Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson this week called on Home Secretary Theresa May to ensure that Merseyside Police has the resources to tackle gun crime after the recent spate of shootings in Maghull.
The Labour MP got assurances from the Home Secretary that she would look into the Maghull shootings.
Speaking to the Home Secretary in the House of Commons, Bill said: "In just the past few months, there have been seven gang-related shootings in Maghull in my constituency - a town with no previous experience of gun crime. The Home Secretary will understand the very real fears of my constituents that it is only a matter of time before an innocent bystander is hurt or killed. Will she make sure that Merseyside police have all the resources they need to protect residents and to stamp out this worrying trend in gun crime?"
In response, Theresa May told Bill: "The honourable gentleman raises an important issue. Sadly, we have seen problems related to gun crime in a number of parts of the country and, as he says, there has been evidence of completely innocent individuals getting caught in those incidents. We have been looking particularly at offences in relation to guns, and indeed we are introducing a new offence relating to the provision of guns - the intent to supply guns - so that we can catch some of the middlemen who are making guns available. Often they are rented out by middlemen for a variety of crimes. If the honourable gentleman would like to write to me, I will respond."
Bill said he was writing to the Home Secretary to detail the issues in Maghull, which have included:
- Tuesday, March 26, 2013: House on Dapple Heath Avenue in Melling shot at.
- Sunday, March 17, 2013 - 11.30pm: House on Fernbank shot at.
- Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 11.30pm: House on Moorland Road shot at.
- Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 11.30pm: House on Fernbank Road shot at.
- Monday, March 11, 2013 - 12.15am: A house on Parkbourn Square shot at. Window at the house was broken in the shooting and a car which was reportedly involved in the incident was found burnt out in Pilling Lane.
- Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 9.30pm: Man shot in legs at house in Rufford Avenue. Victim taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
- Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 3.30pm: Man shot in head while in car on Hall Lane after crash on Moorhey Road. Victim taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
- Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 4.50pm: Man shot on Sefton Lane Industrial Estate. Victim taken to hospital in critical condition.
Bill said: "I am writing to Theresa May to give her a full breakdown of all of the incidents in Maghull over the past 12 months.
"We have lost 333 police officers in Merseyside as a direct result of the Tory-Lib Dem cuts to our force.
"I, and constitutes who have raised concerns about the shootings in Maghull, have all raised the issue of the cuts with me. It is a concern and we need to know directly from the Home Secretary what she is going to do to ensure that her government's cuts are not going to impact on policing in Merseyside, in Sefton Central and here in Maghull even further than they already have."