Operation AVRO: Full-day blitz on suspects, drugs, vehicles and criminality in Salford
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Eighteen suspects were arrested, cash, drugs and vehicles were seized, and over 100 motorists were summonsed for driving offences as part of our blitz on crime across the city of Salford yesterday.
The action was part of our new force-wide initiative - codenamed Operation AVRO - which will run each month in a different district, and began this October in Salford.
Over 200 officers were involved in the operation - maximising resources from across our districts and specialist units - and flooded the city with a surge of activity, including warrants, arrests, community engagement, traffic enforcement, and crime-prevention advice.
The day was bookended with two public street briefings; one of which was led by Chief Constable Stephen Watson in Walkden town centre - moments after a shoplifting suspect was arrested in a nearby superstore - before over 30 neighbourhood officers embarked on anti-social behaviour patrols in the area.
A total of 13 warrants were executed during the day which saw 18 people arrested - including a teenager found in his attic in possession of four stolen phones and car keys believed to have been stolen overnight in Pendleton.
One of the more unique arrests was in Weaste alongside partners in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) as a man was taken to custody to be questioned for the illegal trade of birds; over 20 exotic birds were taken to safety by RSPCA officers who later questioned the suspect.
Our traffic cops underwent a day of intensified traffic enforcement on A57 Regent Road which resulted in 19 uninsured vehicles seized, 104 motorists reported for traffic offences, and 10 unsafe vehicles prohibited from the road.
Community officers dropped leaflets through the doors of hundreds of local residents to let them know about the AVRO activity taking place through the day, and councillors and other local community members joined our local patrols in engaging with the public and discussing ways of tackling crime.
Multi-agency visits to 26 addresses took place through the afternoon with Salford City council where officers from our Salford Connect safeguarding team spoke to a number of suspected victims of 'cuckooing' where criminals target and criminally exploit vulnerable adults.
The day's action has been pledged to be more than a one-off; instead an exemplification of the new era GMP has launched itself into, where more criminals are arrested, more assets are seized, and more police are in our neighbourhoods.
Assistant Chief Constable Scott Green, GMP's joint-lead on local policing, said: "I hope that yesterday was a reminder to all of our communities that GMP is very much here and able to show a really visible presence on our streets.
"It has served as a reminder to the criminals that are causing harm to our communities, to families, that GMP is on its front foot and we will - based on intelligence - conduct enforcement activity.
"This is what a new and resurgent GMP looks like and we have shown - and are committed to continuing to show - that we are really capable of putting on these key enforcement activities.
"GMP is a big team and we should have our head held high. We should be out there, engaging with the public, conducting enforcement and reminding the criminals that are causing harm that this is what we're here to do.
"This is the start of a new era of policing in Greater Manchester and the people of Salford experienced just the start of this yesterday; we hope communities in the city should start to feel closer to their neighbourhood teams and reporting the issues that matter to them.
"For the rest of the region: Operation AVRO will be coming to a town near you soon where you can expect to see something just as big, if not bigger. This will only enhance - not detract - from our day-to-day work as we pledge to bring more criminals to book and make our streets a safer place."
Praising GMP's Operation AVRO, Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “Yesterday was a successful operation with drugs, cash and stolen property recovered from warrants and uninsured drivers caught on the roads.
"I’d like to thank local people for their support. Their information is vital so that the enforcement agencies can take action. I’d encourage anybody with information that may be useful to authorities to make contact."