New operation to tackle violent crime results in eleven arrests across Greater Manchester
Main article content
Officers from a brand-new team which has been set up to tackle violent crime and serious criminality have arrested eleven people for several offences.
For the first 13 days of December, the team targetted hot spots from across Greater Manchester in a period of intensification.
The new team named Operation Venture, is composed of full-time, specially selected, and ring-fenced officers who have been working with districts to target known offenders, patrol hot spot locations and keep communities safe.
The team have taken part in a number of tactics including:
Proactive patrols across hot spot areas
Arrests for a variety of offences including possession of a bladed article and drug offences
Stop and search
Assisting divisional response teams with Grade 1 calls
Moving forward the team will continue to use intelligence-led practises to ensure we are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities and provide support and safety in the fight against serious violence and knife crime.
This work will complement that of Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit – a multi-agency team that seeks to address the underlying causes of violence and works together with communities to prevent it.
Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: “The launch of Operation Venture demonstrates Greater Manchester’s determination to rid our streets of weapons and keep our communities, particularly our young people, safe from violent crime.
“I was able to accompany the new team on a patrol recently and was extremely impressed with their enthusiasm and commitment to tackling crime and engaging with our communities. I also witnessed the warm reception our officers received from members of the public, as they walked the streets.
“Operation Venture will complement the work of our Violence Reduction Unit in working with communities to prevent violent crime.”
As part of the launch of Operation Venture, the team were asked what knife crime means to them and why being part of a team dedicated to keeping our communities safe from violence was so important:
PC Jones said: “I’ve grown up seeing some of the people I know turn to violent crime – some of the people I went to school with are now in prison for serious violent offences.
"It’s incredibly sad seeing younger children losing their lives and losing their way - and I want to do what I can to help. I don’t think those carrying knives realise the consequences of it.
“I’ve been around some of the schools as a neighbourhood officer to speak with students and a lot don’t seem to realise that by carrying a knife, you are putting yourself in more danger than by not having one at all and could fall to be a victim yourself.
“One of the main drivers for me in joining the new team is to protect children. I’m very close to my partners child and if she became a victim of a knifepoint robbery, or was hurt in anyway by knife-crime, I’d worry for how she would cope with the lasting trauma I have seen others suffer, and how we would as a family, it would be very difficult and traumatising. I can’t imagine the pain that some families are going through and if I can spare even one family that, I know I will have done a good thing.”
PC Johnson said: "I’ve sadly seen a lot of violence in my 20 years’ service. I dealt with one lad who had been stabbed and sadly he ended up dying at the side of the road whilst I was giving him CPR. He was only 19.
"I see [being part of the team] as a chance to go back to the basics of what we should be doing as police officers – which is getting out there, catching the criminals and stopping serious crime."
Sergeant Waqas said: “Our communities have been through enough and we need to start taking action because that’s what they want. We need to be robust, and we need to do more – and that is exactly what this team is setting out to do working alongside the communities.
“To any young person who might be carrying a knife I would say very simply: don’t do it, it’s not worth it. Most of the stab wounds that I’ve seen have been one stab wound. They haven’t been stabbed repeatedly so it’s more likely that the person stabbed them impulsively. Sometimes the offender aims for a certain place on the body where they think they won’t do much damage. But there’s no safe place to stab someone.”