Cash to tackle gang crime

6th February 2009 at 00:00

An innovative operation in Manchester that saw police working with local schools to tackle teenage gang-related crime has won new funding of Pounds 50,000 from the Home Secretary.

Jacqui Smith announced the funding when visiting the city to mark Operation Cougar's first anniversary. As well as increasing CCTV and deploying police spotters, the Manchester force has worked with local secondaries to build relationships to help tackle the problem.

Ms Smith visited Newall Green, a 900-pupil specialist arts, science with maths secondary in Wythenshawe, a deprived part of the city, where she discussed the operation with pupils.

Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, said: "I have no doubt at all that lives have been saved as a result of this ground-breaking operation. There are young people walking the streets of Manchester today who would otherwise be in an early grave... Robust policing and enforcement has played a big part in this operation - including the use of stop and search - but it has all been done with the support of the local community.

"Gun crime has given certain parts of Manchester an unfair reputation which damages the aspirations of those that live there, and so the cycle of disadvantage is reinforced."

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