Police blockade crime hotspots, military style. Is this payback time for the people who voted NO to the Congestion charge?
POLICE are to blockade neighbourhoods with Baghdad-style checkpoints in a bid to catch criminals.
Anybody Noticed the Black Shirts?
A hand-picked team of officers are setting up roadblocks as part of a series of lightning strikes on crime hotspot areas.
GMP is thought to be the first force in Britain to trial the new tactic from Wednesday.
Civil liberties campaigners say they will monitor how it works.
US police in Washington were criticised last year after they set up security checkpoints following a spate of shootings.
Critics compared the approach to the security clampdown in Baghdad.
Senior officers at GMP say the operation will see crime-hit neighbourhoods being blockaded to target a wide range of offenders.
Traffic officers will set up checkpoints using number-plate recognition technology.
Officers from the force’s Tactical Vehicle Crime Unit will also be deployed with intercept cars and motorbikes.
Neighbourhood officers and a drugs dog will also patrol the checkpoints. Police say the areas to be targeted will be identified by intelligence officers.
A spokeswoman said: “As well as bringing criminals to justice, it is hoped that the new unit will help gather intelligence and raise local confidence in what the police are doing to fight crime.
“Though the teams will be dealing with a wide range of crimes brought to their attention, there will be a particular emphasis on targeting burglars in the coming months.”
The operation was being launched on Middleton Road, at Bowkervale, Blackley, on Wednesday.
Det Chief Supt Russ Jackson, who is leading the scheme, said: “With Operation Tornado we will effectively lock down areas suffering outbreaks of crime and quickly bring offenders to justice.
“The team will make lightning strikes on a badly affected area and then be rapidly deployed to their next target area, keeping offenders guessing where they will hit next.
“Operation Tornado will be putting the heat on criminals this summer but will be a real breath of fresh air to the law-abiding citizens living in the affected areas.”
Police in Washington DC used the scheme to check drivers’ and those without a ‘legitimate purpose’ in the area were turned away.
Source: Manchester Evening News