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Cheshire raids - arrest total rises to 32

A further 10 people have been arrested this morning as part of Operation ImpACT, a high-profile operation targeting organised crime and illegal drugs.

It brings the total number of arrests today to 32 - the 27 men and five women are currently helping police with their enquiries.

Warrants were executed at a number of properties in Blacon, Hoole and The Lache, as well as addresses in Merseyside and North Wales.

Major tram works planned for St Peter's Square in Manchester

St Peter's Square will be redeveloped for the new second city crossing. Credit: Transport for Greater Manchester.

St Peter's Square Metrolink stop in Manchester City Centre will close for 14 months next year as work gets under way on the second city crossing.

Transport for Greater Manchester says the construction scheme will involve relocating the existing stop to allow for greater public space in the main area of the square.

The second city crossing will run from Lower Mosley Street through St Peter’s Square, before turning down Princess Street and then heading along Cross Street and Corporation Street before heading to Victoria station.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee said: “This is a massive project that requires significant changes and will, unavoidably, come with a level of disruption.

“Given the location and the work involved there is no easy way of delivering this scheme. Both the scale and complexities involved – set against the importance of maintaining services through the city – mean this is the best possible option."

St Peter's Square in the heart of Manchester. Credit: Transport for Greater Manchester.

Find out more information about the Second City Crossing programme.

Second Kirkham prison escapee held

Gareth Robinson, 23, was convicted of burglary. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Police have arrested a convicted burglar who escaped from HMP Kirkham in Lancashire at the weekend.

Gareth Robinson, 23, was wanted with fellow prisoner, firearms offender Philip Stephenson, 33, who was detained yesterday.

Both men are from Oldham and escaped from Kirkham on Saturday.

A 24-year-old woman, who was arrested on suspicion of harbouring an escaped prisoner, remains in custody for questioning.

Philip Stephenson, 33, was jailed for firearms offences. Credit: Greater Manchester Police.

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Massive operation against criminals in Cheshire

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More than 250 @cheshirepolice officers taking part in #OperationImpACT today. Removing criminals from your streets #YoureNicked

22 arrested in Chester drugs raids

Twenty two people were arrested in Cheshire today during police raids targeting organised crime and illegal drugs

Around 250 officers were involved in Cheshire Police's Operation ImpACT - one of the largest ever undertaken by the force.

Raids were carried out at properties in Blacon, Hoole and The Lache.

The suspects were taken into custody for questioning.

The strike phase this morning is the culmination of many months of work focusing on a number of individuals suspected of being involved in illegal drugs.

"Over that period intelligence and evidence has been gathered and this has culminated today in these high-profile raids.

"Operation ImpACT reinforces the commitment that the police and partner agencies have in targeting those people that undermine our communities and bring misery to residents through their involvement in organised crime and illegal drugs."

– Superintendent Paul Williams, Merseyside Police

Video badges to fight hate crime

This shop worker welcoms the badges. Credit: ITV News

The cameras are worn by a worker around their neck and, if they feel threatened or intimidated, can be activated by the press of a button.

The incident can be captured in full and used as evidence to support a police investigation.

In February, police in Knowlsey secured the first detection in the country using footage from the 'video badges' when they traced a 16-year-old student from Huyton who had racially abused a local shopkeeper.

How the badges look. Credit: ITV News

The incident was captured by the camera, which was being worn around the shopkeeper's neck, and within days the offender's face had been circulated among local police officers.

A school liaison officer recognised him and his parents were informed.

The boy initially denied having been part of the group that had been in the shop but when he and his mother were shown the footage.

The badges work alongside more common security measures such as CCTV. Credit: ITV News
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