POLICE carried out a day of action to search parks, canals and alleyways for weapons as part of a huge crackdown on gang crime - and promised residents they will ‘make a difference to Bootle’.
Following recent shootings, arson attacks and acts of violence in the town, officers ‘left no stone unturned’ as they went in search of drugs, weapons and scrambler bikes on Wednesday, July 10.
During the course of the day, seven warrants were issued, three people were arrested and knives, a baseball bat and shotgun cartridges were seized as police, supported by dog units and underwater search teams, searched the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Derby Park and other side streets.
Police described it as a ‘multi-agency day of action’ and they were supported by Sefton Council and local housing trusts in a bid to ‘make the difference to Bootle’.
Superintendent Graeme Robson, Area Commander for Sefton, said: “We know that the Bootle community have seen a lot of police activity in their area recently, both as a response to incidents, and with warrants being carried out. We are stepping this up, and will keep doing so when necessary, in Bootle and any areas which require action.
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“We have had some great recent success, in arresting and charging those we suspect of dealing drugs, and I want to reassure everyone locally that we will continue working alongside our partners to act on all the information you provide.”
The three people arrested was a 34-year-old man, from Litherland, on suspicion of theft of a motorbike; a 35-year-old woman, from Bootle, on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs and possession of cannabis; and a 16 year-old boy, from Kirkby, in connection to two recent shootings – t he first on South Road, Waterloo, on May 7 and the second a ‘damage only discharge’ in Elm Gardens in Seaforth on June 9.
Police say other people voluntarily attended police stations in relation to drug and money laundering offences.
Superintendent Robson added: “This isn’t all about enforcement. We will also be in the area with a mobile police station to speak to residents, and working with our partners to carry out repairs and cleaning. Come and speak to us, see what is going on, and we can and will make the difference to Bootle. We want these streets to be hostile to criminals and safe and welcoming to everyone else.”
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “We are committed to reducing and preventing anti-social behaviour right across the borough in order to make our thriving communities even safer.
“It’s important that we work closely with our partners including Merseyside Police, to reduce crime in Sefton and welcome the operations taking place.”
Early successes for
‘Operation Target’ see page