Operation Vulcan Piccadilly ramp up efforts to tackle violence and anti-social behaviour in the city centre in day of action
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Over the course of yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 17 October) police, supported by Home Office Immigration Enforcement and neighbourhood officers, deployed a knife arch in Piccadilly Gardens to actively target those carrying knives or weapons. Additional officers were also in the area to conduct knife sweeps of hot spot areas and undertake a number stop searches resulting in drugs being seized and taken off the streets of Manchester.
Throughout the day, police made three arrests and conducted seven positive stop searches – resulting in class A and B drugs being seized. Thankfully, no weapons were seized, perhaps testament to the high visibility police activity that has been ongoing in Piccadilly Gardens over the last month.
As well as providing a visible reassurance to the public, these days also offer a great opportunity to engage with younger people, explain the risks of carrying a knife, and work with our partners to tackle and deter those who engage in anti-social behaviour through proactive policing, enforcement, and referrals to charities and youth organisations.
Police Constable Ant Rushton, one of Operation Vulcan’s specialist officers, said: “We want Piccadilly Gardens to be a welcoming, friendly area for everyone to enjoy and days of action like this using specialist resources from across the force will continue to form part of our tactics until we have driven out every form of criminality.
“So far, in just one month of being deployed in Piccadilly Gardens, we’ve made 27 arrests for a wide range of offences including possession with intent to supply, modern day slavery offences, breach of bail and possession of an offensive weapon. Police have also resolved a large number of issues using restorative justice and referrals to a wide range of partner agencies.
“By having a consistent presence in Piccadilly Gardens, we’ve been able to identify a number of individuals loitering in the area, who have strict Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) or bail conditions not the enter the area, meaning they’ve been swiftly removed or arrested – proactively preventing further criminal activity.
“I hope this sends a clear message that we will continue to deploy a wide range of tactics to ensure our communities feel safe. We’re here to keep you safe and if you have any concerns, or want to speak to our officers, they will be happy to answer any questions."
We all have a part to play in tackling knife crime in our communities. I encourage members of the public to continue to provide us with any information or intelligence that you may have, as this supports the work that GMP and our partners undertake in our fight against knife crime and allows us to take the necessary action to minimise the devastating impact it can have on our communities. If you suspect someone you know is carrying a knife, talk to them about the dangers, and if they persist, please report it to the police to protect them and others.