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Over 7 days in October 2022, officers from Greater Manchester Police Transport Unit were deployed to Victoria Metrolink Stop. In the course of their patrols, they arrested 7 men on suspicion of possessing offensive weapons. A total of 6 knives and one knuckleduster were also seized.
The first of these was a joint patrols led by GMP's XM Duty and Operation Sycamore task forces, which took place on 23 October 2022. It was a mass deployment involving officers and search dogs during which one suspect - Kyle Church (18) of Lees Road, Oldham was arrested and charged for possession of a bladed weapon.
On the following day (24 October 2022), deployments to the Victoria Metrolink stop led to the arrest of two males - aged 17 and 19 - as they exited a tram. When searched, both males were found in possession of a knife and taken into custody. Hamza Zahoor (19) of Rye Bank Road, Old Trafford and a 17-year-old male who cannot be named for legal reasons were subsequently charged for possession of offensive weapons.
Joint action followed on Saturday 29 October by the Duty Team and Custodian Team which was designed to intercept suspicious activity following a concert at the Manchester Arena. It led to a further 2 arrests of males who were taken off the tram on suspicion of possessing bladed weapons and illegal drugs.
On Monday 31 October, uniformed and plain clothes officers once again took to the platform and arrested a 16-year-old male on suspicion of possessing a large, bladed weapon. He was taken into police custody for questioning.
Along with this result, another 11 individuals were stopped and searched with 3 found to be in possession of illegal drugs.
A further arrest was made on Monday 24 October 2022 when a driver of a suspected stolen vehicle was stopped by officers and was also found to be in possession of a knuckleduster. The driver, Brwa Blbas (33) of Preston New Road, Blackburn was taken into custody and charged with possession of an offensive weapon and unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle.
Chief Inspector Ronnie Neilson of GMP Transport Unit Said: "Over 7 days our Transport Unit officers have intercepted a number of individuals who had travelled to our city and had the potential to commit harm. The plethora of arrests and seizures of offensive weapons that followed have subsequently made our streets and our communities safer.
"We will continue to proactively target those suspected of carrying knives. The risks that knives bring to our communities mean that there can be no exceptions and if you are caught carrying a knife, you will be arrested.
"Equally, if you know or suspect that someone is carrying a knife, please report it to us. The information you have could minimise the devasting impact that knife crime has in our communities and could save lives."
You can contact GMP by calling 101 or anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Always dial 999 in an emergency.