Eight firearms found in Merseyside gardens in last six months
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Eight firearms have been found in Merseyside gardens by unwitting members of the public in the last six months.
Vigilant residents found the lethal weapons hidden away in their gardens, as criminals have used their properties to stash them away.
The three sawn-off shotguns, three revolvers, a pen gun as well as ammunition and magazines were found in gardens around Croxteth, West Derby, Vauxhall, Toxteth, Speke and Thornton.
Forensic analysis has established that two firearms were stolen from house burglaries several years ago.
In another incidence, one resident in Toxteth found a working firearm loaded with bullets behind their garden shed.
Thanks to the vigilance of residents these firearms have been taken off the streets of Merseyside and out of circulation, preventing any potential fatalities and serious injury.
Detective Inspector John Mullen from the Firearms Investigation Team said: “We are very thankful to those residents who spotted the firearms and contacted us to remove them safely.
“It means these weapons cannot be used to cause fear and intimidation in our communities. Every weapon taken off our streets can save a life or prevent serious injury.
“We understand that shootings in Merseyside in recent weeks will be concerning for residents, but Merseyside Police would like to reassure everyone that every single day our officers are doing proactive work to remove guns and other potentially lethal weapons from our streets.
“As a result of this continuous proactive police work, the number of shootings in Merseyside has decreased year-on-year since 2019.
“In addition, 92 weapons were handed in to Merseyside Police during a firearms surrender in May. The haul included 36 working firearms and more than 800 live rounds of ammunition.”
Det Insp Mullen added: “We are fully aware of the devastating impact gun crime has on families of victims and the fear that it evokes in our communities.
“Understandably the recent incidents may cause alarm to people, but please be assured that the number of shootings in Merseyside remains at its lowest for 21 years.
“The number of shootings has decreased by 66% from 125 incidents in 2012 to 43 last year.
“We rely on information given to us by the public, either directly or anonymously via Crimestoppers, and this makes a massive difference in identifying suspects, seizing weapons and removing suspects who would bring lethal weapons onto our streets.
“Every single incident is one too many, and I would like to reassure everyone that we are doing everything we can to remove guns from our communities.
“Our officers regularly search open land to remove potentially lethal weapons from our streets and carry out high-visibility patrols to reassure the public and gather information which we can act upon.
“We work closely alongside our partners and in communities affected by gun crime, carrying out high-visibility patrols to gather information and reassure the public of the work ongoing.
“We are determined and relentless in our pursuit to continue to reduce this number.
“With the public’s help, Merseyside Police want to continue to drive down the number of firearms discharges.”
Det Insp Mullen continued: “We are very thankful to those residents that these eight firearms are off our streets.
“I would like to appeal to residents to look around your garden and check that criminals have not hidden away lethal weapons. It is as simple as checking around plant pots, under garden sheds and places where weapons could be hidden away.”
Anyone with information about who is using or storing weapons in their area is asked to DM @MerPolCC, call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress.