Liverpool gangsters are being targeted for minor offences in a bid to crack down on organised crime.
Merseyside Police have said they “will disrupt their lives in any way we can” following a spate of shootings which have left three men dead and injured two others.
Teams of neighbourhood officers will be watching gangsters who commit lesser offences, such as not having a TV licence or benefit fraud, while detectives continue to concentrate on violent crimes.
Chief Constable Jon Murphy said: “Organised criminals live in neighbourhoods. We need neighbourhood officers to know who they are, where they live and what we expect of them.”
Mr Murphy, who is lead advisor on serious organised crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said Liverpool had a “deeply entrenched problem”.
He added: “We have far too many people in Merseyside with significant wealth who have never worked a day in their life and we are going to get them."
There have been five shootings on Merseyside since the start of 2011, when 18-year-old Eddie Pybis was shot dead as he sat in his car and 25-year-old Joey Cummins was also shot dead on a street in Fazakerley.
In February, Bahman Faraji, 44, was the victim of an execution style shooting outside the Belgrave Pub in Aigburth. A former doorman, Mr Faraji was well known in the Liverpool underworld.
Police questioned former Brookside actor Brian Regan, who played Terry Sullivan in the TV show for 14 years, about the murder. Mr Regan, 53, who lives in Garston, and a 48-year-old woman have since been released on bail.
A 22 year-old man was shot in the back after he left a pub in Norris Green on Sunday. Despite having up to 70 pellet wounds fired from a shotgun in his back, his injuries were not life threatening and he discharged himself from hospital the next day.
An 18-year-old man from Anfield has been arrested on suspicion of wounding and a second man is wanted for questioning.
Detective Chief Inspector Lee Turner, from Merseyside Police’s Matrix Team, said: “Shootings on Merseyside will not be tolerated by Merseyside Police and we will work tirelessly to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”
By Chris Bradley, John Witherspoon, Neil Bennett, & Bryan Fitzpatrick
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Rev David Parry