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Citys Night Work

by msecadm4921

Manchester is one of the major centres of the night-time economy; hence also it sees crime and anti-social behaviour.

Greater Manchester Police’s City Safe unit has launched an initiative to crack down on the theft of valuable items in licensed premises. The force points to statistics suggesting 70 per cent of crimes committed in Manchester city centre’s pubs, bars and clubs are theft-related.

As part of Operation Crackling, officers are providing a high visibility presence in hot spot locations and will be targeting known thieves who frequent pubs and clubs to prey on victims who leave items such as mobile phones, coats and bags unattended.

The Spyhawk vehicle, equipped with CCTV equipment, will be based in areas such as Deansgate Locks, Canal Street, The Printworks and Peter Street. A matrix sign mounted on the vehicle will display crime prevention messages, such as ‘don’t be a target for thieves’. A mobile phone security marking service is also being offered on board the vehicle to help members of the public safeguard their property.

Undercover officers will be working inside licensed premises to detect thefts. Officers in a ‘theft car’ will be responding to reports of theft. The dedicated vehicle will help to secure evidence at once, helping to catch offenders, but will also enable police to detect false theft reports. Bogus reports of thefts are often made to enable people to claim for the item on their insurance. Such criminal offences raise the fear of crime in local communities and waste police time. Anybody caught making a bogus theft report will be issued with an £80 fine.

Working alongside licensees, officers from the City Safe unit have produced a photo album of offenders who are responsible for stealing from members of the public in licensed premises. These photographs will be shown to members of Manchester’s Pub and Club Watch group to enable them to monitor who enters their pub, bar or club, in a bid to help reduce theft offences.

Posters bearing crime prevention messages are being distributed to premises across the city centre and are being displayed on boards in the street.

What they say

Insp Steve Greenacre head of GMP’s City Safe unit said: "The theft of personal property in the pubs and clubs of Manchester city centre can account for up to 70 per cent of reported crime connected with licensed premises. We are targeting prolific thieves by placing undercover officers in the city’s bars and clubs. We will make extensive use of the public CCTV system in the city centre and the internal systems inside venues. We have also provided photographs of our main offenders to licensed premises so that we can work together to identify and arrest them if they attempt to steal people’s property. Joint use of the ‘nitenet’ radio system further ensures that the police and pubs can talk to each other and we can provide a quick response to any emerging problem.

"This campaign is also about educating members of the public and raising their awareness. We will be making use of large electronic signs with crime prevention messages, using high visibility patrols in hot spot areas and will be offering free property marking for personal mobile phones. I am also asking people who are out enjoying the city’s night life to help us by safeguarding their own property. Use cloakroom and locker facilities where available, do not leave handbags, phones or other items unattended and don’t have so much to drink that you leave your property behind!"

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