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Officers investigating the serious assaults of two 16-year-old boys in Widnes have arrested eight teenagers in Merseyside.
A series of dawn raids were carried out simultaneously in Liverpool on Friday 7 February.
Conducted by officers from Widnes Local Policing Unit (LPU), supported by colleagues from Merseyside Police, the raids led to the arrests of seven teenage boys from Liverpool – a 17-year-old and six 16-year-olds.
A 15-year-old from St Helens has also been arrested in connection with the stabbings.
They have all been questioned by officers and released on conditional bail.
Detective Inspector Ian Whiley, of Widnes LPU, said: “Since two 16-year-old boys were stabbed near to Riverside College in Widnes shortly before 3pm on Monday 3 February, we have been gathering intelligence regarding those involved in this disturbing incident.
“The extensive work we have been doing behind the scenes led to a number of warrants being executed simultaneously on Friday 7 February.
“Seven of the eight boys subsequently arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent are from Liverpool, as is a 16-year-old boy who voluntarily attended a police station on Saturday 9 February and was interviewed under caution in connection with the incident.
“The other boy arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent, a 15-year-old, is from St Helens.”
The two boys who were seriously assaulted are from Liverpool.
They were both taken to hospital in ambulances and have since been discharged after receiving treatment for their puncture wounds.
DI Whiley added: “Although we have now made a series of arrests in connection with the stabbings, our investigation continues and we are still appealing for information and footage from members of the public.
“If you were in the Kingsway area around the time of the incident and witnessed it, or anything else that may aid our investigation, please contact the team here at Widnes Police Station.
“We believe that passing motorists may have seen, and even have dashcam of, what happened.
“If you have any information, or dashcam or mobile phone footage, that may help us to establish exactly what happened and who was responsible please get in touch.”
You can call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 627919, or give the details via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about.
Information can also be given to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously.
Chief Inspector Sarah Heath, Cheshire Constabulary’s knife crime lead, added: “Everyone at the force is pleased to hear that the two boys who were stabbed in Widnes are now back home recovering from the injuries they sustained.
“The consequences of the alarming incident could have been much worse for everyone involved, and their families.
“We take knife crime extremely seriously at Cheshire Constabulary.
“We have a structured prepare, protect, pursue and prevent approach to tackling knife crime that involves various partner agencies, including local authorities, education providers, health authorities, third sector organisations, youth representatives and community groups.
“We work together to educate young people about the dangers and futility of carrying weapons, steer them away from criminality and offer them attractive alternative ways to spend their time.
“The force is proud of the fact that we have one of the lowest rates of knife crime in England, and that Cheshire is one of the few counties in England and Wales that has seen a reduction in the number of knife related offences committed in recent times.
“But our aim is for weapon-free streets throughout the county and we will continue to endeavour – through education, awareness and action – to make Cheshire an area where no-one carries a knife or feels that there is a reason to do so.
“However, the police cannot achieve this goal on our own. Knife crime is a societal problem that cannot be solved without the support of the whole society.
“If you have any information regarding knife crimes or those who carry weapons please let us know, or let Crimestoppers know anonymously.”