At a briefing on Monday, Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Chris Green continued to appeal for information on the death of nine-year-old Olivia, who was shot in her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, on August 22, but said community support had already allowed officers to “make investigative decisions and take action”.
Olivia’s death was one of three fatal shootings within a week in Liverpool, with council worker Ashley Dale, 28, shot in her home in Old Swan on August 21 and Sam Rimmer, 22, killed in Dingle on August 16.
On Sunday, police investigating Olivia’s death arrested a 34-year-old man on suspicion of murder and two counts of attempted murder and three men on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Mr Green said: “The community’s been rocked and shocked by what has happened. Our thoughts and prayers go the families of the three people who have been killed over the last two weeks.
“But, the community has stood strong and stepped forward and the response that we have seen, whether it’s providing information or just being resolute in a collective ambition to make sure that those individuals in our communities who are engaged in organised crime – the intimidation, the violence, the use of firearms – they’ve got no place in our society.
“The community has stepped forward and together we’ll identify those responsible.”
He said dashcam footage, CCTV and other pieces of intelligence had been submitted by members of the public.
Mr Green said firearms discharges on Merseyside in the previous year were at their lowest level for 20 years but, he said: “One firearms discharge is one too many.”
In a warning to criminals, he said: “It’s a very simple and clear message to anyone who is involved in organised crime, Merseyside Police, working with all of the raft of the partners that we do on a daily basis, we will be absolutely relentless in coming after you.
“We’ll identify who you are, where you are and what you are doing and we will bring you to justice as we show consistently day in, day out here in Merseyside.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Turner said the force monitored 119 organised crime groups in Merseyside, not all of which were active.
He said the use of firearms was also tracked, with nine linked series firearms – which have been used more than once – discharged in the area in the past year.
Mr Turner said firearms recoveries by police were on the increase, which meant the price of weapons would rise.
He said: “They are in the thousands of pounds, not the hundreds of pounds, and individuals are prepared to pay for that as a method in order to protect their commodity.”
Detective Superintendent Siobhan Gainer, from the force’s Violence Reduction Partnership, said funding from the Home Office following the three shootings would be used to help communities recover.
She said: “What we’re looking at is therapeutic support, support within the school settings of those who were involved, especially when we look at Olivia’s murder, but also supporting the wider communities around all three of those instances.
“It’s about helping that community recover from what they’ve gone through.”