Four extra police officers will patrol Bold Street as part of plans to 鈥渢ake back control鈥?of the area following a recent crime spree.

More than 100 people packed into the Leaf restaurant yesterday to raise concerns about regular break-ins and anti-social behaviour which is threatening the future of the trendy area of the city centre .

Police on Bold Street

After what was described as a heated but positive meeting Local Policing Superintendent Mark Wiggins announced that four extra officers would immediately be put on patrol in the area to try and stem the tide of crime taking place.

This news was welcomed by Liverpool council environment chief, Cllr Steve Munby who was also present and said he had not realised the scale of the problem in Bold Street.

He said: 鈥淚 put my hands up and apologised to the business owners for not tackling these issues sooner - we have now got to get back control of Bold Street so that the public and business owners feel safe.

鈥淭here were a lot of people at the meeting who were understandably very angry and upset - they have invested a lot of time and money in the area.

鈥淯nfortunately when an area becomes successful it can be come a magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour and we have to act quickly to stop this now.?/p>

Last week the ECHO reported how popular venues like Koop, Bakchich and Crust have all been targetted by smash-and-grab thieves in recent weeks, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

This followed news that independent traders in the Dale Street area have also been regularly broken into recently, with the Dale Street Eatery and the Dead Crafty Beer Company the latest victims.

In Bold Street, business owner Otto Mellouki- who is behind Koop, Bakchich and Kasbah - said other issues include the cleanliness of the area and the number of so-called 鈥減rofessional beggars鈥?operating.

Otto Mellouki (left) and staff members from Koop are asking for help after becoming victims of the crime spree in the city centre

He said: 鈥淭here are genuinely homeless people but there are also lots of people who are just opportunistic and its not good for the area.?/p>

He said he was pleased with the police commitment but said more needs to be done.

He said: 鈥淚ts very good to see how seriously the police are taking the issues we are facing.

鈥淏ut we need the council and the Business Improvement District to help now too, it is going to take time but we all want the best for Bold Street.

鈥淭his is about taking back control of the street that we all love - created by independents, for independents - we care about Bold Street very much.?/p>

Merseyside Police Area Commander Supt Mark Wiggins said: "We are very much aware of the concerns of the local business community over the recent rise in crime against businesses around the Bold Street area which is not acceptable.
"We are working in partnership with the City Council, the Business Improvement District and the businesses themselves to address this issue with a view to bringing the perpetrators before the courts to face justice.
"With this in mind we have increased the number of patrols in Bold Street and the surrounding area and will welcome any information from the community about those responsible and their whereabouts to help us tackle this problem."