Merseyside Police has carried out dawn raids at 11 addresses across Liverpool this morning and nine men and two women have been arrested for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Weapons, drugs and high-value items have also been seized this morning. Two kilos of suspected Class A drugs and equipment, an air rifle, crossbow, scrambler bike, quad bike, high-value cars (Audi and BMW), high-value mountain bikes, and high-value watches were seized from the addresses.
The arrests are the culmination of an 11-month operation targeting the supply of controlled drugs in the Langsdale estate area of Everton . Searches of the addresses in Everton, Kirkdale, Walton, Fazakerley, Aigburth and Dovecot, are ongoing.
During the operation three people have been arrested and charged and class A drugs, including half a kilo of cocaine have been seized.
Following the raids, officers and partners will be in the area carrying out street cleaning and reassurance to residents, with a mobile police station in William Henry Street.
Superintendent Mark Wiggins, said: "The warrants executed today are the culmination of an 11-month investigation (Operation Bracewell) into an organised crime group who have blighted the lives of residents in the Langsdale estate area, through the supply of Class A controlled drugs. We believe the group has operated under a veil of fear and is linked to violence and the criminal use of firearms - in December last year there were two injury shootings in the area (Jenkinson Street on 21 December and Heyworth Street on 27 December 2016).
"Quite often groups such as this exploit the young and vulnerable, who they have coerced into operating their lucrative ‘drugs grafts’.
"This investigation was put in place after members of the public raised concerns about drug dealing in their community. Sadly, sometimes those involved in the supply and distribution of drugs will resort to using firearms to protect their illegal trade, or to resolve petty disputes, as we have seen in recent weeks.
"Some of the recent firearms discharges have taken place in broad daylight on residential streets and the incident clearly show that organised criminals still have ready access to firearms despite extensive work undertaken by Merseyside Police, which has resulted in 20 potentially lethal barrelled firearms being taken off the streets of Merseyside between 1 December 2016 and 13 March this year.
“We have invested significant resources into providing reassurance in those areas that have been affected by the recent incidents and we will continue to invest those resources to keep our communities safe and to determine who is involved in gun crime on Merseyside.
“But we can’t do that without the support of our communities. We need to stand together to get these cowardly individuals off our streets and take firearms and drugs out of circulation. If you have any information in relation to those involve in serious organised crime, involving the supply of drugs or the use of firearms on Merseyside please contact us, we will act on all information.
“I would urge members of the public to come forward with information so we can keep our streets safe and put these offenders, who are causing pain in our communities, behind bars.”
"Our communities should be free to go about their day-to-day business without having to worry about these individuals and I would like to reassure them that we, working together with our partners, will not sit back and watch this happen.
"I would appeal to anyone who has information to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also use their online form anonymously: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-"
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: "Today's operation is yet another great example of Merseyside Police's commitment to taking robust action against all those involved in serious and organised crime. Such operations send out a loud and clear message to those involved in drug dealing, violence and gun crime that there is no hiding place.
“I would like to thank members of the public who came forward and raised their concerns with the police. All the information that local people provide is taken seriously and will be acted on. I’d also like to thank all the officers and staff who have worked so hard on this investigation to enable these raids to take place today, making our streets safer.”