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Mums across Merseyside whose loved ones are believed to be involved in gun crime will be receiving special Christmas cards this year from Merseyside Police.

The cards show guns and bullets which have been arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree and the words: ‘Don’t let gun crime ruin your Christmas’. Inside the message reads: ‘Guns keep no-one safe, not even your family and ‘If someone you know carries a gun for ‘protection’ they are putting themselves, their friends and family at greater risk. Enjoy a safe and peaceful Christmas.’

It also refers people to the website www.tough-call.co.uk for advice and information about gun crime.

The cards will be sent to mums and to influential women in the individual’s lives including girlfriends and grandmothers.

It is hoped the card will encourage people to think about the dangers their loved ones are placing themselves and their families in and to take immediate action to deter them from becoming involved in gun crime and prevent them from being injured or killed.

Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Green said: “These are not ordinary Christmas cards – they carry a very important message to the families of those we believe to be involved in gun crime.

“We hope that the people who receive these cards take them as seriously as Merseyside Police takes the issue of gun crime.

“Nobody wants to spend Christmas mourning the loss or serious injury of a loved one as a direct result of their involvement in gun crime.

“If this card makes just one family of a gun offender stop, think and talk about the dangers and consequences of firearms then they will have achieved what we set out to do.

“There is a very real danger to all involved in gun crime and we urge mums, who know their sons, or daughters, are involved with gangs who use firearms to help them to get out of the vicious circle they may have found themselves in.

“We all want the best for our children and we don’t want to see them go to prison, or even worse, for their involvement in gun crime.

“We know calling us with information will be one of the toughest decisions they will ever make but it could be a decision that saves not only their loved one’s life but the life of the son, brother, nephew or husband of another woman.”

Anyone with information about gun or gang crime is asked to call the MSOC gun crime hotline 0800 230 0600. Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with the confidential Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111