Community launch of Clear, Hold, Build in Liverpool and Knowsley


RESIDENTS in parts of Liverpool and Knowsley will see the first community phase of the Home Office-funded Clear, Hold, Build project get underway in their areas today (Friday, January 27th, 2023).

The initiative, known locally as EVOLVE, will see Merseyside Police working together with partners and residents in Yew Tree, Long View, Page Moss and Huyton to disrupt and deter organised crime group (OCG) activity and help stop neighbourhoods being exploited by these criminals.

Merseyside Police was one of the first forces to pilot Clear, Hold, Build and was allocated a further £350,000 in funding from the Home Office to target serious and organised crime following the murders of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel, 22-year-old Sam Rimmer and 28-year-old Ashley Dale last August.

The force ran activity across Liverpool to clear crime between August and October last year, which saw 420 arrests, 11 firearms seizures, 90 vehicle seizures and 78 warrants executed, with ongoing work to protect communities and prevent organised crime groups operating in the areas.

The Hold phase, which began alongside the operation to clear the area of crime, aims to help disrupt and minimise serious and organised crime with a targeted increase of officers in those areas to provide community reassurance and gather ongoing intelligence.

The activity today marks the start of the Build phase, which aims to regenerate areas blighted by crime with community and partner-led initiatives and will run alongside the Clear and Hold phases which continue to operate.

Throughout the day officers from Matrix, roads policing, dogs and mounted sections will be accompanying neighbourhood policing teams to carry out warrants and open land searches as the force continues its ongoing and relentless work to disrupt and clamp down on criminality.

As well as having numerous police on the ground targeting serious crime, officers will be walking the streets and talking to residents alongside officers from Knowsley and Liverpool Councils, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Merseycare, Livv Housing, Riverside Housing, the PCC for Merseyside and ward councillors.

Assistant Chief Constable Jon Roy said: “This initiative aims to tackle everything from low level crime and anti-social behaviour right-up to serious and organised crime, such as drug dealing and other gang-related activity.

 “We will not rest, and will use all the resources we have at our disposal to relentlessly clear an area of crime and prevent it returning, alongside working with the community and our partners to restore these areas and build them back up to places people love to live.

 “Our dedicated community teams are deeply committed to preventing crime and harm across Merseyside and are focussed on tackling the causes of crime, building stronger communities with our partners and protecting vulnerable people.

 “We hope today’s activity, which is just a small part of our long-term commitment to the people of Merseyside, sends a strong message to our communities that we stand with you and our partners and together will build our neighbourhoods back stronger, protect the futures of our young people and help prevent crime from infiltrating our streets.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell added: “Serious, organised crime has a devastating impact, bringing pain and suffering to families and blighting our communities.

“I am absolutely committed to supporting Merseyside Police in their relentless approach to disrupting the corrosive organised crime groups who seek to inflict such misery.

"We have already seen the difference the first two phases of this Clear, Hold, Build project have made in tackling criminality and helping to improve the lives of people in Yew Tree, Long View, Page Moss and Huyton.

“But the work doesn’t stop there. The Build phase is crucial in demonstrating to local people that, with their support, we are determined, to help make this area a safer, stronger place to live. 

"EVOLVE will play a vital role in this process and I’m pleased to join so many partners to support its launch today.”               

 The day of action will see officers from environmental health, pest control, waste management, trading standards, licensing and housing alongside healthcare workers and firefighters providing health and safety advice and information about funding as well as taking action to improve the look of the area.

Councillor Shelley Powell, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said: “Let me be clear, crime has no place in our communities, and we are committed to working with our community safety partners and local communities to address the issues that matter to them.

“EVOLVE is one of many ways we are working together to tackle those involved in criminality and crucially creating stronger, more resilient communities where crime can’t thrive.

“I’m delighted that officers from many areas of the council are joining the day of action, having visibility among our residents and offering reassurance that we are working to build better and safer communities.”

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said: “We must do everything we can to prevent a repeat of the needless and heart-breaking murders of Olivia Pratt-Korbell, Sam Rimmer and Ashley Dale.

"Working together, we can and will take action against those who destroy the lives of others. The strength of Liverpool lies in its communities, and by harnessing that we can break the cycle of crime and anti-social behaviour.” 

Anyone with any information about crime is asked to call Merseyside Police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.