/ Police arrest 57 as part of Christmas crackdown

Greater Manchester Police launched their winter storm before Christmas to keep crime from rising and people safe during the festive weeks.

A total of 37 warrants took place across Greater Manchester yesterday (Tuesday 18 December) but the operation will continue throughout the week and over the Christmas period. Fifty seven arrests were made for a variety of offences including burglary, drug dealing and sex offences. Of those arrested, 14 have been charged, four have been bailed and two were NFA’d (no further action taken).

During the raids officers have uncovered shotgun cartridges, £2,000 cash, four cannabis farms, Class A and B drugs (heroin, cannabis and amphetamine) and a stolen vehicle. In addition, a £16,000 car was seized by officers in North Manchester who suspect the car was being used by offenders to commit robbery in the city centre.

Officers are working under Operation Advent to ensure that crime does not peak at the end of the year, as it has in previous years, by clamping down on thugs and thieves who should be ringing in the New Year behind bars. The county will become a hostile environment for criminals this week while the good people of our communities are kept safe. During the week of action people will be asked to help do their bit by keeping their valuables safe and their homes secure.

Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said: “This operation is a pre-emptive strike against offenders who may assume that we will sit back over Christmas and allow them on their merry way. The fact is that we plan to ruin their festivities and keep them locked up for Christmas lunch.

“Today was the start of two weeks of action, where criminals were woken by the dawn chorus of doors cracking to the chime of wham rams across Greater Manchester.  All our officers picked up the gauntlet with robbery and burglary operations taking place in every town.

“Being a victim of crime is no fun at any time of year but seems particularly distressing at Christmas. One in three burglaries happen because of an open window or door that has made life easy for a criminal to steal property. While we work round the clock to lock these criminals up I ask that everyone plays their part to avoid becoming a victim by keeping their homes and valuables safe, keeping doors and windows locked, alarms and lights on and presents out of view.”

Officers from the tactic aid unit, traffic, ANPR officers, mounted police and dog handlers will be out supporting each of the divisions this week and over the Christmas period. An ad-van will be out across Manchester, Bolton and Salford to also name and shame offenders who have no choice but to turn themselves in.

Neighbourhood teams will be linking up with local supermarkets, while people get their ‘big shops’ in before Christmas, to remind families to stay security conscious and look out for one another throughout the holiday period.

Christmas themed ‘Help us to bang up burglars’ material will be handed out to shoppers who will be directed to GMP’s online Christmas advent calendar (www.gmp.police.uk/advent) where they can view 24 gems of crime prevention and safety advice.

ACC Sweeney added: “It’s also important for neighbours to look out for one another and their properties, check on older or vulnerable residents and report it if you have any concerns to your local neighbourhood team or council. From all at GMP we hope you have a safe Christmas and a very Happy New Year.”

Help to bang up burglars by reporting anything suspicious to police on 999 or the non-emergency number 101. If you have any information that you would like to report anonymously you can do so by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

For more information go to our website: www.gmp.police.uk

/ Related