A range of measures are being introduced to make Walton a safer place for businesses and shoppers.
The three-point security plan is being launched to make traders on County Road more secure and ensure it is a desirable place to shop.
The work will see CCTV on the road using cameras previously used to monitor the decommissioned bus lanes, and the installation of high powered security lights in alleyways to deter thieves entering the rear of businesses.
In addition, a 24 hour monitored alarm system – CountyCall – is being installed at dozens of businesses to tackle security concerns. It will give up to 200 retailers a link to a control room monitored by local telecare provider VNC Lifeline. An SOS facility will be discreetly fitted into the retail units with agreed protocols and code words established so that in the event of a burglary, VNC Lifeline will summon emergency assistance to the retailer from their control centre, particularly benefiting those businesses associated with the night time economy.
It is all part of work being spearheaded by the County Road Community Interest Company (CiC) and the local Mary Portas High Street Innovation Fund which has secured money to deliver improvements in the area.
Councillor Roy Gladden, Chair of the Mary Portas High Street Innovation Fund – pictured above with Hannah Back from VNC Lifeline and Inspector Diane Pownall from Merseyside Police – said: “We’re determined to make County Road one of the best shopping districts in the city again.
“The social impact of this project is huge in terms of acting as a deterrent for criminals, reassuring retailers and shoppers and supporting our wider commitment to the ongoing regeneration of North Liverpool.”
Terry May, Chair of County Road CiC, who owns the bars Segura and Bernie May’s on County Road, added: “Everyone should feel safe at work. There is a sense of fear amongst staff, and we as business owners are responsible for their wellbeing and protection, so we are delighted with the introduction of CountyCall.”
The project is being jointly funded through the Mayor’s Neighbourhood Fund in conjunction with County CIC, and has also attracted interest from other partner organisations including Everton FC who are sponsoring part of the project within their ‘Blue Mile’ initiative in the County Road area.
Using the slogan “Shopping Like It Should Be”, the CIC has already created a brand identity for the area, a newsletter for local businesses, introduced hanging baskets and a series of arts projects including a spectacular mural on the former Ethel Austin building created by street artist Whoam Irony.