AN initiative to reduce violent crime and anti-social behaviour in St Helens town centre will be “invaluable”, the borough’s area commander has said.

A police research document obtained by the Local Democracy Reporter Service has revealed there were 395 violence-related offences recorded in the town centre between January 2016 and August of this year.

Merseyside Police has collated the data to support its application for a review of the Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) in the town centre.

CIAs allow local authorities and its partners to have a greater say when reviewing applications for licensed premises.

A Special Cumulative Impact Policy (SCIP), as it was previously called, was previously approved for Westfield Street and Ormskirk Street in January 2016.

A public consultation concludes this week over proposals to extend the CIA to cover the whole of the Town Centre ward and any licencing application that intends to sell alcohol.

“Initiatives like this are invaluable in managing what are extremely busy areas of our night-time economy,” St Helens Local Policing Supt Louise Harrison said.

“I must emphasise that the report covers a specific time period and is not necessarily reflective of the efforts that partnerships have put in place to make the area safe.

“Naturally, areas of higher footfall will result in more of these reports coming into police.

“Our main focus in all of this is that we will not tolerate violence at any licensed premises in St Helens and will use all available powers to investigate incidents and take the necessary action.

“Key to this is continuing to work closely with our local authorities, partners and owners and licensees, to keep those communities who live, work and enjoy these places as safe as we possibly can.”

Supt Harrison provided the document to St Helens Council’s licensing and environmental protection committee last month.

The majority of violent crime recorded over the three-year period were actual bodily harm, with common assault and battery the second most common.

Other offences included grievous bodily harm, wounding with intent, assault on a police officer, manslaughter, harassment, stalking and threats to kill.

The document also details where the offences took place, although Supt Harrison stressed the purpose of the report is not to “name and shame bars”.

She said the assessment provides a framework around which the police can highlight any issues and then request that preventative measures are considered for any licensing applications.

According to the report, Bar 44 in Westfield Street was the location that had the most recorded offences over the three-year period, with 36.

Elsewhere on Westfield Street, there were 15 offences recorded at The VIP Lounge, and 14 at The Wheatsheaf.

In Ormskirk Street, Breeze Bar had the most recorded offences with 35, which represents almost 38 per cent of all violence-related offences on the street over the three-year period.

Imperial Bar recorded 21 offences, which represents almost 23 per cent of all violence-related offences on Ormskirk Street over the three years.

In Duke Street, The Green Room recorded the most offences with 11, representing almost 31 per cent of all violence-related offences on the street over the three-year period.

The town’s bars are not the only businesses that have been affected by violent crime, with a number of offences recorded at taxi offices and takeaways.

AtoB Taxis on Baldwin Street has seen four recorded violence-related offences over the past three years.

McDonald’s on Chalon Way West has also seen four incidents, equating to 40 per cent of all violence-related offices in the street.