A man has been jailed for nine years, nine months for multiple firearms offences in Netherton.
Gordon Rhodes, aged 57, of Netherton, was convicted of three counts of possession of a firearm, three counts of possession of ammunition and possession of cannabis and jailed yesterday (Thursday 17 August) at Liverpool Crown Court.
On Friday 24 February, officers carried out a warrant at Rhodes’ home as part of EVOLVE, a partnership effort to help stop neighbourhoods being exploited by gangs and rebuild them into areas people love to live, work and visit for generations to come.
During the search, police uncovered three firearms, including a Glock and two revolvers, three small bullets, a quantity of cash and cannabis at the address.
EVOLVE is a long-term partnership approach that sees Merseyside Police, Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, local councils, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, the Probation Service, housing associations, health services, schools, colleges, local businesses, LFC, EFC, community groups and residents working together. It is based on the Home Office designed Clear, Hold, Build strategy to rescue and regenerate areas most affected by serious and organised crime.
Since the Clear element began in Netherton in February, the force has made 32 arrests, seized five firearms, 20 rounds of ammunition, a significant amount of Class A and B drugs and recovered numerous stolen cars and bikes.
There have been several community events, bike marking sessions and days of action; numerous vulnerable adults and children safeguarded and £40k in cash given to local community groups from The Power to Park Lane participatory budget event.
Detective Inspector John Mullen, from Merseyside Police’s Firearm Investigation Team, said, “We sadly know the devastating consequences of gun crime, not only on victims and their families but also in our wider communities.
“Our officers are carrying out warrants like this, as well as land searches and stop checks, every single day across Merseyside to disrupt such callous criminals who store, carry and use firearms.
“If you provide information on where you think firearms and ammunition are being stored, carried and used, we will take action to make the communities safer. Taking a gun, ammunition or an offender off the streets can save a life, and make those areas affected by gun crime places where such crime will not be tolerated.”
Community Inspector Ray Mavrakakis added, “A key part of our work to clear communities in this first phase of EVOLVE is to remove those people who play a significant part in bringing fear and harm to the heart of those communities.
“We know the very serious harm that criminals who store, carry and use firearms can bring to our communities, and the jailing of Gordon Rhodes has taken one such offender off our streets.
“Bringing offenders to justice is a huge part of helping improve Netherton, but it’s not the only activity police and partners are involved in. Street cleans, the installation of extra CCTV and provision of activities for people of all ages through community groups will all help to provide lasting solutions to tackling organised crime in the area.”
You can pass on information on people who store, carry or use firearms directly via @MerPolCC or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 Always call 999 if a crime is in progress.
Image: Merseyside Police