Finally, regarding statements (v) and (vi) - about the involvement of the Police - we can find no evidence of past incidents which might be said to justify the building of the wall. Nor have the Police been able to confirm having given any advice to the residents of Byron Court, prior to the wall being built. Having read the Byron Court Management Company's Landowner Evidence Form and covering letter, I lodged a Freedom of Information Act request on 1st November 2016 to obtain details of all communications between Merseyside Police and the residents of Byron Court. The FOI Act response (21 Nov 2016, enclosed as Annex 20) indicates that the only contact with the Police was AFTER the wall was built. This is what Sgt Frank Stott, of the Architectural Liaison Unit, wrote following a visit to Byron Court on 4th July 2016:
"[A Byron Court resident] explained that the development had been experiencing problems with local criminals who were using the development for dumping and hiding vehicles and when challenged by residents they had become increasingly aggressive. ... In addition to this the grounds were being used for anti-social behaviour with sexual activity also being reported as taking place. ... Some residents had previously said that they had become increasingly worried actually walking within the grounds due to people living on adjacent roads driving at speed through the development and exiting via a hole left within a perimeter wall. This had not been re-instated by the original builders. It is this wall which had now been re-instated at cost by the residents."
Disappointingly, Sergeant Stott went on to say: "From a Crime Reduction perspective I would fully support the reinstatement of a section of wall and fencing at the rear of this development. … In my opinion the gap or access point that previously existed is a potential crime generator that need not be there, and would compromise not only the security of this development, but that of the adjacent Glenacres estate. I see no reason to retain the gap as it would only allow access to the development and I believe has in the past existed purely as an informal link between two areas."
Interestingly, Sergeant Stott's report concluded with the comment that "Crime attached to this development is virtually non-existent". This is confirmed by the statistics of crime/ASB with which I have been supplied as part of the same FOI Act response (see Annex 20). There were NO reports at all of Anti-social Behaviour in Byron Court L25 6LY between 17 Dec 2011 and 16 Oct 2016, and only ONE incident of Crime between 17 Oct 2011 and 16 Oct 2016. That incident was "violence against the person" on 11 Oct 2016 - i.e. long after the wall was built.
On 28th November 2016 (see Annex 21) I asked for a meeting with Sergeant Stott, to be attended by Councillor Malcolm Kelly, who was a city councillor when Byron Court was built (1999-2001) and would be able to confirm that there was no existing wall or fence at that time. However, on 12th December Sergeant Stott declined this request, stating (see Annex 22) that "until such time as the legal status of the way has been determined, I regret that I cannot see any point in a meeting with you and Councillor Kelly".
Continued . . .