We have arrested a total of eight people and seized drugs, thousands of pounds in cash, a shotgun and a crossbow, and quad bikes after executing 10 warrants in Merseyside this morning (Thursday 2 July 2020).
The operation targeted individuals suspected of being involved in firearms, drugs and other serious crime, and began after two firearms discharges in Windermere Drive and Mossborough Drive in Kirkby area earlier this year.
As well as carrying out seven warrants in Kirkby, one in Waterloo, one in L9 and one in Huyton, Matrix search teams have also been conducting open land searches where a sawn-off shotgun, around 1,000 wraps of suspected drugs and a drill were recovered.
As well as carrying out seven warrants in Kirkby, one in Waterloo, one in L9 and one in Huyton, officers are conducting two open land searches where weapons and drugs may be stored, supported by the Dog Section.
Mounted officers are also out in the community, and officers on off-road bikes have helped search less accessible areas targeting anyone using off road bikes illegally. The local policing community team has been delivering letters to addresses across Kirkby with a direct link to a crime survey which gives the community an opportunity to tell us in complete confidence what is concerning them.
A mobile police station has also been at various areas of Kirkby today to give members of the community an opportunity to speak with officers.
Today’s activity is the result of months’ of hard work by Local Policing officers from Knowsley working alongside Firearms Investigations Teams, who gathered information on those suspected of being responsible for the possession and dealing of drugs and the supply and storing of weapons.
A total of eight have been arrested and extensive searches of properties are still ongoing.
• A 19-year-old man from Kirkby was on arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin)
• A 24-year-old man from Kirkby was on arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class B drug (cannabis)
• A 30-year-old man from Kirkby was on arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs, possession of explosives and possession of criminal property
• A 26-year-old man from Kirkby was on arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs, possession of explosives and possession of criminal property
• A 24-year-old man from Fazakerley was on arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class b drugs, possession of criminal property and money laundering, and abstracting electricity
• A 31-year-old woman from Fazakerley was on arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class b drugs, possession of criminal property and money laundering, and abstracting electricity
• A 33-year-old man from Kirkby was on arrested on suspicion of burglary and dangerous driving
• A 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs
They have been taken into custody to be interviewed.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Smith said: “We have had a very successful morning, but our pursuit of those who bring fear, violence and intimidation to our streets goes on all year round. Their actions will never be tolerated.
“The action we are taking today will make our communities safer – as a direct result there are now less drugs in circulation to harm our most vulnerable, less drugs to line the pockets of criminals, and less weapons to cause serious injury or worse.
“And crucially some of those people we suspect of sustaining an illicit trade that brings misery to the streets of Merseyside now face justice for their actions.
“This is not just one day of activity – it is the result of many hours of dedicated hard work by officers gathering evidence and planning the most effective ways of hitting criminals where it hurts, and preventing them from inflicting harm on the wider community.
“And our investigations will continue, as well as the land searches, warrants and stop checks that disrupt criminals seeking to make an illicit living in Merseyside.”
Det Chief Insp Smith added: “We know Class A drugs blight the lives of those who become addicted to them, many of whom then fund their addiction through stealing. This can include burglary, theft and robbery – all crimes which have a huge impact on those unfortunate enough to fall victim to them.
“But the criminals who supply and distribute the drugs wilfully exploit people to get them hooked on drugs, and do not care about the impact their subsequent criminality has on decent members of society. The only thing they care about is making money, whatever the cost.
“Many think nothing of picking up a firearm to settle disputes with rivals, and in doing so endanger not just each other but anyone living on the streets they bring gun violence to.
“Some think they are untouchable and live a lifestyle that is way beyond their means, with no legitimate employment to account for the money they might spend on extravagant holidays and designer clothes.
“But they are not untouchable. Using legislation under the Proceeds of Crime Act we have today seized a large amount of cash as well as high value watches we believe have been bought through money made from crime, including drug dealing.
“Our message to those involved in serious organised crime on Merseyside is simple: however hard you try, you cannot escape justice. We will continue to do everything in our power to disrupt organised crime groups and put offenders before the courts.
“A massive help in those efforts is information from the community – no-one should have to put up with drug dealing and the associated violence and gun crime it brings, and if it is happening where you live, we want you to tell us so we can take action.”
Anyone with information on drugs or firearms in their area can contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’. You can also call 101, or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information. In an emergency, always call 999.