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Merseyside Police has today (Thursday, 12 June 2014) arrested 27 people following the execution of 38 warrants at addresses in the Toxteth and Dingle areas of Liverpool.

The execution of the warrants is the culmination of a 12-month operation carried out by detectives from the Matrix Serious Organised Crime (MSOC) team supported by the local policing team in addressing concerns from the communities in the Toxteth and Dingle.

This morning Merseyside Police demonstrated its commitment to fighting serious and organised crime within our community by mounting its largest ever strike day. More than 400 officers from across the force took part in the operation this morning and searches of the properties where the warrants were executed are ongoing.

As a result of searches at the properties two cannabis farms have been discovered and cash has been seized. These searches are ongoing.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Ward, said: “Twelve months ago we became aware of an apparent dispute between two organised crime groups in the Toxteth/Dingle area who were vying for control over the supply of Class A and B drugs.

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“Today’s operation is the culmination of a thorough and extensive investigation by detectives from the Matrix Serious Organised Crime team and 27 people have been arrested this morning for gun and drug related offences.

“The operation carried out supports the sterling work done by the local policing team, who work together with the community day in day out. This operation was carried out in response to concerns raised by the local community and was very much driven by the voices of the local people who wanted their quality of life improved.

“The operation is part of our commitment to the people of Toxteth and Dingle to improve their quality of life by tackling those issues that are of major concern to them and is an intrinsic part of the our policing philosophy.

“Six months ago when we launched the new Matrix Serious Organised Crime team we promised the communities of Merseyside that we would be proactively targeting those involved in serious and organised crime and this activity is evidence of our commitment to uphold that promise.

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“Sometimes it may appear to residents that the police aren’t actively dealing with the problem of drugs. But I can reassure them that all complaints are taken seriously and all information is used to build up a total picture. An operation such as this can take months of planning and preparation. A lot of work is done behind the scenes to ensure we have sufficient evidence to secure convictions at court and take the suppliers and dealers out of circulation for a long time.

“We believe the people we have arrested today, and those previously arrested as part of this operation, lived in the communities where they dealt drugs and used firearms to intimidate people.

“During the operation officers have already recovered six firearms (including two machine pistols) and drugs including heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis with a total estimated street value of £3m (Class A drugs worth £2m and Class B drugs worth £1m). And more than 30 people have been already been arrested for various firearms and drugs offences during the course of this investigation.

“Our message is crystal clear – today we have taken positive action to remove those who we believe are negative role models from the streets of Toxteth and Dingle. The decent and law abiding people in these communities can be reassured that we want to make the streets safe for them, their children and grandchildren.

“Merseyside Police is not prepared to let those involved in the distribution and supply of drugs and firearms destroy good communities who should be able to go about their daily business without worrying that their young people may be drawn in to a violent world of drugs and guns.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “This operation demonstrates the Force’s continual commitment to cracking down on serious and organised crime in Merseyside.

“It is the result of months of detailed and extensive work from the neighbourhood team and the Matrix Serious and Organised Crime team. By listening to the concerns of people living in these communities and working closely with them, the Force have gathered the information they need to put together this operation. In turn, today’s events will make these communities a safer place to live.”

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