OP TARGET: Week long operation tackling robberies and theft in Kirkby sees multiple arrests
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Last week (12th October – 16th October), officers were deployed to Kirkby tasked with investigating an increased rate in robberies reported to have taken place in the area.
Since the beginning of August 2020, there has been 15 robberies across Knowsley reported to us, seven of which have occurred in Kirkby, accounting for 46.6% of all robberies.
Out of the seven robberies, five of the victims were targeted for their bikes.
Local Policing Sgt Phil Shaw said: “The public have recently raised concerns that young people are being targeted by criminals for their belongings as well as the spike in vehicle crime and theft. So, last week, we were deployed to the area, using high vis and covert tactics to try to identify those responsible and take them off our streets.”
Uniformed and plain clothed officers on Ebony Way, Tower Hill spotted a man riding a suspected stolen scrambler bike. He was stopped, arrested and taken to custody for questioning. The following day, he pleaded guilty to disqualified driving and for driving with no insurance. He was bailed to appear at Liverpool Crown Court on 10th November.
Officers were stationed on the roads where they conducted a number of vehicle stop checks with the aim of talking to the public, explaining what the deployments were about and encouraging them to report crime.
Elsewhere, officers were called to Sandway Crescent after receiving reports that a stolen car had been seen parked in a garage. The car transpired to have been stolen during a burglary in Manchester on 19th September and has links to two attempted thefts of ATM machines on 11th October.
A search of the property recovered phones, multiple sim cards, an air pistol, cannabis and two number plates. The car was also seized as part of the investigation. A 36 year old man was arrested for two counts of attempt theft and possession of a controlled drug. He has been released under investigation until 4th November.
Following this, at around 2:40pm, officers travelling along Longmoor Lane spotted two men acting suspiciously. Officers attempted to stop the men but one ran away whilst the other tried to evade capture by entering a nearby chemist.
The 21 year old man was detained and searched where he was found in possession of three mobiles, cannabis and cash.
A further search was conducted at his home address where wraps of suspected cocaine was found, as well as an electric bike, worth in the region of £5,000, suspected as being stolen and an air pistol. The man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply, money laundering and theft of a motor vehicle.
He was taken to custody for questioning.
On Thursday, officers were joined by local PCSOs who attended Kirkby High School, Bracknell Ave for a ‘Bike Marking’ event - this is where students can have their bikes marked using tamperproof stickers featuring a unique QR code which are used to register the details of the owner of the bike and stored on the police database. This means that if the bike is ever lost/stolen and recovered, officers can use the bike register app, identify their rightful owner and return it to them.
Sgt Shaw continued: “This is a really simple and effective way of making sure that your bike has the best chances of being returned to you and I’d urge anyone that hasn’t done so already, to get their bike marked. We will be arranging more dates in the future, so we will keep you posted!”
The event not only gave students some reassurance, but was also a good opportunity for officers to engage with them and offer them some personal safety advice.
In addition to this, a number of stop searches were conducted on Old Rough Lane, where a 13 year old boy was found with a knife. He was arrested for possession of a bladed article, and during the arrest, he kicked the officer and so was further arrested for assaulting a police officer.
Due to the boy being a minor, he was taken back to his relative’s house where a later date for a voluntary interview was agreed.
Then, just after midday on Friday, officers were involved in a police pursuit with a car using false registration plates which travelled through Kirkby and was eventually stopped on the M58.
Three men, aged 32, 27 and 20 were all arrested for driving, drugs and theft offences.
The driver of the car, Daniel Ryan, 32 from Liverpool was charged with disqualified driving, no insurance and dangerous driving and will next appear at court at a later date. Whilst the 20 year old passenger from Northwood was charged with other outstanding matters.
The other passenger has been released pending further investigation.
Following this, on Hope Street, Prescot, two men were spotted pushing a stolen motorcycle. They were located by officers attempting to hotwire the bike near Eaton Street Park. Unfortunately, one of the men made off from the scene, whilst the other, a 16 year old from Bootle, was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, going equipped for theft and possession of a controlled drug.
He was taken to custody and has since been released pending further investigation.
Sgt Shaw concluded: “As we approach winter and the evenings are getting darker much earlier, it is important that everyone living in Kirkby and especially young people, who may be out for whatever reason, still feel safe.
“Having your belongings taken, no matter how old you are, can be frightening and costly and although we have dedicated this week of action to try and combat this, we continue to investigate reports of robbery, theft and associated crimes every single day.
“We hope that the public and young people feel more entrusted to reach out and talk to us about crime. We are here to help, regardless of what you have had stolen.
“If you have been a victim of a robbery or have information that could assist in our ongoing investigations, please get in touch. You can contact us directly @MerPolCC or contact @CrimestoppersUK anonymously.”