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Thursday, 26 March 2015 (3064090)
Police raid homes across borough
by Tom Martin

POLICE held early morning raids in Ainsdale and Southport yesterday as part of a wide-scale crackdown on organised crime.

The Champion reporter, Tom Martin, was invited by Merseyside Police to witness the action unfold with more than 40 officers deployed to make arrests across Sefton.

As part of the day of action, called Operation Abbeyville, a 22-year-old man from Southport has been arrested on suspicion of burglary.

The force were acting on “community intellegence” with locals expressing concern after a recent shooting on Shore Road, in Ainsdale, when a house was targeted in February.

Other warrants were also executed in Netherton, Bootle and Litherland, with five people arrested in total with relation to drugs, money luandering and burglary.

Shocked residents watched on as the raids took place, with officers then posting Crimestoppers leaflets through some of the doors in a bid to reassure the community.

Superintendent Richards said: “Only two months ago we had a number of firearms incidents in Litherland and Ainsdale.

”As a result we are determined to send out a message to those involved in gun crime that we will work hard to build up an evidential picture and we will arrest you and put you before the courts.

“It may take time to build up that evidence, but we will not rest until those involved in gun crime are brought to justice.

”Clearly the use of firearms is of great concern to the community, as it is to us. There will be an increased uniform presence in the area and I would encourage anyone with concerns to talk to those officers, or their dedicated neighbourhood team.

“The activity shows the community what can be achieved when we work together.

”Information from our communities is vital in helping us to build up evidence and take robust action against those who are causing misery on our streets through fear and intimidation and the use of firearms.

“It is vital that the local community provides us with information about those involved in serious and organised crime and the use of firearms.

”We are totally committed to tackling serious and organised crime and will relentlessly pursue those we suspect are involved in it. We will continue to work with other agencies to make life as difficult as possible for those involved in this type of criminality who choose to carry firearms.“

Operation Abbeyville was a partnership between Merseyside Police and Sefton Council.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: ”This successful operation across the whole of the borough was a great example of partnership working.

“A lot of the information came from our local communities and we want to reassure them that by providing such intelligence, action can be taken to make our neighbourhoods safer.

”We will continue working with Merseyside Police to make Sefton a safer place and urge any residents with information about organised crime in their neighbourhoods to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.“


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