Community day of action targets serious organised crime in Walton

Deputy PCC Cllr Jeanie Bell with the police and partners at the community day of action in Walton

Merseyside's Deputy Police Commissioner, Cllr Jeanie Bell, yesterday joined a community day of action targeting serious organised crime in Walton.

The day’s activities under Operation Vermont involved officers from across the force coming together to prevent crime and reassure the public on community issues, as well as proactively targeting criminals.

The action was a direct response to recent reports of criminality in Walton and it led to eight arrests being made and drugs and cash being seized.

Throughout the day and evening, officers from Matrix, roads policing, the dogs and mounted sections accompanied neighbourhood policing teams to step up patrols in the area, focussing on proactively targeting serious and organised crime in its relentless pursuit to bring them to justice.

The day of action also saw police officers walk the streets and talk to residents alongside the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Merseyside, Cllr Jeanie Bell, staff and officers from Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Positive Futures, Onward Housing, Everton in the Community, and ward councillors.

A community surgery took place at Rice Lane City Farm, which gave residents an opportunity to raise and discuss issues that matter to them.

In partnership with Liverpool City Council, a gully sucker was deployed in the area to help recover weapons and drugs.

Some of the key results from yesterday include:

  • A warrant was carried out at a property on Bellamy Road, Walton, where a large quantity of cash and cannabisDPCC Jeanie Bell with officers at the community day of action were seized. Three men aged 51, 55 and 47, from Walton, were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a controlled Class B drug (cannabis), handling stolen goods and possession of criminal property.

  • Matrix officers on high visibility patrol noticed two men outside a Café. On spotting the officers, the two suspects made off on foot but were later detained. A rucksack located nearby contained a large quantity of cannabis and cash. Officers arrested two men – a 23-year-old and 17-year-old from Walton on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a controlled Class B drug (cannabis).

  • A cannabis farm as recovered from a vacant warehouse in Walton. Officers attended the warehouse and discovered 18 mature cannabis plants with the remains of cut mature plants left at the property. The premises was made safe by the Cannabis Dismantling Team and enquiries are ongoing.

Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Jeanie Bell said: “This has been a real show of partnership activity which I hope will demonstrate to the residents of Walton how determined we are to work together to reduce crime in their area and increase their safety and quality of life.

“It was great to have the opportunity to talk to local people, listen to their concerns and discuss how we can take positive action to respond to help build a stronger, healthier community.”

Community Policing Inspector Andrew Lloyd said: “Yesterday was a successful day of action carried out by officers to disrupt criminality in the area. We managed to arrest eight people and recover a substantial quantity of drugs and cash.

“Enforcement operations like this illustrates that Merseyside Police will proactively tackle 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.

“We received positive feedback from the community about the proactive police work being carried out to tackle crime, and our officers chatted to residents about community issues which they might not have told us about. Together with our partners we are focussed on tackling the causes of crime, building stronger communities and protecting vulnerable people from being exploited by criminals.”

Information from the public is vital to the success of the ongoing work and anyone who has information about drug dealing in the community, where weapons are being stored or who is using them can contact us by sending a DM to @MerPolCC, calling 101 or contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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The head of Merseyside Police's Cannabis Dismantling Team, Matt Brown, explains how to spot the sign that cannabis is being grown near where you live can be found: