A long-running GMP operation – codenamed Haemus – was first launched in 2019 following a number of firearms incidents across the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester. Officers investigating the incidents believe the incidents sparked from an ongoing dispute between two local crime groups from Cheetham Hill.
Following three more recent firearms incidents – one on Sunday 6 September 2020 on Murray Street, a second on Saturday 12 September on Heath Street and another, more serious incident yesterday evening (Tuesday 15 September 2020) in Salford – police have widened the scope of Op Haemus.
At around 10.55pm on last night, a 27-year-old man was shot on Manton Close, Salford. He was taken to hospital with what were initially thought to be life-threatening injuries. Thankfully, his condition has since improved and he is continuing to receive medical treatment in hospital.
Enquiries suggest that the latest incidents involve one of the Cheetham Hill crime groups and another group from the Salford area.
Following these lines of enquiry, operation Haemus has now widened and will be focussed on the criminal activity of the three local crime groups and the various ongoing disputes between these groups.
So far, officers working on Operation Haemus have made over 25 arrests and executed several warrants. This latest development means that officers from the City of Manchester will work closely with officers from GMP’s Salford division to continue this disruption activity.
Work will also continue with Manchester City Council and Salford Council as part of the multi-agency response into tackling organised crime in the areas.
GMP’s Superintendent Rebecca Boyce said: “We’re continuing to be really open and honest with the public about this operation and the challenges we’re facing. This is a complex investigation which brings together several elements and we are working hard to build on intelligence and disrupt any activity.
“Lately we have seen an escalation of violence, spreading out of the Cheetham Hil area and across the Salford border. We have acted on this escalation and are working closely with police colleagues in Salford, sharing intelligence and strengthening our resources. We have launched a dedicated and specialised disruption hub in North Manchester which will be working solely on this operation. This compliments the existing hub in Salford.
“Alongside this work we will continue with high visibility patrolling in the area, as well as implementing a range of covert tactics. A key part of our response to Operation Haemus also continues to be prevention and we have a range of partners including adults and children’s services in both local authorities, who are supporting us with this.
“We know that these tit-for-tat incidents are targeted and are occurring between different organised crime groups. Yet clearly, we understand and recognise that there is a level of risk associated with this kind of dispute. What we don’t want is for an innocent member of the public to be hurt as they get caught in this reckless cross-fire. As we have said before however, we cannot do this alone and I would really urge with information to please get in touch with us as a matter of absolute urgency.”
Anyone with any information should contact police on 0161 856 61146 quoting incident number 3634 of 15/09/20 or ‘Operation Haemus’. Alternatively, the independent charity – Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.