More than 60 people arrested as police carry out day of action in Wigan

Police arrested more than 60 people and seized more than 3,000 illicit products during an operation in Wigan.
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Dozens of police officers and members of partner organisations joined forces for a high-profile day of action across the borough.

This time Operation Avro focused on targeting cross-border criminality, using specialist resources from bordering forces.

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A total of 72 arrests were made throughout the day, with 66 from Operation Avro – 10 more than last year – and others from Operation Coalition, which was policing on the borders.

15 warrants were conducted simultaneously15 warrants were conducted simultaneously
15 warrants were conducted simultaneously

A multi-agency briefing took place in the early hours at Robin Park Arena, led by district commander Chief Supt Emily Higham, to outline the issues that would be tackled.

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Fifteen warrants were executed simultaneously for a range of offences, from domestic abuse and assault to drugs and possession with intent to supply.

Several weapons were seized, including a large “zombie-style” knife, and £5,000 cash was found with a large quantity of class A drugs.

Chief Supt Emily Higham in Wigan town centreChief Supt Emily Higham in Wigan town centre
Chief Supt Emily Higham in Wigan town centre
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The traffic operation based in Leigh and Bamfurlong, which involved Greater Manchester Police’s roads policing unit, transport unit and traffic PCSOs, detected offences from showing drivers not wearing their seatbelts to registration checks.

A total of 186 offences were recorded, including 87 traffic offences and 99 for speeding, which resulted in six vehicles being seized and four arrests.

Cross-border operations overnight saw an additional six arrests involving a wanted offender, dangerous driving and failing to stop.

A knife arch was placed in Wigan bus station for Operation Sceptre, a national campaign to detect, reduce and prevent knife crime.

72 people were arrested72 people were arrested
72 people were arrested
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The town centre, specifically around Market Place, and the Civic Square in Leigh saw senior executives from Wigan Council, alongside councillors and the Mayor of Wigan Coun Kevin Anderson, showing partner agencies the close working relationship they must play in fighting and reducing crime in the area.

More warrants and arrests took place in the afternoon, with licensing officers from trading standards visiting premises, which will be followed up with enforcement action.

Several items were seized, including fake vapes with an estimated street value of £3,500.

Also found were class A drugs, a stolen car and a large machete, with three arrests made.

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Patrols were also conducted in Platt Bridge, which resulted in an arrest, and two off-road bikes were seized after reports of anti-social behaviour at Tyldesley Rugby Club.

Chief Supt Emily Higham said: “Operation AVRO is always an exciting day for us in policing.

"What that means for our district of Wigan and Leigh is that you will see more warrants than usual being conducted and more people being arrested.

"But more importantly, we continue to work with our partners to do knife crime arches and talks to children about the dangers of carrying knives, alongside closure order visits and anti-social behaviour are just some of the many activities that have taken place.

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“We have achieved fantastic results again utilising four forces coming together to police our borders showing more great partnership work and a brilliant team effort all-round.

"You will always see a show of police strength and we are committed to act on preventing, deterring and fighting crime in our area that matters the most to you.”