Arrests as police target organised crime in Manchester

Six men have been arrested over various organised criminality charges following raids in Greater Manchester, police have said.

The raids are part of a new approach by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to tackle organised crime groups.

GMP have been working with other agencies to share information and target different aspects of criminal gangs.

The operation is being piloted in the Tameside and north Manchester areas.

'Mr Bigs'

The team investigate a criminal's business interests, properties, benefits and associates as well as their involvement in drug dealing and smuggling firearms to identify illegal activity.

Agencies then use their powers to make it difficult for these criminals to operate, which could include arrests, freezing their assets, evicting them from their homes, seizing their cars or stopping their benefits.

Since May, the team has arrested more than 70 people, executed more than 60 warrants at homes and business premises and seized thousands of pounds worth of money and drugs.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said: "This is not about cutting off the arm of an organised crime group, but dismantling it piece by piece, member by member.

"It is about agencies pooling their resources to target every facet of a criminal's life, putting them under so much pressure it is impossible for them to operate.

"If you want to bring down the so-called 'Mr Bigs', you need to strip away their empire and when you start to pull on the threads of what appears to be minor offences, the whole empire begins to unravel."

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