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Merseyside Police is advancing its fight against serious and organised crime with the creation of a specialised team.

The new Matrix Serious Organised Crime team (MSOC), headed up by Assistant Chief Constable Andy Ward, will build on the framework established by the nationally recognised Matrix team, which was established by Merseyside Police in 2005 to tackle gun and gang crime.

ACC Andy Ward, said: “Serious and organised crime can create a vicious downward spiral of fear, intimidation and economic decline in our neighbourhoods.

“It has a direct impact on our communities, whether it be through the drugs and violence that bring misery to our streets, the guns that can seriously injure or kill, cyber crime which can infiltrate people’s homes, or the exploitation of our vulnerable members of the community, particularly children.

“Merseyside Police has always stood firm in its promise to tackle serious and organised crime and we constantly strive to improve the way we work.

“In the last 10 years crime trends have changed significantly and we need to ensure that we move with the times so that we can effectively deal with those responsible for serious and organised crime on our streets.

“The new team will bring together 1500 officers and support staff from the existing Matrix team, the Force Intelligence Bureau, Force Crime Operations Unit (FCOU) and Operational Support Unit.

“By bringing these teams together under one umbrella the force will provide a more resilient and sophisticated approach to tackling the threats of serious and organised crime (gun crime, major crime investigations including murder and rape, the supply and distribution of controlled drugs, hi-tech crime, child sexual exploitation and financial crime). They will work closely with different partner organisations to ensure that all avenues are explored, and legislation used to disrupt serious and organised crime on Merseyside.”

He concluded: “The success of tackling serious and organised crime is not just down to Merseyside Police and our partner organisations. We are reliant on our communities if we are to make an impact on serious and organised crime and make our streets safer for future generations. Information from the public is key to our success, we need to work together and in truth the public is our biggest partner and they can help us to make a difference.”   Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “When I took office more than a year ago, I made tackling serious and organised crime on Merseyside one of my policing priorities. The creation of this new specialised team will build and strengthen the already hugely effective work of Matrix.

“This means the Force will be in an even stronger position to identify and deal with those involved in gun, gang and drug related crime. There will be no hiding place for those who bring misery to our communities, whether it be through the guns that kill and maim, the drugs that blight our neighbourhoods or cyber crime which harms people in their own homes.

“Organised crime groups intimidate and corrupt and have a corrosive effect on some of our communities. The creation of this new team shows the Chief Constable and I will not rest in our battle to tackle the threat of serious and organised crime and make all the streets of Merseyside safer.”
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