Funding from the MVRP has meant a network of public safety emergency contact points has been set up across the busiest parts of Wirral. In total, 28 Emergency Help Points have been installed throughout the borough in town centres, coastal areas and close to other places where people are likely to gather or visit.
Woman standing in front of an emergency help point
At each help point there is a direct, two-way audio connection with the council’s Emergency Control Centre that people can use if they find themselves in difficulty or danger. The help points are backed up by CCTV surveillance cameras so control centre operators can immediately monitor the situation and alert emergency services if necessary.
The idea behind the installation of the help points is to improve community safety and provide public reassurance. It is hoped their presence will reduce the risk of violent crime and violence against women and girls.
The Emergency Help Points are clearly identifiable by distinctive yellow signage directing people to the audio connection.
Cllr Helen Cameron, Chair of the Tourism, Communities, Culture and Leisure Committee for Wirral Council, said: “These help points could literally provide a lifeline for someone who finds themselves in difficulty or feeling threatened on our streets for whatever reason. Linking directly to the CCTV control centre, an operator there can talk to them directly, provide reassurance and arrange for them to be assisted by emergency services or other partner agencies if necessary.”
There is a variety of reasons why ‘callers’ might need to use an Emergency Help Point, which includes situations where they:
Need 999 assistance – Ambulance/Fire/Police/Coastguard
Need to report a missing child/person
Need to report a crime or incident of anti-social behaviour they are witnessing
Need help dealing with a vulnerable person due to age, physical health, mental health, etc.
Have suffered violence or feel at risk of violence
Fear for their own or someone else’s safety
This initiative has been funded by the MVRP and Wirral Community Safety Partnership.