Night time bosses work to make Liverpool the safest place for a night out

The people who look after Liverpool's nightlife are working to make the city centre a safer place.

Twelve years ago, it was voted the safest city in the UK for a night out, but now it's slipped to fourth place.

ITV Granada Reports spent a night in the city centre with John Hughes- who runs Liverpool Nightlife CIC.

He has spent 38 years working in Liverpool's night time economy and now works closely with Liverpool City Council & Merseyside Police to make the streets safer.

John says there is now one of the best CCTV camera systems keeping an eye on Liverpool city centre and bars and clubs are working together to protect their patrons.

The plan is for bars and clubs to link up with a new radio system so they can be in touch and alert other businesses of any possible problems.

Volunteer street pastors work through the night in Liverpool city centre between 10:30pm and 4am to help those who feel vulnerable.

Mark Latham is a Street Pastor. He says: "We are here to help vulnerable people, fully inclusive and none judgmental. If they have had too much to drink or lost their friends, they may have lost their money or their phones and have no way to get home"

Caroline is another street pastor, she says the work can be anything from handing out flip flops to girls without shoes to reuniting friends who have become separated.

The work is continuing to make people feel safe, but groups of women enjoying a night out tell us: "I wouldn't want to walk through the street on my own. I would be fine with other people -but not on my own"

When asked if they would report a sexual assault in a bar some girls told us: "Being groped is just something that happens there is no way to prove it and sometimes if you report it that can cause more distress"

Girls enjoying a night out in Liverpool say they don't feel safe walking on their own Credit: ITV News

Operation Empower, is Merseyside Police's proactive response to preventing sexual violence and protecting women in the Night Time Economy.

Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine says "It's an assault, it's a crime, we want people to report it and we will treat it seriously. It is not OK that women can go out for a night out and be groped by a stranger or someone they know"

Operation Empower involves the deployment of officers, in key locations on busy nights or at important events, who are specially trained to identify potential offenders who are loitering, or giving unwanted attention to women.

Throughout the Christmas and New Year period extra police officers are out in Liverpool city centre and towns across Merseyside to ensure that people can enjoy a night out safely.

In November Merseyside Police launched the “Walk & Talk” scheme that gives women and girls the opportunity to join up with police officers out on patrol to discuss their concerns and worries about feeling safe.