Councillors welcome continued campaign to tackle drug dealing in Piccadilly Gardens as arrests reach 100.
Greater Manchester Police has continued the crackdown on criminals in Piccadilly Gardens, making 112 arrests in two years of a police operation aimed at cleaning up the area.
Operation Mandera has been running since November 2013, focusing on catching drug dealers who target people passing through the area as well as antisocial behaviour.
Since its inception, 80 people have been charged and 17 more cases are going through the judicial process. So far 63 people have been sentenced, with 29 of those receiving custodial sentences.
As well as jail time, 11 Criminal Antisocial Behaviour Orders and 12 Criminal Behaviour Orders have been put in place banning offenders from Piccadilly Gardens for two years.
Inspector Phil Spurgeon of the GMP City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team said:
"We’ve worked hard to tackle the problems in Piccadilly Gardens and we want to continue to make it a safe place for the Greater Manchester community and the thousands of visitors to the city. Through a combination of tactics we have made a significant number of arrests, preventing further offences and reclaiming the area as one for people to enjoy, without fear or trepidation.
"We work closely with Manchester City Council and other partners to address factors such as lighting, CCTV and other environmental features which all assist us in driving crime in Piccadilly Gardens down even further."
GMP’s Piccadilly team is based out of the ‘Piccadilly Pod’, the unofficial name for the temporary police station in Piccadilly Gardens. The pod has been open since early 2015 and acts as a face-to-face point of contact for members of the public between 8am and 8pm every day.
Councillor Kevin Peel said:
"The continued work of the police to tackle drug dealing and the use of the highly visible 'Piccadilly Pod' as a drop in point for residents to talk to the police and raise any concerns have made Piccadilly Gardens a safer place.
"We recently invested in improving the flower beds around the gardens and conversations are ongoing about other ways we can improve this well used but tired looking public space."