450 held as police blitz violent criminals

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The Independent Online

More than 450 people have been arrested as 3,000 police officers launched a blitz on violent crime.

Dawn raids on suspects began at 5am and continued throughout the day after Greater Manchester Police launched a huge dragnet called Operation Admiral.

The number of arrests stands at 454, with more expected as the 24-hour crackdown runs until 5am tomorrow.

Simon Byrne, deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said: "We've had a fantastic response from the community. Their support and feedback is really helping us to get the criminals off the streets of Greater Manchester."

Police targeted criminals wanted for alcohol-fuelled violent assaults and those who have jumped bail and were on the run.

The crackdown is in response to a Government survey showing a third of people across the North West perceive drunk or rowdy behaviour as a big or fairly big problem.

Mr Byrne said: "Today we have sent out a powerful message to criminals who are responsible for the sorts of violent attacks the majority of people of Greater Manchester rightly abhor.

"All too frequently, alcohol is a major cause of aggression and results in innocent people being subjected to violent and unprovoked assaults.

"That sort of behaviour will not go unpunished and today we have responded positively to the message we have been getting from our communities that these criminals should be locked up.

"That is why today we have launched this huge operation and a significant number of criminals have been arrested."

Tonight, police will have a heavy presence in and around the region's pubs and clubs to ensure they are not breaking licensing laws.

Extra community support officers, custody officers and solicitors have been drafted in help make arrests and deal with those in custody.

All available cells throughout Greater Manchester have been opened and additional prisoner buses have been hired for the day.

GMP said 999 calls and day-to-day policing will not be affected.

The number of arrests in each division of the Greater Manchester force is: North Manchester 31; Metropolitan 71; South Manchester 13; Salford 33; Tameside 18; Stockport 33; Bolton 65; Wigan 31; Trafford 69; Bury 14; Rochdale 45; Oldham 31.