SAFE Havens for people feeling vulnerable or threatened have been introduced at fire stations across Wirral.

Set up by Wirral Community Safety Partnership, the havens will also provide those individuals with the opportunity to report hate crime or domestic violence.

The scheme stems from work done in London following the death of a teenager who tragically lost his life in an altercation at a local shop in 2008.

Schoolboy Jimmy Mizen was murdered after an attacker hurled an oven dish at him in a London bakery.

The 16-year-old, who had gone to the shop to buy sausage rolls, bled to death after a one-and-a-half-inch shard of glass cut blood vessels in his neck. His killer was jailed for life in 2009 for murder.

The "Safe Haven" will be illuminated at night. If firefighters are not at the station help can be called for an emergency by using a yellow station phone located on the front of the buildings.

The signs have now been placed at stations in Wallasey, Bromborough, West Kirby, Birkenhead, Upton and Heswall.

The Wirral Community Safety Partnership paid for the signs and their installation. 

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service district manager for Wirral, Paul Murphy, said: “A person in distress and in need of sanctuary can approach one of our community fire stations and ask for help and a place of safety.

“Members of the public already consider our community fire stations as places to call on for help.

"This was highlighted during the period of civil disturbance in 2011 when staff from McDonald’s in Birkenhead sought refuge at Birkenhead Community Fire Station in Exmouth Street when their premises were under attack – this initiative formalises that approach.”

Councillor George Davies, Wirral’s cabinet member for housing and community safety, said: “Safe Havens will act as a sanctuary for anybody who feels threatened or vulnerable.

“The term 'vulnerable' could be a victim of crime, hate crime or anti social behaviour The signs display the Safer Wirral logo therefore it implies that it is a safe place to head towards when someone needs support because they are feeling vulnerable.

“Wirral Community Safety Partnership has been instrumental in working in partnership with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service to assist in the development and implementation of the scheme.

“Safe Haven is an excellent vehicle for demonstrating how partnership working can assist our most vulnerable residents in Wirral.”

The Wirral Community Safety Partnership includes Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Merseyside Police and Wirral Council.

Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Most people report crime to the police but for those who can’t, or feel too vulnerable, there will now be somewhere to turn.

"The Safe Haven initiative is a fantastic example of agencies working with the police to support victims of crime within their own communities."