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Kirkby: The UK's first official 'no go zones' set up.

Police declare parts of Kirkby 'designated areas'

At 1800 hrs tonight, the 19th of March 2004, a piece of history was made when it was declared that police could use new powers to declare an exclusion zone or 'designated area' in areas which are suffering from anti social behaviour. Southdene has been chosen to be the first working class area in the UK to try out the latest experiment to stop anti social crime.

'Designated Area'

The introduction of the 'Designated Area' will initially encompass the shops at Park Brow, with the junction of Broad Lane, and also Roughdale Avenue in Kirkby, where the Mother and Baby unit is situated. The new powers will enable police to stop any more than two youths from congregating, and give officers additional powers to make arrests. The designated area was authorised by Merseyside Police and is supported by Knowsley's Joint Agency Group, which along with Merseyside Police consists of Knowsley Council, Knowsley Housing Trust and the local Youth Offending and Drug and Alcohol Action Teams. The Drug Action and Alcohol teams seem to have done little here in Kirkby which has a very high incidence of alcoholics and drug addicts. We reward drug addiction and alcohol dependency by giving the 'victims' top rates of benefits. Local smack-heads get more benefits than our local pensioners or even victims of cancer and other REAL illnesses. No wonder Kirkby's falling apart. No wonder England's falling apart.

No-one can deny that some of the gangs there need sorting out. The attack which was the final straw for local police was the threat by the local youth to firebomb a mother and baby unit. But the area itself has been plagued by an onslaught of anti social crime which is far too extensive to list here. Some of the crime includes bricking buses, taxis, ambulances, fire engines and ordinary cars. Grown men have been jumped and almost killed by packs of teenagers. Windows are smashed, cars stolen; people victimised and left in fear. The community itself is in fear from the minority who live amongst us. Kirkby Police, a few years back, saw a man stabbed to death right outside the station. We have had several murders since and dozens of vicious beatings never reported by the Echo, nor archived on the Police's own website.

Inspector Firth is the Neighbourhood Support Inspector for Tower Hill, Northwood, Kirkby Central, Knowsley North Industrial Estate, Westvale, Whitefield, Southdene, Field Lane, and Melling Mount. On 19 March 2004, he had the following to say to the Liverpool Echo……….

"I will work to use the new legislation to create a zone around the unit [mother and baby unit] and the nearby houses where youth congregate. It will allow my officers to disperse groups of youths and issue orders banning then from returning within 24hrs" He also added "If we catch them again, we can arrest them"

Survival of the fittest.

This new legislation is similar to the old 'sus' laws which gave the police powers to declare areas as 'stop & search zones' if they anticipated that 'serious incidents of violence' may take place. Whilst no-one is complaining about a gang being excluded from harassing the community, there is a wider political implication to this legislation as it could also be used in a political manner to suppress protests. Often the government will use social problems to bring about more laws which stop the rights of crowds to lawfully gather. It also shows the failure of the council to actually stop the anti social behaviour at an early age. The appalling lack of youth facilities and the generation gap between the councillors and the youth does not help matters. Political apathy has seen the community gradually sink into a survival of the fittest or 'look after No 1' mentality where the 'baddies', not local politicians or community leaders, are the role models for a lot of our kids. This latest piece of legislation simply proves that the police are becoming more and more stretched. The mobile prison is an exercise in spin-doctoring, it's not as if the police are going to be that busy nicking people that they actually need it. New Labour have a passion for creating mobile offices, we have mobile police cells, mobile job centres, mobile clinics and mobile teen heath centres driving around and parking up every so often. The police can always open up the cells at Kirkby Police Station if they catch enough people.

Police mopping up after failed political initiatives.

The local Labourites, with their politically correct 'reward the bad' schemes are not helping the police much; the police spend most of their time 'mopping up' after failed political initiatives which lead to more social problems. The problem of the Mum and Baby Unit could have been tackled easily by any councillor with genuine support and a presence in the community; why, we may ask, did local councillors not take the initiative and visit places where vulnerable people reside? These councillors only knock when they want our vote. You would like to hope that locals themselves could have stopped the attacks, even if it meant slapping a few of the ringleaders. Of course that would be illegal, but even the police would admit that sometimes the law itself needs breaking when a crisis presents itself. When it comes to youth or anyone else threatening to firebomb mothers and babies, they deserve a good hiding. If every decent person in Kirkby stood side by side, we would crush those messing up our community. The lowlife threatening our elderly and our women and kids have got to be tackled at ALL levels of society from the cheating swindling lying politicians to the La Coste track-suited 13 year rebel without a cause who wants to fight the world beginning with his neighbours.

The money was there to solve these problems.

Kirkby Times has documented the manner in which Millions of pounds in Kirkby have simply vanished without any accountability from the local community leaders. Those locals who were involved with the likes of Northwood SRB money have a lot of explaining to do. From the £14,000 Northwood Community Garden at Northwood house, to the non declaration of going concerns and businesses by people who have had massive payments from the SRB funds. This money has been diverted from the socially vulnerable and the needy. Unless our local politicians and community leaders can show accountability when millions of pounds of public money is concerned, the so called 'War on Yobs' as the Echo termed it, is hypocritical. If grown adults can't show social responsibility, then do we really expect our kids to?

As ever, comments are welcome.

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