The tragic deaths of 22-year-old Sam Miller, 28-year-old Ashley Dale and nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel – all a result of gun crime – have rocked the city of Liverpool.
The senseless loss of young lives has horrified the entire community, and there is a deep sense that the deaths should mark a watershed moment with people demanding an end to the violence.
On Saturday, Liverpool will once again come together for the Merseyside derby and Reds and Blues attending the game have united to send a message of solidarity with the families of the victims and to say with one voice, enough is enough.
In a moving tribute, both sets of supporters will unfurl a banner across the Bullens divide, declaring “Enough is Enough – Our City in Unity.” And they are calling for anyone who has information about the perpetrators of these crimes to come forward and tell the authorities.
In a statement issued jointly by the Everton Fans’ Forum and Spirit of Shankly, the groups said:
“Our city has been shaken in recent weeks by gun and knife crime, including the tragic death of nine year old Olivia Pratt-Korbel.
“It’s time for the entire community – blue and red – to come together once again. If you know anything or have any information please let the authorities know. Keeping quiet is not an option.
“As a mark of respect for Olivia, her family and all those impacted by gun and knife crime in our city, we ask all supporters to take part in a minutes applause and to sing ‘Merseyside’ when the match clock reaches nine minutes in Saturday’s Merseyside Derby.
“Enough is Enough.”
Although all knife and gun crime is abhorrent and the loss of any life to it causes pain and misery for families and the community at large, the murder of an innocent nine-year-old girl in her own home has acted like a lightning rod for public opinion, symbolising the utter revulsion felt by the overwhelming majority of people in the city.
In the aftermath of her death, in an attempt to reject a so-called “anti-grass culture,” the authorities and public figures, including former Liverpool and Everton players, united to call for unity and solidarity with the message “whose side are you on?”
The very strong message sent out by Reds and Blues at the derby on Saturday demonstrates that once again, though we can be bitter rivals on the pitch, when it matters off it, this city is as united as ever.
Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC or call @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting log 22000621096. You can also pass information on the Major Incident Public Portal website mipp.police.uk.