Merseyside Police, supported by colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA), has joined forces with a number of partner agencies to conduct a day of action against those believed to be involving in gun and gang crime in Liverpool North today (Wednesday, 24 September).
Officers from the force and the NCA executed ten warrants in Liverpool North area, three in Crawford Close, West Derby and seven in the surrounding area, at 7am this morning.
Searches are on-going at these properties and officers have already recovered, what are believed to be, two firearms and an amount of cannabis.
Working alongside partners, including Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and Liverpool Housing Trust (LHT), the force has co-ordinated a range of supplementary action and initiatives aimed at improving the local area and engaging with the community, whilst targeting those believed to be involved in gun and gang crime.
Some of the operational activity taking place today will include:
• An open land search on the Loop Line, which is a disused railway track used by walkers and cyclists, and as an access point for people that live close by. The unique point about the Loop Line is that is cuts through three police Areas of Merseyside (Knowsley, Liverpool North and South Liverpool).
• A "community open house” will be opened in Crawford Close today and will provide a "One Stop Shop” facility for members of the local community who may have queries, or need advice and assistance. The open house will be staffed by representatives from the different partners involved in today's action and will be open to the public for the next few days and is an on-going initiative.
• High visibility patrols by officers from the Mounted Section and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) who will be on hand to reassure members of the local community and answer any queries they may have
Inspector Susan Stribling , said: "The activity today shows the community what can be achieved when we work together.
"Today is about disrupting criminal activity and showing the many decent people, who live in areas where gun and gang crime has been an issue, that we are there for them. Information from our communities is vital in helping us to build up evidence and take robust action against those who are causing misery on our streets through fear and intimidation and the use of firearms. There were a couple of firearms incidents in this area earlier this year and we are determined to send out a message to those involved in gun crime that we will work hard to build up an evidential picture and we will arrest you and put you before the courts. It may take time to build up that evidence, but we will not rest until those involved in gun crime are brought to justice.”
Detective Chief Inspector Tom Keaton, Merseyside Police’s Matrix Serious Organised Crime Team, said: "It is vital that the local community provides us with information about those involved in serious and organised crime and the use of firearms. You need to help us build that safe environment for your families. My commitment to you, is that we will take positive action against the information you provide us, actively targeting those who engage in such crimes, their families and their friends, which will ultimately provide you with a safer community.
"We are totally committed to tackling serious and organised crime and will relentlessly pursue those we suspect are involved in it. We will continue to work with other agencies to make life as difficult as possible for those involved in this type of criminality who choose to carry firearms.
"Clearly the use of firearms is of great concern to the community, as it is to us. There will be an increased uniform presence in the area and I would encourage anyone with concerns to talk to those officers, or their dedicated neighbourhood team.
"We remain committed to disrupting all illegal activity and organised criminality, but cannot do this without the help of the local community. Information from the public is vital for us in the fight against organised criminality and gun crime and I would appeal to anyone who has information to talk to us. If you do not wish to talk to us directly you can always call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. We can't do this without the community and we need you to continue to give us information. We do not care how the information is provided only that it is provided.
Anyone with information about gun or drug related crime can contact the specialist Matrix Serious Organised Crime team on 0800 230 0600, or the independent Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555 111.