More than 800 arrests in crime crackdown following Elle Edwards murder in Wallasey Village

Police operate a warrant in Beechwood, Birkenhead and, inset, innocent Elle Edwards who was shot dead outside a pub at Christmas. Credit: Merseyside Police/PA Images

A crackdown on crime following the murder of an innocent woman outside a pub has led to more than 800 arrests, according to police.

Elle Edwards, 26, was gunned down on Christmas Eve 2022 in Wallasey Village, Merseyside.

The Evolve Wirral initiative was launched 12 months ago to improve communities in the area affected by serious and organised crime.

Officers have also seized hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of suspected drugs.

Supt Matthew Moscrop from Merseyside Police said, "There has been a huge reduction in serious and organised crime.

"However, we are not complacent and work to clamp down on criminality as well as protect the vulnerable and help prevent crime will be ongoing and relentless."

Police officers patrol the cordon at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village after the shooting. Credit: PA

The first stage of the Home Office's Clear, Hold, Build project was designed to build communities into more prosperous and safer areas resilient to gang-related activity.

34 local organisations have received a total of £66,000 to provide activities and resources to help prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, tackle county lines, protect vulnerable people and help reduce recruitment to gangs.

Nearly half of the funding pot was from money and assets seized from convicted criminals.

Police said that, in the past 12 months, officers have made 806 arrests related to organised crime groups and taken numerous weapons, including firearms, crossbows and knives, off the streets.

They said "considerable sentences” had been handed to criminals.

Seven properties have also been closed and tenants evicted.

Chapman was described as a highly dangerous man who carefully planned a revenge attack in gang rivalry with no thought for anyone else. Credit: Merseyside Police

Connor Chapman, 23, was convicted of murdering Elle, hitting her twice in the back of the head, when he fired 12 shots from a Skorpion submachine gun outside the Lighthouse pub.

Police worked to clear the Woodchurch, Beechwood and Noctorum areas of people involved in serious and organised crime.

Chapman was sentenced to 48 years in prison.

Police say four gang injunctions are also being served and "numerous" gang members have been put behind bars.

Supt Moscrop added: "While we have received a huge amount of intelligence from the community in the last 12 months as they see what we are trying to achieve, we need people to keep giving us information to make the greatest difference.

“People need to keep telling us, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, about the drug dealing, weapons storage, exploitation, anti-social behaviour and any other crime they see so we can take action and either get people off our streets or get them the help they need.

“Information given to Crimestoppers is completely anonymous – no-one other than you will ever know you made the report but that piece of information you have could be critical in potentially saving someone’s life so please make that report either over the phone or online.”

Anyone with information about crime is asked to call Merseyside Police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Alternatively, visit the Crimestoppers website to make an online report.