Anti social behaviour and
criminal damage over Halloween the in Merseyside Area
MERSEYSIDE Police can confirm they
experienced a 20% increase in calls on 30 October 2017 afternoon and evening
compared to the same period in 2016. The force saw an increase of almost 400
more calls, between 2pm and midnight, many of them about criminal damage and
anti social behaviour. During the evening there was a reduction of nearly a 3rd
in reports of criminal damage to bus windows with a total of 19 incidents
reported. Officers patrolling communities throughout Merseyside arrested 24
people for a variety of low level offences and seized dozens of fireworks.
On Tuesday, 31 October 2017, fell 10% compared
to the same period in 2016. The force recorded a total of 1504 calls for
service during the Police operation between 2pm and midnight, a fall of 172 from
1676 calls for service in 2016. Reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal
damage saw a 7% reduction from 312 in 2016 to 291 this year. A total of 10
people were arrested for a variety of low level offences; compared to 16 arrests
in 2016; along with a total of 15 seizures of fireworks were made during the
operation. In total 840 youths attended alternative activities organised by
Merseyside Police and partner agencies.
Commander for the policing operation, Chief
Inspector Chris Hitchell said:- "This time of year is always busy for us.
We know that anti social behaviour is of concern to people, particularly those
who are elderly or vulnerable, and I want to reiterate my message that we will
take robust action against those found committing anti social or criminal
behaviour. I want to make it clear that it is not acceptable to throw objects at
people, vehicles or homes, commit criminal damage or abuse or intimidate
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service reported a
significant reduction in deliberately set fires, with crews attending 45
incidents in comparison to 64, in 2016. There were 2 separate incidents of
damage to 3 Fire Engines in the Kirkby and Belle Vale areas. This damage
resulted in the engines being taken out of service for the remainder of the
Station Manager Paul Kay, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Arson Reduction and
Incident Investigation lead said:- "We are pleased to see a reduction in
ASB fires in comparison to 2016. However it is absolutely unacceptable that
Firefighters have come under attack in the course of their duty. These attacks
put Fire Crews who risk their lives for their community at risk of serious harm
and the damage was such that the Fire Engines had to be taken out of service for
the rest of the night. This could have had serious consequences and added to
pressure on our limited resources, not to mention the financial cost. I would
ask people to consider the whereabouts and activity of their children and for
those that did this to think about the very serious consequences of their
actions. We will continue to serve our community. Help us help you, please show
respect to Firefighters."
Chief Inspector Chris Hitchell said:-
"The run up to Sunday, 5 November 2017, will continue to be a busy period for
ourselves and our partners, but we remain committed to tackling nuisance and
antisocial behaviour. The people who are intent on carrying out acts of criminal
damage or causing a disturbance in their communities are very much in the
minority and I would ask that people continue to enjoy the festivities safely
and responsibly over the coming days. A massive amount of effort and planning
has gone into the policing operation for this period and we will continue to
have increased high visibility patrols over the Bonfire Night period. We will
also work closely with partner agencies and take swift action against the small
minority who are intent on causing trouble. I would continue to urge people in
the period leading up to 5 November 2017 to have respect for other people and
their property and remind people that it illegal for those under the age of 18
to buy, carry, or use fireworks and under the Explosives Act of 1875 it is
illegal to let off or throw a firework in a public place. If your child is under
16 then you will be liable for payment of any fine. A massive amount of
effort and planning has gone into the operation and I would like to reassure the
community that we will continue to have increased high visibility patrols over
the Halloween and Bonfire Night period."
Anyone who would like to report incidents of
anti-social behaviour or criminal damage can call Police on:- 101 or use the
online reporting tool, on the Merseyside Police
If anyone believes they have information about the illegal sale, use or
possession of fireworks, please contact Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service on:-
0800 731 5958 or Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111.
Merseyside drug gang has
been jailed following cannabis farm investigation
A Merseyside gang who used remote
farmhouses in Wales and Staffordshire to grow cannabis worth ₤1.3 million have
been jailed. The 12 strong organised crime group were sentenced during 2 days of
Court hearings, at Liverpool Crown Court.
Led by Gary Long and Peter Snape from Fazakerly in Liverpool, the gang grew
cannabis plants of such quality and in such professional conditions that a
Police drug expert described the 86kg yield as the most valuable he had ever
When Police raided the homes of some of the defendants after uncovering the
farms they found evidence of a lifestyle bought with drug money. Expensive cars,
watches and designer clothing were found along with ₤30,000 in cash.
Detectives from Titan, the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, worked with
local forces to investigate the gang, which set up its 1st cannabis farm at a
rural property, within Aberdwr, South Wales, in 2013. The farm was dismantled by
Police and co-accused Mark Roberts from Penegoes, Machynlleth were arrested, but
Roberts came to the Police's attention again when a cannabis farm was spotted
near Machynlleth; his home Town; and links to Merseyside cannabis criminals were
Titan Officers identified a 3rd, much larger farm house being used to grow
cannabis, this time in Essington in Staffordshire. The farmhouse had been rented
in a false name since 2013 and the Police investigation established a pattern of
behaviour where the Merseyside men, working for Long and Snape, would travel to
the cannabis farms to tend to their crops, often doing a 6 hour round trip just
to spend a short period of time inside.
The gang were caught when they hurriedly cleared out dozens of plants from a
property that was due to be inspected by the local authority landlord, leaving
In a serious of coordinated raids by Titan and Officers from:- Merseyside,
Cheshire, Staffordshire and Dyfed Powys Police Forces, 13 people were arrested
on suspicion of conspiracy to cultivate cannabis and money laundering.
Long, aged 30 and Snape, aged 29, who ran the operation through a series of
clandestine meetings within gyms and cafes, in Liverpool, pleaded guilty and
were each jailed for 5 years and 5 months.
Paul Ward, aged 36 from Walton, who used his electrician skills to repair the
illegally diverted electricity supply in one of the cannabis farms in Wales, was
jailed for 14 months.
The other men sentenced were:-
Anthony Rimmer, 06/09/1966, from Fazakerley - 3 years, 10 months.
Warren Rimmer, 21/03/1992, from Kirkby - 3 years, 8 months.
► Michael Hardwick, 03/03/1989, from Kirkby - 3
years, 4 months.
► Joseph O'Brien, 25/01/1990, from Fazakerley -
3 years, 4 months.
James Thomas Marsh, 11/11/1988, from Fazakerley - 3 years, 2 months.
Gavin Michael Laffey, 24/04/1978, from Anfield - 3 years.
► James Foy, 04/07/1994, from Fazakerley - 2
years, 11 months.
► Mark John Roberts, 21/01/1966, from
Machynlleth - 2 years, 4 months.
► Ian Heyes, 19/05/1987, from Kirkby - 2 years,
Speaking after the court case, senior investigating officer, Det Insp Nick
Hughes from Titan said:- "These substantial jail sentences should serve as a
warning to people about the consequences of becoming involved in organised
crime. The cannabis this gang were growing was lining their pockets, enabling
them to live comfortable lifestyles whilst flooding their communities with
drugs. It was a sophisticated set up capable of producing far more crops in a
year than most other cannabis farms we've ever seen. They thought they could
avoid detection by setting up in isolated buildings in rural areas, but our work
with local forces shows that they is no place for organised crime groups to
hide. Criminals involved in the cultivation of cannabis are often involved in
other serious organised crime which brings significant harm to the very
communities they are from. Every plant the Police seize represents money being
taken from the pockets of criminals and I'd encourage the public to keep telling
us where these farms are so we can take action."
Craig Smith sentenced to
life imprisonment for murder of a 2 year old boy in Wirral
CRAIG Smith, 28, has been sentenced to
life imprisonment with a minimum of 17 years for the murder of Teddy Tilston and
the assault of his twin sister Cassidy. A 2 year old boy, Teddy Tilston was
found lifeless in the family home in Woodville Road, Birkenhead, on 1 March
2017. He was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital by Paramedics, but was pronounced
dead a short time later. At the time of his death his twin sister Cassidy was
also being treated in Hospital for a head injury consistent with an assault.
Craig Smith was found guilty of the murder of Teddy and the assault of Cassidy
at Liverpool Crown Court. The children's mother, Ashleigh Willett, 25, who
was charged with 2 counts of child neglect towards Teddy and Cassidy, was also
found guilty. Detective Chief Inspector Paul Denn, said:- "The death of 2
year old Teddy Tilston was a senseless tragedy. Craig Smith, as the partner of
Teddy's mum, was the man given the responsibility of looking after Teddy and his
twin sister Cassidy which makes this whole situation even more shocking. Craig
Smith was not previously known to Police for incidents of violence, but Teddy
and Cassidy never stood a chance against his acts of aggression resulting in the
tragic death of Teddy. The past 7 months have been incredibly distressing for
those who were close to the children, for the Officers who carried out the
investigation and the Emergency Services and Hospital staff. What has made this
whole situation worse is that Smith continued to plead his innocence throughout,
forcing all those involved to give evidence at a lengthy trial. I would like to
take this opportunity to thank the professionalism and dignity of the Police
Officers, Emergency Services and staff at Arrowe Park Hospital who dealt with
Merseyside Police detectives
appeal for information after attempted sexual assault in Bootle
MERSEYSIDE Police is appealing for
witnesses after an attempted sexual assault in Bootle, in the early hours of
Wednesday, 1 November 2017. The victim, a woman aged in her 20's, was walking
along Hawthorne Road, close to the Junction of Westminster Road, shortly after
1am when she was attacked by a man. She was forced away from the main road, but,
after a struggle, managed to free herself and run back to Hawthorne Road where a
passing Taxi Driver stopped and drove her home to her family. The suspect is
described as a white man aged in his 40s of large build with a bald head and
black clothing. An investigation by the force's specialist rape and sexual
assault team 'Unity' has been launched and witnesses are being sought.
Detective Sergeant John Harrison said:- "We're extremely grateful to the
Taxi Driver who spotted the victim distressed in the road and stopped his cab to
help her. He was able to find out where she lived, speak to her mum and ensure
she got home safely. We are waiting to speak to this young woman in more detail
about what happened, but we believe she was pulled or dragged into a secluded
area off Hawthorne Road, by the offender. We are treating it as sexually
motivated and are doing everything we can to identify and trace this man.
Although it was very late at night we know there will have been people driving
in the area or coming home from Halloween parties in town so we would appeal for
anyone who was in the area and spotted anything suspicious to come forward. We
are particularly keen on speaking to anyone who was driving in the area using a
dash cam between 1am and 2am in case anything of significance was captured. In
the meantime local policing patrols have been stepped up in the area and we are
offering support to the victim at this difficult time." Anyone
with information is asked to call the Unity team on:- 0151 777 1319 or
Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111.