On Saturday 10th October 2015 an incident involving a gun being shot at a vehicle was reported by the Skelmersdale Police.
The incident has sparked outrage in the local Skem community as the incident occurred only 1 minute walking distance from Moorside Primary School. Although gun crime is very rare in Lancashire it’s still quite a shock especially as those arrested were in their late teens. As the Southport Visitor reported “Six people have been arrested in connection with the investigation. They are a 19-year-old man, two 20-year-old men and a 22-year-old man, all from Skelmersdale. An 18-year-old man and a 20-year-old man from Skelmersdale were also arrested but released no further action.”
Detective Inspector Marie Howarth of the Force Major Investigation Team said “While thankfully no-one has been hurt in this incident we are treating this extremely seriously and we are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry to piece together exactly what has happened. I would appeal for anyone with information to get in touch with us.
“The discharge of a firearm in Lancashire remains relatively rare and I would reassure the public that patrols have been stepped up in the area and a team of highly trained officers are dealing with this incident.”
Gun crime has been in the news more often than usual recently, particularly in America with the recent Umpqua shooting. However, gun crime in the UK is relatively low outside of London which makes the Skelmersdale incident all the more troubling.
A recent high profile shooting recently happened in Salford where teenager Christian Hickey Junior was shot on his doorstep. Questions need to be asked as to how these teenagers in Skelmersdale got their hands on illegal weapons and secondly how were they able to brazenly able to wield it in such a public place? Thankfully in the Skem incident no one was hurt but is it a sign to come?
Lancashire Police not viable by 2020
The Liverpool Echo reported on the 12th of October 2015 that Chief Constable Steve Finnigan warned them that the Lancashire Constabulary will not be viable as a force by 2020 and that it operate only on “emergencies” if proposed cuts are to go ahead. Mr. Finnigan stated “What breaks my heart, we have a very clear purpose and mission here which is to keep people safe, keep people safe from harm, particularly the most vulnerable, and that would absolutely be in jeopardy.
“I have no doubt lots more people would be at risk and harmed because of the sheer cuts we are describing to you.”
So what does this mean to the safety to the people of the north west? Are we going to see more gun crime such as the Skelmersdale shooting? We’d love to hear your thoughts.