Five men arrested in Oldham as Greater Manchester Police take on ‘Mr Bigs’ and crime family empires

By Mancunian Matters staff

Five men were arrested yesterday as part of Greater Manchester Police’s operation to bring down the empires of the ‘Mr Bigs’ and crime families across Manchester.

Members of the community provided anonymous tip-offs after an appeal from police for their help, enabling officers from the Serious Organised Crime Unit to execute 15 warrants in the Oldham area.

Five men, aged 20, 25, 27, 33 and 52, were arrested on suspicion of importation and supply of heroin and remain in police custody for questioning, while £50,000 was seized along with computers and mobile phones.

Detective Inspector Chris Mossop from the Serious Organised Crime Unit said: “This operation is just a small part of a long term plan to disrupt and dismantle serious organised crime across the Greater Manchester area.

“We have proved that we will not sit back while these groups conduct their illegal activities and spread misery within their neighbourhoods.

“I can reassure members of the public that we are doing all we can to stop them.”

Greater Manchester Police unveiled the multiagency crackdown on organised crime on Tuesday – targeting every element of a criminal’s life, including business interests, properties, benefits, and their associates.

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy branded much organised crime and its ‘insidious effects’ as coming from the same families – and the initiative aims to put a stop to them.

Sir Peter said: “Organised crime groups can have an insidious effect on our communities, creating a culture of fear and intimidation and making people’s lives a misery.

“Time and time again, agencies are dealing with the same people from the same families which is both a huge drain on resources and the public purse.

“We all need to work together rather than in silos to really tackle these problems.”

With Home Office support, the operation is being piloted in the Tameside and north Manchester areas and could be rolled out nationally after Greater Manchester.

Anyone with information about serious organised crime can phone police on 0161 856 0884 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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