Woodchurch masked raid: what happened at Arrowe Park Hotel and why police have been given extra powers

Merseyside Police have been given Section 60 stop and search powers following an armed raid by three masked men in Wirral.

Merseyside Police have been given enhanced stop and search powers in a Wirral trouble hotspot following a raid by masked men on a Woodchurch pub on Monday night.

Three armed men burst into the Arrowe Park Hotel wearing balaclavas before fleeing in a silver car.

The raid follows two shooting incidents in the Woodchurch area in the last few weeks and the authorities have taken special steps to combat the escalating violence.

Police have been granted enhanced Section 60 powers until 3am on Wednesday morning and there will be an increased number of officers on the streets.

Community Policing Inspector Alan McKeon said: “Following an investigation launched by our officers regarding an incident at the Arrowe Park Hotel yesterday evening where reports were received that three men ran into the pub armed with weapons this order will give us the powers needed to stop and search people in Woodchurch.”

What happened at the Arrow Park Hotel?

At around 5.50pm on Monday three men ran into the Arrowe Park Hotel, on Arrowe Park Road, armed with weapons saying they were looking for someone.

The men quickly searched the premises before running out and getting into a silver car, possibly a BMW.

The Arrowe Park hotel in Woodchurch. Image: Google

The first male is described as white, large build/overweight. He was wearing a full grey tracksuit, with large black pockets, black trainers and a black balaclava with a black hood.

The second male is described as a white male with a medium build. He was wearing a balaclava, black padded coat with a brightly coloured logo on the left side, black tracksuit bottoms and black trainers.

The third male was dressed all in black and his face was fully covered. He was wearing a black coat, black jeans or tracksuit bottoms and black trainers.

Detective Inspector Emma Kerrigan, said: “An extensive investigation is underway and patrols have been stepped up in the area to reassure the local community.

"Arrowe Park Road would have been very busy at this time of the day and I would appeal to any motorists who may have captured dashcam footage, or local residents with CCTV to contact us as they may have footage that could prove vital to our investigation.”

What are Section 60 stop and search powers?

The Order, under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, allows officers to search people without reasonable grounds or suspicion of wrongdoing in areas where they anticipate violence.

Merseyside Police have introduced a Section 60 in Woodchurch. The order runs from 10am on Tuesday until 3am on Wednesday June 29 and extra officers will be in the area to provide a visible presence and deal with any incidents.

The order covers the area mapped below, including junction three of the M53 motorway to the Upton Road flyover.

Section 60 Woodchurch. Image: Merseyside Police

Community Policing Inspector Alan McKeon said: “We’re introducing this Section 60 as an extra response to deal with reports of violence in Woodchurch. This is one of a number of measures we are taking to disrupt those who would consider using weapons in the area.

“Following an investigation launched by our officers regarding an incident at the Arrowe Park Hotel yesterday evening where reports were received that three men ran into the pub armed with weapons this order will give us the powers needed to stop and search people in Woodchurch.

“There have been a number of serious violent crimes in the area including the most recent incident that happened yesterday. This behaviour will not be tolerated and extra officers will be in the area to search any individuals or groups causing such issues, and to provide reassurance to the vast majority of law-abiding people in the community.

“Such action isn’t about bothering anyone going about their daily business or preventing young people from meeting with friends. It’s simply about taking action to reduce violence and make sure that everyone can feel safe where they live.

“Patrols have also been stepped up to reassure our residents so if you have any information on any offences in the area please speak with our officers.”