As we came up the escalators at Central Station on a Friday night we were met with a heavy police presence. The police , complete with dogs, were searching any young person as they came off Merseyrail trains for alcohol, drugs and knives and if any were found they were confiscated on the spot - we did not stay to see what happened to the person found in possession of these things.
Filled with apprehension we headed out on to the streets - we did not need to worry. There were no chavs to be seen and there was a good mix of people of all ages out. There was a police presence and on the Albert Dock security men. There were people out running alone including many women near the waterfront and I thought the city centre seemed very safe.
Street begging is a significant problem in Liverpool. As a local I suppose I notice it more than the casual visitor, and I have to admit that whilst I sympathise with people who are homeless through no fault of their own, some of these people really get on my nerves.
Often several times a day I will be approached by someone in the street who asks for 20p for the phone/bus/cup of tea.
A friend of mine once pointed out a young man who was openly begging for money, she told me that she knew this person, he lived in a semi-detached house in her street.
As a rule you are advised (by the police and local authorities) not to give to beggars. The exceptions to this are the sellers of The Big Issue Magazine. These people have large badges displaying their photographs. However these people are NOT allowed to beg for money, just sell you a magazine. They buy their magazines for 40p each and sell them for £1, making 60p profit per magazine. I will sometimes give these people £1 and tell them to keep their magazine, enabling them to sell it again. Occasionally I will come across one who I find quite offensive, with the attitude that you should feel obliged to buy their magazine, and I never do from those people.
I do feel that there are too many pitches for these sellers, it seems that on almost every street corner there is someone thrusting a magazine into your face, but maybe that's just me!
Also, be aware that some people selling the Big Issue may not be genuine. If they haven't got a badge, they have probably stolen the magazines from a genuine seller.
I'm a private hire taxi driver near the Seaforth / Litherland and Bootle area but cover work all over the city and can tell you like every City in the uk and the world it is only a minority that spoil things! Liverpool is a really safe city especially the city centre. It does get rowdy and vibrant of a weekend because of young people partying and these are not just Scousers but people come from all over the uk and Ireland to have Stag and Hen doo's.
avoid football talk if you're not a local unless you have good knowledge and positive opinions. Liverpool and Everton fans are very passionate and some are more bitter towards eachother.
There are pockets of what are called locally SCALLIES (yobs, youths, gangs etc), these are mainly harmless pot smoking hoodies that wear all black tracksuits and north face jackets some will have black hats that cover their ears as well so they can be intimidating to look at but they tend to hang around their own residential areas of which you probably wouldn't need to visit unless on business or going the watch a match.
The south end of the City is the richer with better quality housing in Aigburth, Allerton, Woolton, Gateacre etc.. to the north Waterloo, Crosby, Blundellsands and really middle class and upper class area's north of the city are Formby and all areas leading to Southport are very nice. as is the same on the Wirral once outside of Birkenhead. Every area of the city has good and bad even when you look at the state of some of the run down housing around Liverpool F.C.'s Anfield especially towards the area Everton, Walton, Kirkdale, Vauxhall (Scotland road..Scottie Road) and County Road, Walton by Everton F.C. should be avoided unless you are waiting for a bus back into the city or wherever else you need to go when you've been to a match. Yet the Anfield area leading from the Arkles pub to Utting Avenue towards Norris Green is really nice.
Croxteth and Norris Green are the modern day Toxteth in terms of the place people talk about being the roughest but it's just an underworld scallie gang war and unlike in the States where this happens in mainly areas where Black people live! This is all young white lads in these 2 areas. Toxteth is the area for Black and Asian people but is not known anymore to have so much trouble but still advisable to avoid at night.
Huyton has had it's troubles and so to Kirkby especially the Northwood area but the more likely crimes in all areas are petty car vandalism so do not leave anything on show and always wipe away the smear left on your windscreen from a sat nav as kids will steal such things to sell on for drugs etc. but yet just outside of Kirkby you have nice countryside from Melling, Maghull on to Ormskirk are really nice areas to the east you have St Helens and Rainford a pleasant village.
towards Huyton you have knowsley Village again really pleasant but then you hit Stockbridge Village (Canny Farm) but like every area of the city and it's boundries good and bad. West Derby has some lovely buildings and housing around Liverpool F.C.s Training ground Melwood and Alder Hey Childrens hospital.
the area's as a taxi driver i have had most problems have been Bootle towards Kirkdale, Kirkdale, Walton, Vauxhall and some small parts of Netherton and Sefton so try avoid after hours. friends of mine who cover area's more inside the City say Kensington, Tuebrook and Wavertree are not so pleasant. Stoneycroft, Old Swan, Broadgreen and Dovecot are like everywhere good and bad.
The old Scousers have a great sense of humour thing is true but dying as you will find there's the original Alright laa, how are yeer lad...I'm sound as a pound laa but now you have a younger pot smoking dead head accent which has become popular with kids such as ey lid, sappening kid.....yer mon get on ya in a bizzle kid. HORRIFIES ME!!!
The City Centre is superb i just wish local parents would do more do stop people littering the streets which is a huge problem in Liverpool. as to the council need to get off their backsides.
Liverpool unlike Cities in the States is widely very safe and the likelyhood of being in danger is usually because you've been looking for trouble by way of too much alcohol, drugs etc. you're very unlikely to get shot or stabbed anywhere and these sort of crimes are rare but are real so always be aware. Remember if you're well off avoid mocking Liverpool as it is a working class and very old city and traffic is narrow because the city wasn't built for so many cars so be patient and enjoy a wonderful place.
If you meet these people watch out. They take pictures of everything they see - people, food, places, cars, busses, drinks, cars, signs, menus, shops ... everything! They are typical VT tourists ;-)
Actually I always thought I took way too many pictures.... and then I met Sandy and I knew I wasn't too bad ;)
The people of Liverpool seem to think that it is ok to dispose of rubbish by just throwing it on the floor. The council say they are trying to crack down on it but it doesnt look like they have done alot.
Online check-in is becoming more popular at Liverpool airport, with passengers encouraged to do so by the low cost carriers e.g. Ryanair. However, be aware that there can be problems with the scanners the airport security area use to scan the boarding pass you print for yourself at home. We arrived in good time, queued at security for a lengthy time and then were turned away by security because the scanner couldnt read the bar code on our pass. We had to run back to the regular check-in desks but the desk had closed, so had to find the customer service desk to get a printed card. We only caught our flight because the pilot allowed us to board at the very last minute before the doors were closed. The airport have confirmed this can happen depending on the printer or paper used at home. So although checking in online should allow you to arrive at the airport later, still allow as much time as if you are checking in the regular way.
Im a scouser and lived in liverpool all me life. Like every big city, its has it problems, but if u stay away from the 'bad' areas, you will be sound. If your going into liverpool city centre at night you will not have any problems if u stay in the lit up areas. Dont go to kensington or toxteth of a night as you are asking for trouble from drugged up ethnic gangs. The groups of young lads will be sound with you aslong as u dont gob off. Just let on 2 people by sayin 'alrite' and you will be fine. The outskirts of liverpool are the best places to be for safety.And if ur ever around the halewood area, ill be glad to help u out, epecially if ur fit ;)
Although there is no reason to believe Liverpool is any worse than any other major city if you hit the clubs and bars beware there have been reports of drinks being spiked. Unless you know the buyer get your own drinks from the bar and keep them in sight. If drinking from a bottle keep your thumb over the top if you have any suspicions about thoese around you. If possible go drinking with a friend and watch out for each other. Don't leave you drink on the table or bar to dance and return to it later.
Don't worry unduly or let it spoil your fun but do take care out there.
Well it is a warning to the visitor or any citizen in this town:
"You could be fined up to 500 pounds ... if you drink alcolhol in a public space in this area"
So better think twice!
Liverpool football Clubs have a lot of fans...
As a diehard LFC fan, I desided to go to my Mecca on my 30est birthday, a couple of years ago. It was my first trip to Liverpool. On our way to Anfield, we drove past Goodison, and my heart started to beat even harder.. We parked our car, and started to walk towards Anfield stadium. We walked past walls with crushed bottles glued ontop.. Nothing like I am used to... Anyway, after seeing the Shankley gates, and seeing LFC beat West-Ham 2-0, We went back downtown. I ate something local at the stadium, and was just beginning to feel my stomack beeing upset..
After walking around for 10-15 minutes, seeing the Radio city tower, and the official LFC supporter shop, I felt I really NEEDED a bathroom.. The hotels nearby wouldn't let me use they'res since I was no guest there, and all the pub's were full...... At last we found a fastfood shop were I could go.. My real warning is: Don't use that bathroom in another couples of years ;) It must still be hazardious..
Sabs and I found the most funniest translation mistake in Anfield. At the Albert pub, this sign shall welcome all football fans of the world. The German translation is a bit wrong, as fan (which is also used in German for fan) is translated as ventilation systems. We nearly died laughing in the famous Anfield road!
So dear owner or visitors of this pub, please tell the staff about their mistake! Thanks!!! But keep it how it is, it's so funny!!!
Wherever there are eating places in the city centre, you can't get away from the pigeons, it's as though they have deserted Trafalgar Square in favour of our lovely city.
Whilst it is sometimes fun for kids to feed the birds, these particular pests are classed as vermin, and there are places where you risk being fined if you are caught feeding them.
I'm not aware of anyone having actually being fined, but you should be aware of the potential for this.
St Lukes Church on Bold Street really ought to be a 'must see' (and is in the VT list as such) as the bombed out church is a kind of monument to those killed in the city during the second world war.
Many people know about the 'The Blitz' in London, but heavy bombing occured in other cities - so Liverpool had it's own blitz due to the large dockyards and ship-building yards.
The church has also become a kind of rallying point for various ethically based campaigns, but also, rather annoyingly a regular hangout for many of the citys' drunks.
Considering its reputation, Liverpool is a very safe city, however there are people out there who want to cause trouble. In the centre, the worst times for this are the weekends when everyone is out partying. A few people like to cause fights and others are just looking for drunken people to take advantage of. More or less like any other UK city.
It's best to move around in a group, and stay away from the bar areas if you are not drinking yourself.
When walking home one night, my friend and i were approached by a middle aged man who said something to us which at first i didn't understand. It sounded like -...you got time on yas?', and so i just looked to my friend who was wearing a watch. He too, didn't know what exactly yer man had said so just said 'sorry, what did you say?'.
and so the stranger repeated himself, this time a little more clearly. ''Are yous Evertonians?''. It was clear then that this lad was looking for a fight, and we just said ''no'' and strolled off. We had just had a brush with a potential beating one might say, not me though, im a fast runner. If ever confronted with such situations, i recommend you just say that you don't really like soccer, or that you support a different local team -not one with big rivalrys- in this case 'Tranmere Rovers.