The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

120 arrested in Fallowfield crime initiative

A series of unannounced door-to-door visits in Fallowfield at the beginning of October saw over 100 known criminals located and arrested and £90000 worth of cannabis plants seized

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Around £100000 worth of cannabis plants and cultivation equipment has been seized from address in Fallowfield by Greater Manchester Police.

A total of 120 people were also arrested and a number have already been charged as part of GMP’s Operation Storm cracking down on crimes including burglary, drug dealing and assault.

Operation Storm is a project intended to clamp down on crimes against students, particularly those moving into houses for the first time, who are at risk from local criminals targeting them and their student homes in particular.

Officers from across the county have been carrying out unannounced home visits on convicted criminals in Greater Manchester to ensure they are sticking to their bail and curfew conditions and not at risk of reoffending.

The warrants, carried out across the 1st and 2nd of October, also resulted in the arrests of wanted offenders, including young men wanted for a cash in transit robbery and a 19-year-old man wanted for assault.

A search at one house in Fallowfield yielded the discovery of 90 cannabis plants at a value of around £90000 alongside accompanying equipment worth £10000, all of which was seized by the police.

Officers also carried out home visits to victims of repeated domestic abuse to ensure their continued protection and safety from their abusive partners.

As students return from holiday and incoming first years arrive and experience the vibrancy of the city for the first time, often under the influence of alcohol, many criminals see this as an opportunity to profit themselves.

Many students arrive at university with new and expensive technology such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. The total cost of these can be well in excess of £1000 and the vast numbers of students at the universities mean the opportunities for thieves are high.

“Last month saw the return of students old and new but for criminals it simply means rich and easy pickings. By holding this operation we can bring down this type of crime and ensure the youngsters can enjoy their time while studying in the city without the fear of becoming a victim of crime,” said Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins.

“As the nights get darker there is a rise in the number of opportunist thieves who like to prey on unsuspecting homes.

“This crackdown, coupled with our daily offender targeting sends criminals a clear message that they can’t harm our community without facing impunity.”

October 6th marked National Personal Safety Day, whose theme this year was ‘Door 2 Door’, aiming to highlight simple methods by which people can keep safe between their home and their destination.

Community Officer Ellen McLaughlin wants to ensure that all students were aware of the dangers of living in a city such as Manchester. In a blog post on the Students’ Union Website, she advised students to look out for drink spiking, keep an eye on friends and keep your valuables hidden when walking alone.

“Lock all windows and doors when you leave your house. [Regarding house parties] lock all valuables away in one person’s room. Finally, if your whole house is going out, shout goodbye to the imaginary person left inside just in case.”

If you witness suspicious activity you can call the police on 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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