Armed officers to patrol streets of Liverpool as part of ongoing fight against gun crime

Armed officers will patrol the streets of Liverpool as part of Merseyside Police’s ongoing fight against gun crime.

Following a number of firearms incidents across Merseyside, and particularly around the L8 area, high visibility patrols have been stepped up in key areas to offer reassurance to local communities.

Armed police officers will also be patrolling around the L8 area on foot, including throughout the Christmas and New Year period, as a visible deterrent.

Assistant Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: "In the past few months there has been a number of firearms incidents, including in the L8 area, and it's not surprising that local communities have had enough.

"There are a small number of people who are causing fear in our communities through the use of violence and firearms and Merseyside Police is not prepared to stand by and let them rule the roost.

"Let me be clear. We do not take the decision lightly to put armed officers on our streets but we have to consider our communities and let people know that we do take the issue very seriously.

"Our communities are at the heart of everything we do and my message to our law abiding residents is that we are committed to finding the people responsible for causing fear and misery on our streets through the use of firearms and bringing them to justice."

Merseyside Police has had considerable success in recent months in recovering firearms and putting people through the courts but the forces is not resting on its laurels.

ACC Kennedy said: "Every firearm we recover is one less on our streets but we know that our work remains ongoing.

"We know that it is a very small number of people who are involved in these incidents and that they are targeted attacks. But experience has sadly taught us that innocent people, such as 18 year-old Yusuf Sonko who was shot in Toxteth in June, are often caught up in the cross fire and nobody wants another family to have to suffer the way they are suffering.

"Yusuf’s family have been incredibly supportive of the work we are trying to do but we know that is not always the case.

"Many of the families of gun crime victims refuse to speak to us or assist our investigation.

"We need people to break the wall of silence and so that we can find the people responsible and take them off our streets.

"I would appeal to anyone who has any information about gun crime or think you know where guns are being stored, please contact the Merseyside Police gun crime hotline on 0800 230 0600 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

A s60 stop search order will be in place between 5pm tonight, Friday 22nd December and 6am on Saturday 23rd December in the area bounded by Princes Road, Devonshire Road, Belvidere Road, Dingle Lane, Promenade Gardens, Riverside Drive, Sefton Street, Parliament Street and Upper Parliament Street.