POLICE have arrested 54 people and seized 45 knives across Merseyside during the early stages the force’s ongoing ‘Operation Target’ campaign.
The campaign, launched on July 1 to tackle serious and violent crime in the region, has also resulted in 239 stop searches carried out by officers, 128 open land searches and ‘knife arch’ operations set-up at train stations to detect bladed weapons.
Chief Superintendent Matt Boyle from Merseyside Police, said: “We know this is in the very early stages and we still have a lot of work to do, but I am pleased that we have seen the successes that we have.
“We know that serious and violent crime, including gun and knife crime, is of concern to our communities. I want the people of Merseyside to be reassured that we will continue to do what we can to tackle the issues and ensure that our region remains a safe and happy place to live, work and visit.
“I would also ask the public to continue to support our efforts. If you know who is storing or using weapons, or who is responsible for supplying drugs, then please let us know.
“Issues such as drug supply may seem quite trivial but we know that it is directly linked to serious and violent crime. By stopping this and putting the people responsible behind bars I know that we can make this operation a success.”
Operation Target is costing £4.2million to run and has been funded through the Home Office’s £100m Serious Violence Fund to tackle issues including knife and gun crime.