High visibility police presence in Wirral ongoing to reassure local communities

A high visibility police presence remains in Wallasey as part of an ongoing commitment to targetting and disrupting criminals involved in serious and organised crime, and reassuring local communities.

A murder investigation was launched on Christmas Eve following the fatal shooting of Elle Edwards at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village and detectives are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry.

While police are doing everything they can to bring those responsible to justice, they also understand how frightening incidents such as these can be to people living in the local community and they are encouraging anyone with concerns or questions to engage with officers or visit the mobile police station.

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley, who today, Wednesday 28 December, visited Wallasey Village with Wirral Community Policing lead, Superintendent Matthew Moscrop, to speak to the local community said, “We are continuing to support the family of Elle Edwards and our thoughts remain with them and her friends at this incredibly difficult time.

“Guns have no place in our communities. We have seen here the devastation they can cause, and the senseless loss to a family of their loved one by the most cowardly of acts. I want our communities to be reassured that we will be relentless in finding those who choose to use them and store the weapons and bring them to justice.

“Our activity and presence on the Wirral has not just been confined to the past few days. Operationally, our officers have been working around the clock throughout the whole year – including the Christmas period – to disrupt criminals by carrying out warrants, stop checks and stop searches, targeted operations and high visibility patrols, as well as working closely with our communities and local businesses.

“As part of Operation Presley – our response to targeting serious and organised criminals in Wirral – launched 12 months ago we have conducted 136 stop searches, made 64 arrests, seized £11,000 in cash, recovered 12 knives and secured two gang injunctions.

“Earlier this month (December) we welcomed the sentencing of 11 people to a total of 38 years and three months in prison following an operation targeting a Wirral organised crime group linked to large-scale drug supply.

 “On 19 December a new public spaces protection order (PSPO) was introduced in Woodchurch to tackle antisocial behaviour and crime. The order is in force for three years and gives the police and authorised officers powers to issue a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 to anyone who commits an offence in the area.

 “But it is not only reactive policing we have been focussing on. Last month it was announced that a preventative policing programme in Wirral, led by Merseyside Police, has now reached 36 schools and over 2,000 young children since its launch in 2019.

“The Mini Pathfinders programme is targeted at primary school children aged 10-11, in areas of Wirral where there is social and economic deprivation and high crime rates. It aims to support young people to make positive choices, now and in later life, and prevent them from getting drawn into crime through early intervention.  Some of the initiatives on the programme include learning about illegal money lending, teaching pupils how to stay safe and deal with peer pressure and delivering talks from ex-offenders around gun, gang and knife crime and the effects it can have.

“Yesterday 24 arrests were made in Wirral for a wide range of offences as part of our proactive operation to tackle the issues that matter most to residents and keep our streets safe. This supports the work we do every day of the year to tackle those who offend in our communities and I would like to express my gratitude for the public’s continued support.

“Our work across the Wirral following this appalling incident will now accelerate. The public have been hugely supportive to us and we want this to continue and provide us with any information to assist us in bringing the offenders of this callous crime to justice and also to help remove anyone involved in organised criminality off our streets .

“My message to those involved in organised crime  is that we will rapidly be coming for you, you are not welcome in our communities and have no place in society – we will be relentless in  our approach to identifying you, putting you in custody and taking off every penny of your proceeds of crime and returning it to communities so with partners we can build safer communities.”

Image: Merseyside Police

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