Police have arrested five men and two women after raids in Knowsley this morning.

Merseyside Police have said the arrests were made as part of an operation set up to tackle gun and drug crime in the area.

As part of the five-month investigation, detectives have seized three firearms, five hand grenades, 20 rounds of ammunition, 10 kilos of Class A drugs and £34,000 in cash, according to Merseyside Police.

Police seized hand grenades as part of their investigation. Credit: Merseyside Police

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley said: "The action taken by officers this morning is the culmination of a five-month operation targeting those involved in serious and organised crime in Kirkby.

"The investigation was put in place after members of the public raised concerns about drug dealing in their communities.

"Sadly, sometimes those involved in the supply and distribution of drugs will resort to using firearms to protect their illegal trade, or to resolve petty disputes."

He added: "I would like to reassure the public that we are relentless in our pursuit of those involved in serious and organised crime and we are committed to making our streets safer for our communities.

"The action we have taken today has been made possible thanks to members of the public who have taken a stand and given us information and I would appeal to anyone who has information about those involved in gun crime, or where guns are being stored, to contact us.

"We will act on all information about gun crime offences to make our streets safer for our communities."