Merseyside Police add ID signs on motorway bridges to help respond to people in crisis

The initiatives aim to help people in emergency situations such as potential suicides or traffic collisions.

Merseyside Police, Wirral Council and mental health charity, Wirral Mind, have joined forces to launch two new initiatives to help people in crisis.

One part of the project has seen a series of numbered signs installed on motorway bridges in Wirral to help the public and emergency services to identify locations in the event of an emergency – such as traffic collisions or potential suicides.

Sergeant Haydn Ward of Merseyside Police. Image: Merseyside Police/twitter

Merseyside Police said the emergency services have experience delays in helping people, when callers cannot provide an exact location.

Sharing the news on Twitter, alongside a video on the M53, Merseyside Police have recieved a mixed response to the project, however, one user said: “Forward thinking excellent. I’ve lived on that road for 25 years had to stop a few times to talk to people.”

Sergeant Haydn Ward of Merseyside Police said: “The most important thing for us when we’re trying to respond to a person in crisis is being able to get to them quickly. Our contact resolution officers who answer emergency calls are fantastic, but if the person can’t give us a precise location then there’s going to be a delay, and if we don’t know where they are we can’t put safety measures into action.

“I’ve been championing these signs since I experienced first-hand, as a response officer, what the consequences of a delay are to someone in crisis. Now I think I’ll rest a little easier.”

Suicide awareness

Another part of the project involves training in suicide awareness, which is now available to anyone - either online with the Zero Suicide Alliance, or by attending a training session delivered by Wirral Mind.

Launching on Monday, just a couple of weeks after World Suicide Prevention Day, the partnership initiative has been jointly funded by Merseyside Police and Wirral Council.