Residents ‘sleep downstairs’ after estate break-ins join forces to defeat crime


Residents of one Merseyside estate “live in fear” and have even found themselves “sleeping downstairs on sofas” after a number of break-ins in the area.
Residents of the new Mulberry Park estate in Kirkby said attempted break-ins and thefts took place over the Christmas season, leaving neighbors “unable to sleep” and “fearing” it would happen again.

Some residents have installed CCTV cameras and spiked fences in an attempt to prevent break-ins or damage to their properties.

Michael, who moved to the area six months ago, told ECHO: “I know of the crimes that took place in Kirkby, but we are in the middle of nowhere. It’s kind of its small place to an extent, there aren’t any stores around us or anything like that.

“It was really like sporadic events. There were broken windows, my neighbor had something quite expensive stolen and there was an attempted break-in.

“It was really horrible when it happened. There was a lot of fear. ”

But a neighborhood WhatsApp group that was set up during the first lockdown to ensure residents had basic needs has since sparked an alliance between neighbors who have come together to tackle the issue at hand.

Michael said window panels were smashed, homes ransacked and some CCTV footage shows attempted break-ins behind properties in people’s gardens.

A few nights before Christmas, he said he and his partner slept on the sofa downstairs and left the television on to keep an eye on the house and hopefully deter someone from breaking into the house.

Michael said: “I didn’t sleep a night before work because of the bang and the outside noise that was made. The next day I spoke to our neighbors and they said we hadn’t slept last night and said the exact same thing.

“At the time this happened, we had this WhatsApp group.

“It could help people who are being robbed or who fear being robbed. It’s not necessarily an estate, even though it’s a dead end with only 10 houses, it’s better than none at all. ”

Michael also praised the police for their high visibility patrols in the area.

He said, “We have 80 cameras between us and we have the WhatsApp group, so if anyone is in trouble, we’re all there, around 100 people, which is really amazing. ”

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Resident Tim Grant started the WhatsApp group when he moved to the area in March and said he would encourage other communities to do the same to support each other in any situation.

He said: “We initially formed the group after we moved in in March. About five days after our move, the first lockdown was announced.

“We just wanted to offer our support to the neighbors. I pass cards to anyone who has moved in recently to offer help if anyone needed to shop or something like that

“We had a few incidents with children stealing things from people’s backyards and then there was a continuation of people talking about what had happened. Everyone has found it reassuring and safe, so we care about each other.

Tim said the group had made some residents aware of crime, but reinforced that there were others to support them.

He said his neighbor’s alarm went off recently in the middle of the night and if it was a false alarm, residents four streets away heard and also arrived to check on the property.

Tim said: “There is a lot of support in the group and people are sharing their experiences.

“Everyone is very satisfied with the group and as soon as new houses are completed on the estate, they hear about the group and want to join it. ”

CCTV footage of attempted burglary on St Kevin’s Drive, Kirkby

CCTV footage was provided to ECHO by a resident of an attempted burglary on St Kevin’s Drive on the estate.

Merseyside Police confirmed at 7.40 p.m. on December 21, two men were jumping over a fence and attempting to damage the doorknobs on a property on St Kevin’s Drive. No damage was caused.

Between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. the same day, Merseyside Police said an unknown offender entered a house on Stonebridge Way and stole a watch.

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Knowsley Community Policing Inspector Peter Rexwinkel said: ‘It is very important that people are vigilant and make sure that they take home safety seriously and I encourage them to report any suspicious persons or vehicles. that they see in their neighborhood.

“Many crimes are averted and people arrested after members of the public report unusual or suspicious activity to the police.

“I also encourage people to make sure their exterior doors are locked, even when they are inside, and to remember to remove the keys from the door.

“It also pays to invest in outdoor security lighting, and on dark nights, use a light timing device to turn the lights on when you’re not inside.

“In January we will see a new dedicated local police team in Kirkby. The new team of 18 gendarmes, three sergeants and an inspector will focus their efforts in the region, continuing to build relationships with the community and fight crime head-on.

“I encourage our local communities to get involved with the team as they play a crucial role in helping us tackle crime and ASBs throughout the Knowsley area.


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