Many retailers are preparing to reopen on Monday 15 June in line with government guidance. As Covid-19 restrictions ease, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has tactics in place to tackle offenders of personal robbery and keep people in Greater Manchester and their belongings safe.
Operation Valiant, which was launched in February 2018, aims to reduce personal robberies by deterring offenders and educating the public about the risks and different steps they can use to keep themselves safe.
GMP will be deploying high visibility patrols in hotspot areas, as well as covert officers who will not only be targeting offenders, but also engaging with members of the public and offering crime prevention advice. Tactics also include creative signage around the city and town centres in Greater Manchester which reminds offenders of police presence in the area.
Superintendent Chris Hill, Force Lead for Robbery at Greater Manchester Police, said: “Understandably we have seen a reduction in incidents of personal robbery in the city centre and across town centres in Greater Manchester, as Covid-19 restrictions meant the shutting of retail stores and the need for people to stay at home where possible.
“As these restrictions ease and the footfall on our streets increase, there is a danger of an increase in these incidents. Our officers are prepared for this. Although retailers are beginning to reopen, restrictions will mean that the shopping experience will be very different. As well as targeting offenders, it’s important that we are educating the public on how to keep themselves and their belongings safe during this period of change.
“Operation Valiant has already had a positive impact not only in the city centre, but across Greater Manchester, with a number of arrests of prolific offenders. As Greater Manchester begins to reopen, GMP’s message to offenders remains the same – we are here, we are watching and we are committed to keeping our streets safe. We are also asking members of the public to work with us – to report crimes or suspicious activity and follow simple steps to help prevent themselves from falling victim.
“If you see something suspicious or want to report a crime, you can do so via our website or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.”