Greater Manchester Police (GMP) laid down a physical marker this morning that confirmed the relaunch of an operation tackling personal robberies as shops reopen.
Retailers began trading again this morning (15 June), leading to increased footfall across the city centre.
In an attempt to prevent theft in the area, GMP has relaunched Operation Valiant – which has led to the arrest “of hundreds and hundreds of offenders” since 2018.
The operation aims to both deter offenders and educate the public about the risks and different steps they can use to keep themselves safe.
Speaking at the GMP press conference at Piccadilly Gardens, Superintendent Chris Hill, the officer in charge of the Forces Response to Personal Robbery, commented: “Operation Valiant is a force-wide initiative to bring offenders to justice and educate members of the public about remaining alert and look after their own possessions.
“We’re going to have to shop differently now. People are going to have to be more alert. We’re gonna have to queue outside shops, and that just might give the offender that opportunity and chance.
“Our offenders do have some great tactics, sometimes it’s a quick hit, they could potentially use pedal cycles or just run past.
“The message is just be extra alert, look after your possessions, and just be aware of your surroundings.”
The superintendent also stated that well as targeting offenders, officers would be approaching members of the public and offering guidance on how to protect themselves in the new climate.
“…when we’re seeing members of the public on their mobile phones or just stood there texting, we’re giving them a little leaflet that says: You could have been a victim today,” he explained.
“We’ve already seen a big significant turnout (of shoppers) in the city this week.
“As soon as you leave your home you need to be extra vigilant. We don’t have any defined hotspots where you’re going to come across our offenders.
“Be vigilant and be alert. Help us to help you.”
According to GMP, Operation Valiant has not just resulted in the successful arrest of offenders, but also longer sentences.
“The real positive thing is, we’re now working with our partners, we’re working with CPS, and we’ve got some fantastic custodial resources,” said Superintendent Hill.
“On recently… one of our community members attacked and robbed on the trams, and the offenders have just got six years each.
“There was another series of offences over in another area in Manchester – they got 12 years each.
“So, what we’re doing now is utilising our experience, we’re more confident now in liaising with our partners and we’re pulling together that series of incidents to make sure offenders are going to prison for a long time.”
GMP will be deploying high-visibility patrols in the coming weeks right the way through the region – as well as covert officers.
In a press release, GMP issued the following message to members of the public: “If you see something suspicious or want to report a crime, you can do so via the GMP website or by calling 101.
“Always dial 999 in an emergency.”
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away free music lessons
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away a host of free music lessons next month in a bid to inspire people to learn a new instrument, or pick up an old one.
The store is giving new and returning musicians a chance to receive a 10–15-minute free music taster session as part of its Music for All Learn to Play ’22 event.
Taking place across 8 and 9 October between 10am-5pm (8 October) and 1130am-30pm (9 October),short taster music lessons will allow all ages and abilities to have a musical experience that could turn into a lifetime of enjoyment, or even a new career.
Speaking on the free music lesson initiative, Emma from Forsyths said: “The past two years have shown how important music is to all our lives and how it can bring people together even in the most difficult of circumstances.
“We aim to help as many people as possible understand the unique joys and benefits of learning an instrument (or taking part in a choir).
“Anyone interested in learning to play an instrument or looking to pick it up again, should come and join us for this two-day celebration of music making.
“We’re delighted to be part of Music for All’s Learn to Play ’22 event, and we can’t wait to get started.”
OBE Jools Holland, Patron of Music for All, said: “Making music is very important to me. It’s my work, my pleasure, my friend, companion and therapist.
The charity Music for All believes passionately in the unique power of music to change lives and that is why it runs Learn to Play.
Music for All believes everyone should have equal access to music making.
The charity supports disadvantaged music makers by providing cash grants for tuition and instruments and by donating instruments directly.
Celebrated author Dame Hilary Mantel has died ‘suddenly yet peacefully’ aged 70
Dame Hilary Mantel has died aged 70.
The unexpected passing of the critically-acclaimed author whose celebrated career spans nearly five decades has just been announced by her agents 4th Estate Books and her publishing team at HarperCollins in two separate statements released this morning – who confirmed that she died “suddenly yet peacefully”.
The Glossop-born writer was famed for historical fiction work, and was most-known for being the author of the beloved Wolf Hall trilogy.
The statement by her agents confirming her passing reads: “We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald.
“This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”
Mantel’s publishers HarperCollins called her “one of the greatest English novelists of this century”.
The company’s statement reads: “It is with great sadness that AM Heath and HarperCollins announce that bestselling author Dame Hilary Mantel DBE died suddenly yet peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends, aged 70.
“Hilary Mantel was one of the greatest English novelists of this century and her beloved works are considered modern classics.
Mantel has twice been awarded the Booker Prize, the first time for the 2009 novel Wolf Hall, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, and secondly for the 2012 novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second instalment of the Cromwell trilogy.
She was the first woman, and fourth person, to receive the award twice.