/ Operation targets crime on students

Police in South Manchester have today, 16 January 2013 launched a New Year blitz to keep down crimes against students.

More than 100 officers are today working under Operation Storm to ensure the start of the new term is crime free through a clampdown on those criminals suspected to be targeting the City’s students.

Chief Inspector Arif Nawaz from the South Manchester Division said: “January is also the start of a new term for students who on their return bring with them new gifts such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and TV’s that have been purchased during the holidays. When you consider that these items are valued up to £10,000, it is a seriously lucrative and appealing business for criminals.”

Figures show that between 1 January and 31 December 2012, 867 homes were burgled in the Hulme, Moss Side, Fallowfield, Old Moat and Rusholme areas which are dominated by students. Four hundred and seventeen of these of these could have been avoided if the homes had been made secure.

Chief Inspector Nawaz added: “Throughout the year our officers have been working hard to bring down this type of crime. It has included working closely with our partners at the universities and the student unions on crime prevention for students.

“This crackdown follows on from the Forcewide Christmas operation, which ran between 17 December 2012 and 3 January 2013 to bring down thieves, thugs and fugitives to justice. It resulted in 968 arrested, 401 people charged and 172 people bailed. A total 153 warrants were carried out, 58 fixed penalty notices issued and 662 stop searches made.

“We said we wouldn't rest our laurels and here we are again showing criminals that when we say we will make life hard for them, we mean it. Our figures show that Forcewide there was a 9.5 per cent reduction in burglary, stealing and violent crime in December 2012 when compared to December 2011. As part of our second phase of activity, we will be out in force to arrest offenders, seize illegal vehicles, increase our patrols in student areas and ensure licensed premises are safe environments for those who visit them.

“We also want students to do their bit to make it difficult for criminals, keep homes locked and valuables away from prying eyes. While out and about stick to well lit streets, be aware of your surroundings and don’t keep valuables on view. Remember it only takes a few simple steps to ensure your safety. You can also register your gifts on immobilise.com and download a tracking ap for your smartphone, tablet or MP3. Once it has been downloaded, users can use their password to track their phone or tablet from a web enabled computer or device which can help officers catch thieves in the act.”

For more information on student safety visit: gmp.police.uk/students or like our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/mcrstudentsafer. The page has been created by GMP, Manchester City Council and the universities. It includes updates on crime in your area and features useful information and advice on how to stay safe.

To report a crime or any information dial 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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