This is From the North - a digital series from ITV News made in the North of England, focusing on the topics and issues people are talking about in our region.
In this episode we're asking, why are guns and gangs such a big problem on Merseyside? And what's being done to stop young people getting involved in organised crime?
We'll be talking to a former gang banger from Liverpool, asking why so many young people are being lured into the lifestyle and hearing from those who have lost loved ones to the gun.
Sicarius McGrath, from Liverpool, became involved in petty crime in his early teens. By the time he was 21 in the early 2000’s, he’d graduated to guns.
Convicted for intimidation and violence, at one stage he had his own gun factory.
After being released from prison two years ago, he now wants to set up a mentoring programme to get young people away from gangs.
He said: "Nine times out of ten I would have a firearm on me. Whether it was on my person or in my vehicle.
"I would get my keys, my phone and my firearm, me gun. I would sit down on the toilet with me and polish it and clean it.
"You normalise it."
Paula Ogungboro from Toxteth knows about loss; she became an anti-gun activist after her son Eugene was shot dead in 2003.
It may be nearly 20 years since her son was killed but shockingly Paula thinks very little has changed in Liverpool.
She said: "I gave birth to him, I looked after him, brought him up, fed him, changed his nappies, took him to nursery, took him to school, watched him grow up, for someone to come along and take his life away from him- for what- for nothing."
We also hear from Ian Byrne, the Labour MP for the West Derby area of Liverpool; Dr Robert Hesketh - a criminologist at Liverpool John Moores University who's spent much of his career researching Merseyside’s gangs and the founders and young people involved in a Liverpool project called Weapons Down Gloves Up.
You can listen to all episodes of From the North here...