Properties in Chester were raided as part of a Merseyside Police operation targeting serious and organised crime this morning (April 21).

Officers executed warrants at 16 address and eight women and four men – aged between 18 and 51 – were arrested.

Searches at the properties are ongoing, but two potential firearms were recovered in Waterloo and Anfield which will be examined to establish if they are viable weapons.

The raids are the culmination of a 12-month investigation by detectives from Sefton.

Chief Superintendent Claire Richards said this morning's wave of police activity reinforces the police's commitment to improving communities.

"This operation was set up after local residents raised concerns about drug dealing in their communities and I would like to take this opportunity to stress that if you are aware of serious organised crime, including the supply and distribution of drugs, in your area, let us know and we will take positive action and help you to improve your community," she added.

"Calls to Crimestoppers are anonymous and information provided could give us the opportunity to positive action in your neighbourhood."