I wanted to share with you one of the briefings that Merseyside Police have been issuing on a daily basis for the past two weeks. It is sent to a range of people including all councillors so that we can keep others in touch with what they are doing. They are doing a lot!
More than 200 arrests have been made in the last 14 days as officers from other forces have been brought in to try and break the core of the criminal fraternity. At some stage we need as a nation to think carefully about drugs and criminality and the sheer lack or prospects which drives too many adolescent boys into the arms of the drug runs through County lines and other means.
Now is not that time. Now is the time to thank the men and women who are working tirelessly on behalf to catch those or do wrong and break their chains of command. Our police officers put themselves at risk dealing with vicious thugs on a daily basis as do other parts of our 999 services. We will honour them all; the police, fire service, ambulance service and coast guards together with a number of ancillary services on Friday at a ceremony in the Town Hall. Friday is ‘National 999 day’, when people all over the Country will commemorate and give thanks for the work of those services without which society could not function.
Stakeholder briefing following fatal shootings in Merseyside
This briefing document provides you with up-to-date information on the investigations and ongoing work of Merseyside Police following the fatal shootings of:
· 9-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Kingsheath Avenue, Dovecot on Monday 22 August
· 28-year-old Ashley Dale in Leinster Road, Old Swan on Sunday 21 August
· 22-year-old Sam Rimmer in Lavrock Bank, Dingle on Tuesday 16 August
Unless otherwise stated the information in this document can be used in conversation with communities across Merseyside and in media interviews you may undertake.
Key updates at 20:45 on 04/09/22:
- Three men have today (4/9/22) been arrested in connection with the investigation into the murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel. A 34-year-old man from Liverpool has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder; A 41-year-old man from Knowsley has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender; a 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
- A media briefing will be held tomorrow, Monday 5 September, around Serious Organised Crime and the relentless approach that Merseyside Police takes to tackle this type of criminality. It will be given by Assistant Chief Constable Chris Green, Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen (Head of Investigation), Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Turner (Head of Intelligence), Detective Superintendent Andy O’Connor (Prevent) and Detective Superintendent Siobhan Gainer (Violence Reduction Partnership).
Statement issued at 18:20 on Sunday 4 September, further arrest in connection with Olivia Pratt-Korbel murder.
Detectives have this afternoon, Sunday 4 September, arrested a further suspect in connection with the murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel.
Officers executed warrants at two addresses in the Liverpool area and arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of assisting an offender.
He is in police custody where he is being questioned by detectives.
Statement issued at 14:00 on Sunday 4 September, two arrested in connection with Olivia Pratt-Korbel murder.
Detectives have arrested two men in relation to the murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Dovecot, with one suspect arrested on suspicion of murder.
They were arrested in the Runcorn area in the early hours of this morning, Sunday 4 September.
A 34-year-old man from Liverpool has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. He is in police custody where he is being questioned by detectives.
A 41-year-old man from Knowsley has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and is also in custody.
Detective Chief Superintendent and Head of Investigations, Mark Kameen, said: “I continue to urge anyone who has information that can help our investigation into Olivia’s tragic murder to please come forward so we can bring those responsible to justice.
“A number of people have been arrested in respect of this investigation. However, we still need the public’s help in ensuring that we can a build a strong evidential picture so justice is served for Olivia and her family.
“With this, I appeal for those who may have information, no matter how small, that could continue to help our inquiries to contact us directly or anonymously and we will do the rest.”
The investigation into Olivia’s tragic murder is ongoing and we still need to build up a strong evidential picture so that we can bring those responsible to justice. Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC or contact @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111.
If you have any CCTV/dashcam/smart doorbell footage that could help our inquiries they can be downloaded on the dedicated public portal for Olivia’s murder, which will go straight through to the investigation team. Footage can be submitted here Public Portal (mipp.police.uk)
Murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel on Monday 22 August
· On Monday 22 August nine-year-old Olivia was shot and killed in her own home. This happened on the 15th anniversary of the tragic murder of 11-year-old Rhys Jones. His murder should have been a watershed moment in the battle against gun crime and the use of guns on our streets, but shockingly there are still callous criminals out there who are prepared to use them, despite the risk they pose to other members of our community.
· We were called to Olivia’s house, on Kingsheath Avenue, at 10pm, where three people had been injured, including Olivia and her mum.
· It is believed that one of the injured parties, a 35-year-old man, was being chased by a man armed with a gun, who was firing at him.
· The man being chased forced his way into Olivia’s house, despite the efforts of her mum to stop him gaining entry. The offender ran in after him, firing a number of shots, with complete disregard for Olivia and her family, who had no connection with the gunman or the man who forced his way in.
· Sadly, Olivia was fatally wounded and her mum also suffered a gunshot wound to her wrist.
· The 35-year-old man who had been chased suffered a number of shots to his upper body. Whilst Olivia lay dying, he was picked up by his friends in a black Audi, who took him to hospital. The Audi has been recovered and we want to hear from anyone who may have seen it in the area.
· On arrival, our officers, seeing how poorly Olivia was, rushed her to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where despite the best efforts of medical staff to save her, Olivia sadly died. Her mum was also taken to hospital with a gunshot injury to her hand.
· An investigation is underway and house-to-house, CCTV and forensic enquiries are in the process of being carried out. A cordon remains in place at the scene of Olivia’s murder on Kingsheath Avenue.
Murder of 28-year-old Ashley Dale on Sunday 21 August
· On Sunday 21 August at around 12.40am officers were called to an address on Leinster Road in Old Swan.
· Emergency services attended and a woman, 28-year-old Ashley Dale, was found in the rear garden of the property with gunshot wounds to her body.
· Medical treatment was administered at the scene and Ashley was taken to hospital but sadly died a short time later.
· A Home Office post mortem has taken place and confirmed that Ashley died from a gunshot wound.
· Our CCTV enquiries so far have shown that there were a number of people on foot in the area at the time of the incident. The heavyweight world title boxing match had not long finished and so the area was reasonably busy with people going home or elsewhere after the event. We are therefore appealing to anyone who was in the Prescot Road area between 12.20am and 12.40am on Sunday morning to come forward.
· Similarly, we are appealing for any taxi drivers who may have been driving in the area that time to check dashcam footage and let us know if they see anything
· We are appealing for anyone to submit information to the investigation team directly through our online portal via the Merseyside Police website.
· We believe that Ashley was not the intended target of the attack. We believe the front door of that property was forced open by the offender or offenders outside.
· We are particularly keen to find anyone who saw a vehicle being driven erratically in the area around Prescot Road. If anyone was driving in the area late on Saturday night or the early hours of Sunday morning, please come forward and let us know.
· There is at present no known investigative link between this incident and the murder of Lewis Dunne in 2015, other than the familial connection between Ashley Dale and Lewis Dunne.
· The family of Ashley have asked that their privacy is now respected in this difficult time.
Murder of 22-year-old Sam Rimmer on Tuesday 16 August
· 22-year-old Sam Rimmer, was on Lavrock Bank in Dingle at 11.40pm when two motorbikes, believed to be electric bikes, drove into the cul-de-sac and fired a number of shots toward a group of people Sam was with.
· Four offenders wearing dark clothing drove away from the scene on two electric bikes (two offenders on each).
· Sam was injured and despite the best efforts of officers and ambulance staff who provided CPR at the scene, he was pronounced dead a short while later, at hospital.
· A Home Office post mortem has taken place and established the cause of death as a gunshot wound.
· Detectives are carrying out extensive enquires and have completed house-to-house.
· The investigation is ongoing, and an appeal has been issued to members of the public for information.
Merseyside Police response
· These are horrific crimes and our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved.
· We understand that communities across Merseyside and specifically around the Dovecot, Old Swan and Dingle areas will be shocked and worried following these incidents.
· Gun crime has no place on the streets of Merseyside and we will leave no stone unturned to bring those responsible to justice.
· At this moment in time, we do not believe there to be a link between these three murders but we will continue to explore any possibility that they may be linked.
· In the coming days and weeks, it is vitally important that we continue to work in partnership, and with our communities to tackle and prevent gun crime and serious violence and provide our communities with the support and reassurance they will need.
· To reassure our communities and to keep them safe the force is initiating a dedicated operation to disrupt serious organised crime and prevent serious violence on the streets of Merseyside.
· We are also putting armed officers, armoured vehicles and additional uniform and Matrix officers on the streets.
· We are being supported by other police forces from the North West who are providing additional detectives and operational officers.
· The increased number of detectives will support our ongoing murder investigations, helping us gather information from our communities and act on it.
· We have support from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU) and dedicated National Crime Agency resources.
· All police officers will be on 12-hour shifts and have had rest days cancelled.
· All this activity will reassure our communities and disrupt organised crime groups and those believed to be involved in the murders.
· We will be reviewing our resources regularly to see if we need to increase or move resources around, looking at intelligence and the needs of our communities.
· The force’s Community Engagement Unit (CEU) will support our communities and ensure we are linked into schools and young people.
· Merseyside Police is recognised nationally for our work to tackle serious organised crime, including gun crime. The force has consistently worked hard, with partners, to reduce gun crime over many years and two years ago we introduced the dedicated Firearms Investigation Team. As a result of our investment into tackling Serious and Organised Crime we have recently seen the lowest number of firearms discharges for 21 years and up until last week we had not suffered a gun crime murder on the streets of Merseyside for 13 months. Sadly, in the last week, three people have lost their lives and three families are grieving but we will double down on the progress we have made to significantly reduce gun crime across Merseyside.
· This is not a time for those who know who carried out this shooting to stay quiet.
· This is a time for our communities to come together with us and make Merseyside a place where the use of guns is unacceptable and abhorrent and those who use guns are held to account.
· We are liaising with all the victims’ families, friends and the wider community to ensure they are supported and concerns are addressed.
· Updates regarding the incidents will be provided when available.
· Communities can follow Merseyside Police on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates and information.
· We need communities to provide us with information to help us solve these crimes. Dashcam footage, household CCTV and smart doorbell video can be submitted via the Merseyside police website. People may think it is not significant information but let us be the judge of that. Those who don’t want to speak to the police can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on the charity’s website www.crimestoppers-uk.org
For further information:
Please contact the News and Communications team on NewsandCommunications@merseyside.police.uk for help on communication or social media.