Merseyside Police have arrested nine people and charged another as part of a crackdown on retail crime.

This morning, teams of police carried out search warrants at houses in Bebington, Bootle, Prescot, Everton, Anfield and Toxteth.

Nine people were arrested on suspicion of robbery, handling stolen goods and possession of drugs with intent to supply.

One man- a 35-year-old from Bebington - has been arrested in connection with an armed robbery at a Co-op in Cross Lane, Bebington last December in which staff were threatened with an axe before having money stolen.

Two other men, aged 22 and 23, have been arrested in the Edge Hill area on suspicion of handling stolen goods and a 17-year-old from Toxteth has been arrested on suspicion of a street robbery also in Edge Hill in which a mobile phone and i-Pod were stolen.

A man in Bootle was arrested in connection with three recent armed robberies at business premises and two teenagers were also arrested for separate robbery offences.

The enforcement activity this morning will be followed by visits by police this evening to local betting shops, pawnbrokers, off-licences and convenience stores in areas where robberies have previously occurred to offer advice on how to improve their security and crime prevention measures.