A group of youths stumbled on a handgun and rounds of ammunition which was hidden at a Wirral beauty spot.
Police were alerted at 5.20pm yesterday (Monday 6th July) after reports that the group had found a handgun and a total of 15, 9mm rounds in a bag which had been hidden on Bidston Hill near Birkenhead.
The weapon and ammunition were recovered for forensic examination and an investigation is now under way.
Detective Inspector Sabi Kaur said: "This is truly shocking. To find a gun and ammunition in such a public place and where young people play and gather is totally unacceptable.
"The young people who discovered this had the presence of mind to speak to an adult who then contacted us and I am pleased that this is another weapon which has been taken off our streets.
"I want to assure our local communities that we are committed to taking guns off our streets and find the people who are responsible for using them to cause fear of violence or intimidation.
"We regularly carry out open land searches and have considerable success in recovering weapons but we also need the public to support us by telling us the people who are using or storing weapons in their communities so that we can take positive action to seize them and put the people responsible behind bars."
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Anyone with information is asked to contact the gun crime hotline on 0800 230 0600 or Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC.
You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 20000396215 of 6th July or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form here.