Merseyside Police has arrested three people as part an operation against those believed to be involving in serious and organised crime in Sefton today (Wednesday, 25 March). 

The operation has been organised in response to information received from the community regarding criminality in the area.

Operation Abbeyville has seen officers executed five warrants in Bootle, Netherton, Ainsdale and Southport at about 9am this morning.

Three men have been arrested for a variety of offences.

  • A 43-year-old man from Netherton has been arrested on suspicion of abstracting electricity
  • A 47-year-old from Bootle has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply after a quantity of white powder, believed to be cocaine, was recovered at a property.
  • A 22-year-old man from Southport has been arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Searches are on-going at the five properties and officers have already recovered quantities of what are believed to be Class A and B drugs and a number of mountain bikes which are believed to have been stolen.

Working alongside partners including Sefton council the force has co-ordinated a range of supplementary action and initiatives aimed at improving the local area and engaging with the community, whilst targeting those believed to be involved in gun and gang crime.

Some of the operational activity taking place today and tomorrow will include:

Police Community Support Officers will be visiting businesses and properties throughout the area to inform people of the action being taken

High visibility patrols by officers from mounted, dogs and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) who will be on hand to reassure members of the local community

Superintendent Claire Richards, said: “The activity today shows the community what can be achieved when we work together.

“Today is about disrupting criminal activity and showing the many decent people, who live in areas where gun and gang crime has been an issue, that we are there for them.

“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.

Only last month 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.”

“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.

“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.

“We remain committed to disrupting all illegal activity and organised criminality, but cannot do this without the help of the local community. Information from the public is vital for us in the fight against organised criminality and gun crime and I would appeal to anyone who has information to talk to us. If you do not wish to talk to us directly you can always call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. We can’t do this without the community and we need you to continue to give us information. We do not care how the information is provided only that it is provided.”

A spokesman 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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