Fighting crime for Christmas: GMP desperate to ‘ruin’ offenders’ festivities and throw them behind bars

By Jon Robinson

A ‘winter storm’ is being whirled up across Greater Manchester to restrain rising crime levels and ensure people’s safety over the festive period.

Greater Manchester Police’s Operation Advent, which starts today, aims to ensure that crime does not peak, as it has done in previous years.

The campaign aims clamp down on thugs and thieves ‘who should be ringing in the New Year behind bars’.

During the operation, people will be asked to do their bit by keeping their valuables safe and their homes secure.

Assistant Chief Constable, Terry Sweeney, said: “This operation is a pre-emptive strike against offenders who may assume that we will sit back over Christmas and allow them on their merry way.

“The fact is that we plan to ruin their festivities and keep them locked up for Christmas lunch.

Officers from the tactical aid unit, traffic, ANPR officers, mounted police, dog handlers and special constables will be out supporting each of the divisions on seeking out their most wanted.

An ad-van will also be out across Manchester, Bolton and Salford to name and shame offenders who will have ‘no choice’ but to turn themselves in.

ACC Sweeny said: “Today is the start of two weeks of action, where criminals will be woken by the dawn chorus of doors cracking to the chime of wham rams across Greater Manchester.”

He added that all officers will be ‘picking up the gauntlet’ with robbery and burglary operations taking place in every town.

ACC Sweeny said: “Being a victim of crime is no fun at any time of year but seems particularly distressing at Christmas.

“While we work round the clock to lock these criminals up I ask that everyone plays their part to avoid becoming a victim by keeping their homes and valuables safe, keeping doors and windows locked, alarms and lights on and presents out of view.”

Neighbourhood teams will also be linking up with local supermarkets to remind families to stay security conscious and look out for one another throughout the holiday period.

Christmas themed ‘help us to bang up burglars’ material will be handed out to shoppers, directing people to GMP’s online Christmas advent calendar, where they can view 24 ‘gems’ of crime prevention and safety advice.

ACC Sweeney added: “It’s also important for neighbours to look out for one another and their properties, check on older or vulnerable residents and report it if you have any concerns to your local neighbourhood team or council.

If you have any information that you would like to report anonymously you can do so by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Picture courtesy of GMP, with thanks

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