Wirral MPs and PCC to meet Policing Minister with plea for dedicated funding

PCC Emily Spurrell (r) with Wirral MPs Dame Angela Eagle, Mick Whitley and Margaret Greenwood

Following the horrific murder of Elle Edwards on Christmas Eve 2022, Wirral’s four Labour Members of Parliament and Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner are to meet with Chris Philp, Minister of State for Crime, Policing and Fire, today (Monday 15th May).

The meeting follows a joint appeal to Home Secretary Suella Braverman by all four Wirral MPs Dame Angela Eagle, Alison McGovern, Mick Whitley and Margaret Greenwood, alongside Merseyside PCC Emily Spurrell.

The group wrote to the Home Secretary on 17 January following the murder on Christmas Eve 2022, urging her to provide additional support to the Wirral to tackle the worrying increase in gun-related violence.

Despite Merseyside seeing significant decreases in the use of firearm across the region, on the Wirral there have been eleven firearms discharge incidents and two fatalities since April 2021.

Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey – whose constituency includes the Lighthouse pub where Elle was murdered - said:

‘We are all hopeful that this meeting will be a constructive opportunity to share with the Minister our increasing concerns about the increase in gun violence on the Wirral, and to discuss with him the additional support that would enable Wirral to tackle this head on.

“After the tragic murders of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, Ashley Dale and Sam Rimmer, we saw the Government’s willingness to provide much-needed emergency support, so are hopeful we can obtain similar provision dedicated for the Wirral.

“This support is vital to support those affected in the aftermath, and to enable the longer-term, sustainable expansion of measures such as ‘Clear, Hold, Build’ and intervention work with vulnerable young people.

“We all want to ensure that no more families lose loved ones as the Edwards family have. We want the Minister to offer practical help so that we can fight the growth of violent gangs and organised crime together in the most effective way.”

In response to the murders of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, Ashley Dale and Sam Rimmer in August last year, the Home Office allocated significant emergency funding to Liverpool and Knowsley, including £150,000 additional funding for trauma-informed support in local schools and mental health provision for all affected.

The Home Secretary allocated £350,000 to expand the ‘Clear, Hold, Build’ pilot, intended to “disrupt Merseyside’s corrosive and deadly organised crime groups”.