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On Thursday 19 January, ahead of the government’s new announcement on their initiative to tackle organised criminal gangs, the Operation Vulcan team welcomed the Home Secretary to Cheetham Hill and Strangeways to demonstrate their action so far.
The new organised crime strategy –‘clear, hold, build’ will see police ruthlessly pursue gang members to clear the area, hold the location so another gang cannot take its place, and ultimately build the community into a prosperous area people are proud to live and work in. This has been Operation Vulcan’s goal since day one, and with the help of partner agencies across Greater Manchester, Operation Vulcan has taken great strides to ridding the area of the criminality that has, for too long, caused devastation to the local communities.
People often don’t see how serious organised crime is underpinning the counterfeit trade in Cheetham Hill and Strangeways, but the money people are spending on these fake items, is funding serious criminality and contributing to the purchase of drugs and weapons which are being imported and couriered across Greater Manchester. Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime and Operation Vulcan is continuing to engage with members of the public to show them the true cost of counterfeit clothing, but also the danger they’re putting themselves and loved ones in by buying or gifting these items.
Detective Superintendent Neil Blackwood who is leading Operation Vulcan said: “Organised crime is at the very centre of the problems our communities are facing and it’s bringing violent crime and anti-social behaviour to the area. We’ve seen rival gangs fighting in broad daylight, breaking into each other’s shops to tax their goods, dealing drugs in front of members of the public and intimidating legitimate businesses. These criminals are funding their lavish lifestyles at the expense of vulnerable victims and local families, and we will no longer stand for it.
“Operation Vulcan was established to target every level of criminality in the area. We aren’t just targeting the low-level members, we’re working our way up the chain, dismantling their enterprises, and seizing millions of pounds worth of counterfeit clothing and hundreds and thousands of pounds as we go.”