Merseyside Police has arrested six people people in dawn raids in Sefton and Knowsley this morning as part of a major investigation into drug dealing and organised crime in the borough. 

Five men and one woman were arrested when officers executed warrants at houses in Bootle, Waterloo, Maghull and Kirkby. A large quantity of Class A drugs were also found in one of the houses.

All six will be taken to police stations across Merseyside where they will be questioned on suspicion of being involved in the supply of Class A drugs such as cocaine and heroin following a 10-month investigation.

Teams of Sefton police and Matrix Serious Organised Crime unit officers executed the Misuse of Drugs Act warrants shortly before 7am having gathered at police HQ in Liverpool to be briefed by MSOC detectives.

The arrests form part of a wider investigation into the activities of a criminal faction operating in south Sefton which police believe is responsible for drug dealing in the area as well as using violence and intimidation to protect their illegal business from rivals.

A number of men alleged to be part of this criminal group have already been arrested and charged following seizures of drugs worth hundreds of thousands of pounds earlier in the operation. This morning’s warrants have targeted other individuals suspected of being involved in the wider conspiracy.

Superintendent Claire Richards from Sefton police’s command team, said the success of the operation would help reduce the gun and gang crime challenges the police and local authority faced in the south of the borough.

She said: “Organised crime groups who deal in drugs profit from all the misery and damage that they inflict on other people within their community. They are ruthless in protecting their illegal business from rival factions and will think nothing of using violence and intimidation to defend their territory. Decent, law abiding people get caught up in this whether it is hearing about a firearms discharge bear where they live and suffering a burglary or robbery themselves committed by someone with a drug addiction or drugs debt.

“That is why it is imperative that we keep going after these organised crime groups and dismantling them one by one so that they cannot inflict this damage on their own communities.

“The force’s Matrix Serious Organised Crime unit relentlessly goes after such criminals with the help of police officers and support staff here in Sefton and today’s successful arrests are a prime example of this. Information from the public about suspicious activity in the community has been pieced together with a number of police enquiries to enable us to take decisive action.

“We remain committed to doing this in order to keep the public safe and to put these criminals out of business. I would encourage people to keep passing on that information to us and help us make a stand against organised crime in Sefton and the rest of the Merseyside.”

The details for the arrested people are as follows:

• 25-year-old man from Bootle

• 47-year-old man from Bootle

• 27-year-old man from Bootle

• 22-year-oold woman from Bootle

• 48-year-old man from Waterloo

• 50-year-old man from Maghull

• 62-year-old man from Kirkby

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