mental wellbeing as well as their families and can of course take an officer off the streets for a period of time, putting added pressure on other officers.

“Merseyside Police fully supports Operation Hampshire, which is a national project rolled out across all forces with the aim of supporting officers who are victims of assault.

“Through Operation Hampshire we are committed to changing the culture and improving the way assaults are understood, talked about and reported.”

Chief Constable Kennedy added: “We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting and serving the communities of Merseyside. Our police officers and staff are there 24/7, 365 days a year, committed to serving victims, fighting crime and protecting you and all our communities.

“As we reflect on last year and now look forward to 2024, on behalf of the entire force, I wish everyone a happy new year.”

Find out more about Merseyside Police HERE.

Get the latest for Liverpool HERE.

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