Hard hitting operation targets violent crime

Friday, 27 June, 2008

Greater Manchester Police and its partners are turning up the heat today (Friday 27 June)on violent offenders on a focused day of action.

Violent crime has been steadily dropping over the last five years and police are keen to continue the trend. Woundings have decreased by 28 per cent when comparing 2003/04 with 2007/08, meaning 8,457 fewer victims of violence.

More recently there has been a decrease of 13 per cent in woundings when comparing annual figures for 2007/08 with 2006/07, meaning 3,428 fewer victims of violent crime.

This clampdown has been organised in response to an expected seasonal increase in the summer months and will see a range of intelligence-led police and partner activity across the whole of the county.

Known violent criminals breaching bail or curfew conditions or failing to pay fines will be targeted in their homes by police and Marston warrant enforcement officers.

Police and trading standards officers will be visiting shops across the force area to check for the illegal sale of knives to those under-age. Under new legislation people found selling knives to those under 18 years can face up to six months imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000.

Police and trading standards officers will also be targeting licensed premises thought to be selling alcohol to under-age drinkers.

Extensive automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) operations sited on roads in the vicinity of violence hotspots will check for drink-drivers and those driving under the influence of drugs. People driving vehicles without tax, insurance or MOT certificates or while disqualified and offenders wanted for questioning will also be picked up by the sophisticated road-side system.

Special police units that include mounted officers, dog handlers and officers from the tactical aid and firearms units will supplement local officers policing town centre hotspots throughout the evening and night providing a high visibility presence and public reassurance.

Police officers will also be joining ticket inspectors on First and Stagecoach bus services that serve the city centre and other trouble hotspots to tackle fare dodgers and anti social behaviour.

Fire and rescue officers will be visiting firework retailers to check that they are not stocking illegal fireworks, and are storing fireworks safely.

Chief Superintendent Steven Hartley from Greater Manchester Police said: "GMP and its partners are committed to making our towns and cities safer places for people to enjoy a night out or go about their legitimate business.

"We have had considerable success with operations such as Siren in Bolton and Stand in Tameside that operate at weekends throughout the year to ensure that people can enjoy the night-life free from the fear of crime and get home safely.

"Operation Hydrofoil will build on this success, reiterate to offenders that violent behaviour will not be tolerated in our county and reassure people that protecting them and fighting crime are our overriding priorities."

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