Rioters can expect their faces to be broadcast across the city as Greater Manchester Police unveiled their Shop a Looter campaign on Market Street yesterday.
Images of those responsible for Tuesday’s unrest were displayed prominently on mobile advertising vans at the entrance to the Arndale Centre as authorities began the task of bringing troublemakers to justice.
Supporting the initiative were GMP Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, Manchester City Councillors Pat Karney and Jim Battle, and Manchester Central MP Tony Lloyd.
“I said we were coming to get you, and Greater Manchester Police has put resources behind that campaign,” said Assistant Chief Constable Shewan, referring to his press conference from Tuesday night.
Authorities have been using social media websites to publish pictures of those they believe were responsible for the riots, and are now taking to the streets in an attempt to track them down.
“I hope they feel very frightened, because the voice of the majority of the people is going to be heard,” said Councillor Karney, who urged the community to come together to identify those responsible.
DETERMINED: GMP’s campaign shows they are serious in catching those responsible
He said that the council was working 18 hours a day with police to root out offenders, and expressed his anger that businesses had been wrecked during the riots.
“There are 120,000 jobs in Manchester city centre. If we lose one job in these hard times, then together we have all lost out,” he said.
And Mr Lloyd, who has been an MP in Manchester since 1983, compared the damage to that caused by the IRA bomb that ripped through the city centre in 1996.
Discussing the rioters unmasked on the Shop a Looter posters, he said: “I hope they feel ashamed. They are the lowest of the low.”
Four of the people on the billboard were identified soon after the campaign hit Market Street, and 126 have so far been charged with offences related to the riots.
Many more are expected following the launch of this campaign, and the message from above is clear.
Mr Lloyd said: “Manchester is a proud city. I’m sure these people will find themselves before the courts.”
And Councillor Karney added: “Every single one will be taken down.”
Shop a Looter pictures can also be found on the GMP website (http://www.gmp.police.uk/).
Any relevant information, including the names of those caught on camera, should be passed on to the police appeal phone line at 0800 092 0410.
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