TWELVE people were arrested and a large quantity of drugs, weapons and cash were seized across Merseyside last month.

The activity came as part of the EVOLVE policing network, which looks to disrupt organised crime groups and prevent young and vulnerable people from being exploited across Liverpool and Knowsley.

With 57 stop searches and raids carried out throughout June, 10 men, one woman and a 17-year-old male were all arrested on suspicion of committing drug-related offences among other crimes.

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Large quantities seized by police

As part of the operation, two swords, an adapted air rifle, an imitation firearm, and a number of lock knives were seized by officers, while a large quantity of cannabis, suspected Class A drugs, and drug paraphernalia was also found.

Three cars, a scrambler bike, two electric bikes, an illegally adapted mountain bike, two Rolex watches and other expensive watches, mobile phones and around £5,000 in cash were also reported to have been seized by officers.

On Tuesday, 4 July officers also arrested two men on suspicion of drugs offences after they were seen exchanging cash and what is believed to have been Class A drugs.

Officers then arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, possession of criminal property and obstructing a constable.

A further arrest of a 21-year-old man was then reported on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, possession of criminal property, possession of a controlled drug and handling stolen goods. 

'No regard for the well-being or safety of others'

Chief Inspector Tony Fairhurst, from EVOLVE Liverpool-Knowsley policing team, said: "Those involved in criminality often have no regard for the well-being or safety of others, whether that be through the wielding of weapons, violence or the distribution of dangerous drugs, and we are determined to take these individuals off the streets.

"We will be continuing to use all powers available to us to stop those we suspect are connected to criminal gangs and to make their day-to-day activities as difficult as possible.

"Criminal gangs are involved in a range of serious and organised crimes involving drugs, weapons, exploitation, human trafficking, cuckooing, counterfeit goods and loan sharks to name a few and no-one should have to live in the shadow of their criminality.

"We are determined to make a positive difference to those living in EVOLVE neighbourhoods and make the areas safer for generations to come."

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