A MAN was shot in the back and the legs in Whiston on Sunday night, less than a week after another victim was gunned down in Haydock.

The man, in his 30s, has been left with serious leg injuries believed to have been caused by a shotgun following the incident on Lyneham, Whiston at around 8.30pm on Sunday, March 4.

Armed police were sent to the scene and the man attended hospital with wounds to his back and legs.

Police are eager to reassure the public that they believe the two incidents are unrelated.

A spokesman said: “Merseyside Police have been made aware about community concerns regarding two recent gun crime incidents in the St Helens (and Knowsley) area.

“We want to reassure the public that we are investigating all circumstances around the two incidents which occurred in Haydock on the February 26 and in Whiston on March 4.

“At this time, we are not investigating these as linked incidents but we are keeping an open mind so we do not discredit any information that we may receive.

“To fire any weapon in the street at any time is incredibly reckless and we want the public to remain assured that we will act on all information provided in relation to any aspect of these two incidents.

“We are determined to ensure that St Helens continues to be a safe place.

“We would advise anyone that has any information to get in touch either by contacting us via our Social Media Desk @MerPolCC or by calling us on 101.

“With your help, we can identify those responsible, bring them to justice and remove these deadly weapons from our streets.”

Meanwhile, police investigating last week’s shooting in Haydock have released a CCTV image of the suspected getaway car.

Marie Rimmer, MP for St Helens South and Whiston said: “The recent increase in violent crime across Britain, and here in our local community, is shocking and saddening.

“The public rightly expect to be free from the fear of crime, but Merseyside Police has suffered £95 million worth of Tory cuts, resulting in 1,100 fewer Police Officers.

“I’m sure the police will do all that they can, but with fewer officers walking our streets, criminals clearly feel emboldened.

“I hope the public have the confidence to report any information they have to help lock these criminals up. The police also urgently need the resources for preventative policing and intelligence gathering.”

Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, whose constituency covers Haydock, added: “The community is shocked by the recent violent crime.

“There is no place for knives or guns on our streets and those who use them for violent and criminal purposes need to know that they will face the full force of the law.

“As well as seriously injuring one individual, the shooting in Haydock put at the wider community at risk, including children in the area at the time.

“I urge anyone with information to contact the police.”