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Police Make More Riot Arrests

GMP launches Operation Valant

Written by . Published on November 1st 2011.


Police Make More Riot Arrests

TWENTY FIVE people have today been arrested following an investigation into the August disorder in Manchester and Salford.

Operation Valant was launched by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to identify and arrest those involved and a series of dawn raids took place across Salford, north and central Manchester and Bury today (November 1).

"We are still relentlessly pursuing those suspected of being involved in the shameful actions we saw that day."

Police have arrested 23 people for offences directly linked to the disoorder and a further two for unconnected offences.

Officers have also recovered suspected stolen clothing and other items and uncovered a large cannabis farm. All remain in custody pending further inquiries.

Since the night of the disorder, GMP has launched a huge operation to target suspected offenders, arresting more than 350 people and putting more than 200 of those before the courts.

Many of these have arrests have been carried out thanks to tremendous support from the public, who have come forward and put names to CCTV images the Force has published on its Flickr site and in the local and national media.

To generate those images, officers have recovered and trawled thousands of hours of CCTV to identify potential suspects.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, who leads Operation Valant, said: "What today's action shows is that almost three months since the disorder, we are still relentlessly pursuing those suspected of being involved in the shameful actions we saw that day.

"We know from talking to our communities that what happened on 9 August continues to provoke feelings of anger and outrage. Many shopkeepers are rebuilding their livelihoods and people are still trying to come to terms with the violent and ugly scenes the police and the public were faced with.

"That is why Greater Manchester Police is continuing to arrest anyone suspected of being involved in the disorder. As today shows, whether it is a matter of days or months, we will be coming through the doors of anyone involved whether it is a looter, an arsonist, those who attacked police officers or even those who used social networking sites to stir up trouble.

"The public, police and judiciary have all shown they will not tolerate the appalling criminal behaviour we witnessed in August. This has been reflected in the speed at which people have been brought to justice and the sentences they have been given.

"The sheer number of people involved in the disorder is reflected in the scale of the investigation we have launched to bring people to justice. Thousands of hours of CCTV footage has been painstakingly viewed by officers to identify potential offenders, with hours more still to be viewed. We have a dedicated team of detectives from our Major Incident Team working full-time on the investigation, supported by local offices across Greater Manchester.

"The support we have received from the public has been fantastic and their information has enabled us to make more than 350 arrests. We need that to continue. Greater Manchester Police will continue to put out images of suspects and I would urge people to call us if they recognise someone. As today has shown, with the public's help we will track these people down."

Cllr Paul Murphy, Chairman of Greater Manchester Police Authority, said: "On behalf of the Police Authority I would like to once again take the opportunity to praise Greater Manchester Police for their continuing hard work and dedication in bringing theses offenders to justice. We also want to thank the public for their support for the police, which has been immense.

"The disturbances of the 9 August had a devastating impact on local communities and businesses. We have now received 399 claims for compensation under the Riot Damages Act which, along with £3.3M of policing costs, brings the total bill for the damage caused by these mindless thugs to approximately £9M."

Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for community safety at Salford City Council, said: "These raids show the police's ongoing commitment to catching those responsible for the riots in Salford and Manchester. Over the past few weeks we've been doing a lot to support the police investigation, but also to support the businesses affected by the disorder to get back on track. These criminals should not be allowed to get away with what they did to our communities and today's action shows we will be doing everything possible to make sure they don't."

Anyone with information should phone the dedicated appeal line number on 0800 092 0410 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


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