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14 July 2011, 10:02
Greater Manchester police are branding today's crime stats 'Bad for criminals but good for communities.'
Stats show that with 20,000 less victims of crime when compared to last year, more arrests, more people being put before the courts and hundreds of years of jail time for offenders, Greater Manchester Police is waging war against criminals.
Despite recent budget cuts, the Force has not only reduced crime to its lowest figure in ten years but increased the number of arrests, with more than 97,000 people locked up between April 2010 and March 2011 - 1,400 more than the previous year.
Of those, more than 40,000 people were either charged or ordered to appear in court and made to answer for their crimes. Officers are using every available tool to target all aspects of criminal life, such as increased use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, a crackdown on antisocial behaviour, multi-agency operations heralded nationally as a way of rooting out organised crime groups and the seizure of cash and assets from criminals.
The figures also show big reductions in the number of domestic burglaries, robberies, incidents of vehicle crime and antisocial behaviour, serious acquisitive crime, serious violent crime and hate crime - the issues that really matter to local people.
GMP officers also seized more than £2.5m in cash from criminals in the last 12 months alone, and through Proceeds of Crime Act Legislation (POCA) offenders were ordered to pay back more than £3.1m, showing criminals will go to prison penniless.
Greater Manchester Police will receive a £1.4m slice of those amounts, which will be ploughed back into fighting crime.
The Force is also using a variety of other methods of dealing with criminals, such as fixed penalty notices, street warnings, cautions and Restorative Justice to speed up the criminal process and put victim satisfaction at the heart of what officers do.
Chief Constable Peter Fahy said:
'These figures show that our approach to reducing crime is working.
'It is bad news for criminals but good news for our communities. Not only has crime fallen but the number of arrests have gone up. Our aim is to not only catch criminals but also make it impossible for them to operate by using every tool available to us, and these figures show we are going in the right direction to achieve that.
'The perception in the media and among the public is that budget cuts would mean less frontline officers and more crime, but these figures show that is not the case.
'We have listened to what people in our communities are telling us and with big reductions in burglaries, robberies and vehicle crime, things that really matter to people, we are making them feel safer and less fearful of crime.'
Greater Manchester Police has achieved these reductions with the support of the public and needs that to continue. Through town hall meetings and an online twitter vote, the Force is aware that many people are more interested in what is happening in their neighbourhoods than Forcewide statistics. That is why GMP is putting more officers than ever before into neighbourhood teams to tackle the types of crime that affect local people.
The Project Gulf operation was set up to combat crime in Salford, and involves a number of different agencies working together to listen to community concerns, identify criminals and then target every facet of that person's life.
The project was recognised nationally by the Home Office as an example for others to follow, and has led to a similar project being rolled out across north Manchester.
A recent operation to target a gang of criminals involved in nearly 30 robberies, burglaries and car thefts in the south Manchester area has just resulted in nine offenders being jailed for more than 60 years.
Also in the past year, the Force has successfully secured hundreds of years worth of jail time for those involved in drug dealing in all of Greater Manchester's communities.
The Force has received extremely positive feedback from local people, councillors and organisations who are seeing real improvements in policing in Manchester. But we are not complacent and we are continuing to work with the Greater Manchester Police Authority (GMPA), consulting with local people about what changes they want to see to policing and look at the different ways that people want to seek assistance or information.
"Our ambition is to keep building on these results," Chief Constable Fahy added.
'We know we live in an era of budget reductions and uncertainty, but this will not prevent us from reducing crime.
'By working in smarter ways we can not only save costs, but more importantly free up officers to get into the heart of communities and tackle criminals, which we know is what people want.
'Despite the uncertainty over the cuts, every day I see lots of outstanding work by officers who are getting out there and making excellent arrests. A number of our officers have recently received national bravery awards which shows how committed we are to making Manchester a safer place.'
Cllr Paul Murphy, Chairman of Greater Manchester Police Authority, said:
'Improving performance, driving down crime, and ensuring GMP provides a quality service to the public of Greater Manchester has been a constant focus for the Police Authority. It’s heartening to see that this, together with the commitment of police officers and staff despite the budget challenges, is having a positive impact on our communities.
'However, we cannot be complacent and although we are in uncertain, challenging times, we will not waver in this commitment. We will continue to support the embedding of neighbourhood policing in the heart of our communities, developing smarter ways of working, and working with partner agencies to tackle the issues that matter to the public. We need to keep working together to make life as difficult as possible for the criminals.'