Joint appeal for members of the public to be 'sensible and respectful' at Sefton's beauty spots

Joint appeal for members of the public to be 'sensible and respectful' at Sefton's beauty spots

by Danielle Thompson (May 2020)

MERSEYSIDE Police are joining forces with Sefton Council and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to remind people to continue to be sensible and respectful if they choose to spend time outdoors during the warm weather.

Since restrictions were lifted allowing people to spend more time outside, they have seen a rise in the number of people using local beaches, parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve and Formby, Ainsdale and Sefton beaches.

The advice remains that everyone should maintain social distancing at all times and that people should only meet up with the permitted number of people from other households when outdoors. Public transport should also be avoided other than for essential journeys, and people should only make journeys by cycling, walking or driving in a private vehicle. People also should check in advance of visiting places like National Parks and beaches to make sure they are prepared for visitors. They are also asking people to remain respectful and protect our public spaces. In recent days, they have received reports of excessive littering and fires and BBQs being lit as well as people parking illegally and inconsiderately by blocking driveways and residential roads.

Sefton Superintendent Graeme Robson said: “We understand how frustrated people have been at not being able to leave home for a number of weeks. However our current advice remains that people should remain at home wherever possible and if they choose to leave home they should continue to socially distance and only meet up with the permitted number of people.

“We would also continue to ask people to be respectful if they are visiting local beauty spots. Please don’t leave your litter behind or use camp fires or barbecues. And if you must use your car please have consideration for local residents and other road users.”

A spokesman for Sefton Council added: “Our beaches are tempting but they are not able to cope with high level of visitors at the moment.

“We understand that some lockdown measures have been eased nationally but that does not mean that we are through the worst of this and as ever, the health and safety of our communities comes first.

“For those few who do visit our coastline at this dangerous time, they are advised that stringent parking restrictions are in place, all rubbish must be taken home and BBQs are strictly prohibited along the entirety of the Sefton coastline. At this time we need people to think about their safety and the safety of others, as well as the wellbeing of our communities and Council staff.”

Mersey Fire and Rescue Service station Manager Lauren Woodward said: “We understand that people want to enjoy the current spell of nice weather, but this needs to be done in a way that doesn’t create risks of fire. We have seen a significant increase in our attendance to grass fires in recent weeks. Not only do they cause extensive damage to our natural environment and public amenities, but they also take crews away from dealing with other potentially life-threatening incidents.

“We would urge the public to be especially careful in the hot weather and make sure they dispose of their rubbish, cigarettes and barbecues safe. People should not be lighting fires or barbecues in woodland, on our beaches or in open countryside and they definitely should not be leaving these fires unattended.

 “We would also like to remind people, particularly parents, that deliberately setting a fire is arson. Deliberate fires and investigated. Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s Arson Team will be working with Merseyside Police, Local Authorities and other partner agencies to identify offenders. Please speak to your children about the very real consequences of arson for them and others.”

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