Greater Manchester Police has taken over 1500 knives and other sharp weapons off the streets during the ‘Bin the Blade’ knife surrender.
They range from domestic kitchen knives to swords, axes and hunting blades. The most unusual items include wartime cut-throat razors, a small knife in the shape of a shotgun cartridge and a number of ornamental daggers.
The campaign is part of the ‘Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife’ initiative. Surrendered knives will be used to create a spectacular 15-24 feet tall Angel statue in memory of those whose lives have been tragically lost to knife crime.
Detective Chief Inspector Debbie Dooley of Greater Manchester Police told us about the kind of weapons that have been handed in:
A drug dealer who stashed cocaine in his underwear in an attempt to avoid detection has been jailed.
Wayne Elphick, 43, of Bellscroft Avenue, Manchester, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply at a hearing at Manchester Crown Court.
He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
Last October Elphick was driving a red Seat Leon down Oldham Road, Newton Heath, when he was stopped by North Manchester Organised Crime Unit.
When they searched the vehicle, Elphick was found in possession of £272, two mobile phones and £550 of cocaine hidden in his underwear.
"This conviction shows that GMP will absolutely not tolerate drug dealing in our communities.
"Drugs can have a devastating impact on people's lives, not just the users but their families. I would ask anyone who has information into where drugs are being dealt or produced, to contact police."
Police are appealing for information after a house in Bolton was set on fire whilst an elderly couple slept inside.
The couple, aged in their 80s, were asleep in their home on Eldon Street, Tonge Moor, when they were awoken by the sound of their fire alarm at around 4am today.
They got out of bed to find the living room full of smoke and quickly managed to alert their neighbours by banging on the internal wall of the property.
With help from their neighbours, the couple were able to make it out of the property alive and were taken to Royal Bolton Hospital suffering the effects of smoke inhalation.
The couple are now safe and well and are being cared for by family members.
A joint investigation between police and the fire service is underway to establish the exact circumstances leading up to the fire.
Police say it's believed to be an isolated incident.
“This is a terrible incident and enquiries are ongoing to try and establish who would target such a vulnerable elderly couple.
“We have stepped up police patrols in the area and I would like to reassure everybody in the local community that we believe this to be an isolated incident and a detailed investigation is now underway.
“Understandably the couple who live in the house are very shaken but thankfully they managed to escape the fire, suffering from only minor smoke inhalation and they are now doing much better.
“It is possible that the offenders may have discarded containers used to carry an accelerant or other suspicious items in the local area so if anybody finds anything of this nature then we would very much like to hear from them.
“I would also like to please urge anybody who may have witnessed the fire being started or anything suspicious in the area at the time to please contact the police.”
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Thieves are targeting cash machines with so-called skimming devices in Chorlton, Greater Manchester.
Police have issued a fresh warning after more ‘Lebanese Loops’ were planted on ATMs around the south Manchester suburb.
The fake slots ‘swallow’ the user’s card, allowing crooks to later take cash from their account.
Sir Peter Fahy, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, has spoken out after a swastika symbol was painted on a pavement in Waterpark Road, Salford - an area with a predominately Jewish population.
Figures released this week by the Community Security Trust showed the highest ever figure of anti-Semitic incidents recorded over the past year.
GMP says there has been an increase in such incidents since the terrorist attack in Paris and also an increase in hate incidents directed against Muslim individuals and institutions.
The force said it's "closely monitoring" all hate incidents and is asking the public to be vigilant.
The use of a swastika in this way is insulting not only to members of the Jewish faith but indeed to the families of all those who fought against Nazism in the Second World War.
"You have to wonder whether people who do this are incredibly stupid and don't understand basic history or are just evil in wanting to cause fear and distress.
"Hate crime is important because it insults people's deeply held beliefs and their backgrounds and history and that is why the police see it as a priority.
"This incident is not just about some paint on a flagstone it has a wider significance because of all the death, destruction and hatred that this symbol represents . "
Police are hunting a soldier who has deserted his Army posting and breached a restraining order.
29-year-old Neil Graham, also known as Neil Boote breached his restraining order last November by sending a series of text messages to the victim.
He also breached a court order by failing to attend an appointment with the Probation Service in December.
At the time of the breaches and still currently, Graham is a deserter from the 1st Battalion Prince of Wales Royal Regiment stationed in Germany.
It is thought Mr Graham has links with the Bury area. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Police are appealing for help in identifying a woman who was found dead on a road in Greater Manchester.
The body of the elderly woman was discovered underneath a car on Coniston Road in Stretford yesterday morning.
Police believe there are no suspicious circumstances and an investigation has been launched to find out who she is.
The woman is described as white, of slim build, between 65 and 80 years old, has brown greying hair, false teeth, was wearing khaki green trousers, a red fleece, grey jacket, three gold coloured rings and a gold coloured necklace.
She also had a Yale Mortice key, two trolley tokens, one with a four leaf clover, the other with the Irish flag and a horse shoe charm.
“We are working to establish how the woman came to be underneath the car and find out her identity. What we do know is that the car she was under was not involved in any type of collision and we do not believe any third party was involved in her death.
“We have checked the register of those missing and the lady does not match any of their descriptions. Obviously, we are desperate to not only find out who she is but also who her next kin are so we can let them know of the sad news. “I would ask anyone who may recognise the description of the woman or who may have seen her walking in or around the area of Coniston Road last night or early this morning, to call us.”
- Anyone with information should phone police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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Police have denied reports there may be a link between 60 deaths in Greater Manchester's canals and waterways.
It follows publicity in a national newspaper which suggested there may be a connection between the deaths.
Greater Manchester Police said all the deaths, which took place across the force area, have been investigated and there is "no evidence at all" to link them.
It's asked a Birmingham University academic, who was quoted in the newspaper's story, to visit the force next week to discuss his analysis of the issue.
What is very important to bear in mind in all these cases is that they have been subject to separate investigations and there is no evidence at all to suggest these deaths are linked or were suspicious.
"The last thing we want is to cause further suffering and upset to grieving families who may be falsely led to believe from media reporting that there is a linked series of attacks or to cause unnecessary worries to people especially those who live in or frequent Manchester City Centre."