Activity targeting gun crime stepped up across Merseyside
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We have made arrests and seized weapons as we step up activity to combat gun crime in Merseyside following a number of shootings in the past three weeks.
In 2020, there were 48 firearms discharges in Merseyside – the lowest figure ever recorded in Merseyside, and a 40% reduction on 2019.
While the impact of Covid restrictions and police activity last year saw that decrease, there have been eight shootings in Merseyside since 18 December.
Following the incidents, officers have arrested a total of nine people, and enquires remain ongoing into each incident.
Officers have also carried out a number of warrants and seized cash, drugs and weapons as part of our ongoing commitment to tackle gun crime.
Across Merseyside, officers in uniform and plain clothes have been deployed on foot patrols in key areas and the force’s off road bikes have been out in areas such as Everton Park, the scene of the last shooting, to deter and detect further criminality.
On Friday, officers undertook a day of action in Dingle, where two of the incidents happened. As well as uniformed officers on high visibility foot patrol in the area, there were reassurance visits carried out by PCSOs and open land searches carried out, including at Lavrock Bank in Dingle by the Matrix Disruption team, and in Netherley.
Elsewhere, a Misuse of Drugs Act warrant was executed at a house on Marlborough Street, where a significant quantity of cash was discovered along with cannabis. As a result, Connor Quinn, 20, of Marlborough Street, was arrested and later charged with money laundering and possession of a Class B drug (cannabis). A warrant was also carried out on Beresford Road where cannabis and hydroponic equipment and plant pots were found, and a man dealt with by Community Resolution.
A 39-year-old man from the Sefton Park area was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis after a fire caused by an electrical fault at a cannabis farm on Park Road, Toxteth. There were two growing rooms with 160-200 plants, and the man arrested has been released under investigation.
Superintendent Diane Pownall said: “We proactively target offenders involved in gun crime all year round, to put them before the courts, and seize the firearms they use to cause fear and harm in our communities. We have a dedicated Firearms Investigation Team with significant resources at their disposal whose focus is to investigate incidents, carrying out exhaustive forensic examinations, speaking to witnesses and ultimately helping to bring offenders to justice.
“And after a number of incidents in recent weeks, many of them in Liverpool, we have stepped up that activity. This should reassure the community that will take decisive action to stop offenders bringing harm to their streets.
“Drug dealers often choose to acquire guns to protect their illicit trade and to threaten and intimidate rivals. So our work to stop those who deal drugs in their tracks, take their source of income from them and put them before the courts is another tool in our efforts to remove the threat of gun crime from Merseyside.
“I want our communities to know that even during a pandemic our work does not stop – while we have officers dedicated to enforcing current restrictions and keeping communities safe from the virus, we will not let up in our work to target criminals involved in gun crime and the threat they pose.
“Everything we do is to protect our communities from harm, and our pursuit of anyone who risks threatening the safety and security of people living in Merseyside is constant and relentless.”
Supt Pownall added: “While we will maintain the pressure on anyone involved in gun crime with all of this activity, the communities themselves can also play a vital role in ridding Merseyside of the scourge of gun crime.
“You can be our eyes and ears, and if you suspect someone is involved in gun crime then please do get in touch. If you know someone is storing guns, transporting them or is even prepared to use them then you can play a pivotal role in helping us catch up with them, and make Merseyside safer.”
Anyone who has any information about gun crime in their area can DM @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111.