Steps to protect properties made vacant by regeneration work in Anfield, Liverpool, have led to several arrests and prosecutions.
Liverpool City Council, aware of how vacant properties can act as a magnet for crime, took measures to protect remaining residents during the change. Since the initiative started in April, special patrols have caught a number of people in empty properties, including someone coming out of a house with a wheelbarrow full of copper piping.
Empty houses are being protected by monitored alarms, by steel or polymer screens on windows and doors and by removing combustibles and valuable items. Special projects have included clearing rubbish from three streets know as the V streets, and from back and front gardens of empty and, where accessible and necessary, occupied housing. The work has been undertaken by 2020 Liverpool, the joint venture company owned by support services provider Mouchel Parkman and Liverpool City Council, and empty property protection staff from the Liverpool branch of Orbis Property Protection and the emergency services.
What they say
John Oakley, Liverpool City Council’s neighbourhood manager, said: "We value working with Orbis. It is one of a range of measures Liverpool City Council has put in place for residents who are living through change. We are also working with local communities and other partners such as Arena Housing and Merseyside Police to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in neighbourhoods undergoing extensive regeneration." Arson Reduction Advocate for Liverpool District at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, John Arslanian said: “This area was becoming a growing area of concern for us. Earlier this year the Fire Service was called out nearly 50 times in just one month to the V-Streets, now the number of fires has reduced dramatically. This is all thanks to the partnership work that has taken place with Orbis and other agencies.” The security and clean up scheme is funded by the Housing Market Renewal Initiative. To the end of September 2006, Orbis has looked after some 400 empty properties in the Anfield and Breckfield area for Liverpool 2020.