WE asked the public to send in their questions that they would like head of St Helens policing Steve Brizell to answer, and here are the answers to three of them.

The Star had an opportunity to send three of the public’s questions. Here are the questions and his answers below:

Question 1: Considering people with mental and cognitive disabilities in St Helens. A considerable amount of these persons present with behavioural challenges due to sensory and mental health problems and other triggers.

Are St Helens police officers trained in how to support them appropriately?


Answer from Supt Steve Brizell: “Police officers go through a rigorous training programme in their initial two years of joining the police, and during this training they receive specialist inputs to help them support and deal with people suffering from mental health or cognitive issues.

“This training continues throughout their careers.

“For example, police officers receive annual refresher training on how to recognise and deal with Acute Behavioural Disorder (ABD) in the safest way possible for all those involved in these distressing incidents.

“Merseyside Police also has specially trained officers that work alongside a mental health nurse as a deployable resource in Mental Health Triage Cars.

“These specialist officers and the nurse are deployed to incidents to support the operational officers at the scene and provide the best care possible to people we are dealing with when there are concerns regarding their mental health and vulnerability.”

Question 2 - With policing budgets being stretched more and more each year and being in the unfortunate position of having to prioritise certain areas of crime in the borough, what key priorities for policing and crime in St Helens do you consider most important given your experience of crime in St Helens as a whole?


Supt Steve Brizell said: “Policing in 2023 is complex and it cannot take place successfully without working closely in partnership with lots of different agencies including the Local Authority in St Helens, community groups and charities.

“The first priority will always be to ensure the officers based in St Helens and my senior team work in partnership with these groups to ensure we put the community first.

“Prevention is also another key priority – the absence of crime and disorder is an important measure for the police, so ensuring that we focus on reducing vulnerability and preventing crime and disorder from taking place in the first place is crucial.

“The positive impact that a focus on prevention and partnership working has on community resilience is clear, strengthening community resilience to then reduce crime levels over the long term will always be another key priority.

“From a crime perspective, our day to day and weekly priorities will always reflect what issues are currently affecting St Helens at that point in time.

“My team meets with partners each week to review the crime incidents that have taken place over the previous week and then plan the response from a policing perspective for the week ahead – the operational focus and deployments of police officers’ priorities will change regularly, based on crime data, overlayed with professional judgement.

Question 3 - Do you still do police clubs for kids in school like the one I was part of about 20 years ago? We got a tour of the station, cells and police van! Would love for you to bring them back


Supt Brizell said: “We do still run a police club over the summer holidays called Fuzzfest. Keep an eye on our Facebook for the 2024 calendar of events.

“We also provide funding and support for several community groups and are happy to introduce young people to the police through these groups.

“Local officers also visit schools in the area, and the primary schools sometimes ask for an input about the work of the police for the younger pupils – this is often a fun opportunity for the children to try on items of uniform and see the inside of a police vehicle.

“I know the officers enjoy these visits, and it is important that younger members of the community know that police officers are here to help.

“The Police Cadets programme is also an option for young people wanting to learn more about policing whilst making new friends and enjoying fun learning opportunities.

“Unfortunately, the modern custody suite is a busy environment, so we are unable to provide visits for community groups.”

The Star will have an opportunity in the next few months to put more of the public's questions to Supt Steve Brizell, keep an eye out on our social media channels so you can ask your question, for it to be considered.

Questions must be on overarching issues and not individual cases or ongoing cases.