RESIDENTS on Leasowe Estate have the chance to accept law and order and to develop a happy and safe community, or be stuck with the reputation of a 'smack city'.

This is the essence of a message from Area Police Commander Superintendent Ian Shannon and Community Bobby Martin Ford.

Speaking exclusively to the Globe after a drugs raid on the Leasowe Estate and at the Oyster Catcher Pub, Superintendent Shannon warned criminals on the estate, particularly drug dealers: "You should be scared. If you are not a criminal, you should be reassured."

Following the high-profile police raid, the Super attended a meeting of concerned residents to dispel rumours circulating around the estate.

"Firstly, I have been told police had firearms; we did not. Secondly, that the raids coincided with children leaving school; not true. All the addresses were secure by the time children left school.

"Thirdly, the raids will give Leasowe a bad name and put back regeneration. It is drug dealers who reduce the quality of life in the area, not police arresting them.

"We will continue to work with Wirral Council, councillors, Leasowe Community Housing and other bodies to make Leasowe a safer, better place. We ask residents to support us."

More than £10,000 worth of drugs were seized in the latest raid. Police will continue to target crime in Leasowe. Wallasey MP Angela Eagle also urges law-abiding residents to support the police and says the estate has a lot of good things going for it. "We must not let criminals spoil it," she said.

To help police stop crime in Leasowe, ring Crime Stoppers 0800-555-111.

Converted for the new archive on 13 March 2001. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.