Operation Vortex - day of action in Oldham cracking down on drugs, anti-social behaviour, and violence
Main article content
Officers from across the district have been conducting a series of warrants, performed weapons sweeps, and engaging with young people and communities in the Failsworth, Hollinwood, Central and Limeside areas, as part of a major push to crack down on violence, drugs, weapons and anti-social behaviour.
Multiple drugs warrants were conducted across the morning of Friday 3 December, as well as environment and immigration warrants, and warrants alongside partners at Trading Standards.
In total, 17 arrests have been made for an array of offences, one man has been charged with possession of cannabis, another charged with driving while disqualified.
Significant quantities of cannabis were seized, along with quantities of cocaine, heroin and crack cocaine.
16 vehicles were seized during a traffic operation on Oldham Road in Failsworth, 13 for no insurance or no licence and three were stolen from different areas of Greater Manchester.
Weapon seizures include three knives, one machete, and one axe.
Neighbourhood teams have also been engaging with local communities, targeting hot-spot areas for shoplifting in the run up to Christmas, weapon sweeps, and assisting local councillors and residents with a litter pick in support of Oldham Council's Don't Trash Oldham campaign - giving every ward in the borough a deep clean.
School engagement officers have also been engaging with pupils in schools, to educate them about knife crime and the consequences of carrying a weapon.
Oldham's Chief Superintendent Chris Bowen, who attended the dawn raids said: "Operation Vortex is something we plan to do every month, targeting a different part of the Oldham district each time.
"Drug fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour has a really negative impact on the people living where it's taking place. It's unacceptable - we will not tolerate this kind of criminal behaviour, and we will continue to disrupt it to make communities safer places to be.
"My message to those continuing to behave this way across Oldham - is stop now; because next month we might be on your doorstep. And to the public, I want to urge anyone who witnesses an incident, or needs to report a crime to contact us via LiveChat on our website www.gmp.police.uk, or call 101. Alternatively, you can make reports anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 in an emergency. If you see something, say something, and we can do something."
Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Oldham Council and our partners at Greater Manchester Police are committed to providing safe communities for our residents to live in.
“Anti-social behaviour and crime has a really negative impact on neighbourhoods so initiatives such as Operation Vortex are important.
"Council teams have been out supporting the police today to help tackle criminal activity and to reassure residents
"Tackling criminality and anti-social behaviour with targeted days of action like this will help improve the lives of people living in Failsworth, Hollinwood and Limeside in the long term.
"Finally if you do see people creating problems and carrying out crimes then report it – you’ll be helping to improve things for you and your neighbours.”